Saturday, August 20, 2011

Eli S Ricker: Garnett and Wells Interviews, Voices of the American West Vol.1 Indian Interviews

Voices of the American West, Volume 1
The Indian Interviews of Eli S. Ricker, –

Edited and with an introduction by Richard E. Jensen

© 2005 by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska All rights reserved

Manufactured in the United States of America

All illustrations are courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Set in Bulmer by Tseng Information Systems, Inc.

Designed by R. W. Boeche.

Printed by Thomson-Shore, Inc.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Ricker, Eli Seavey, 1843–1926.

Voices of the American West : the Indian interviews of Eli S. Ricker, 1903–1919 / Eli S. Ricker ; edited and with an introduction by Richard E. Jensen.
p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index. -13: 978-0-8032-3949-4 (hardcover : alk. paper) -10: 0-8032-3949-1 (hardcover : alk. paper)

1. Indians of North America—Historiography. 2. Indians of North America—Interviews.

3. Pioneers—United States—Interviews. 4. European Americans—Interviews. 5. Indians of North America—History. 6. Frontier and pioneer life—United States—History. 7. Ricker,
Eli Seavey, 1843–1926—Relations with Indians. I. Jensen, Richard E. II. Title. 76.8. 53 2005

970.004'97—dc22 2005012016

-13: 978-0-8032-3967-8 [vol. 2] -10: 0-8032-3967-x [vol. 2]


List of Illustrations viii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Map: The West of Eli S. Ricker xxx
Chapter One: The Garnett and Wells Interviews
1. William Garnett 1
Biography, Treaties and Treaty Commissions, Killing of
Frank Appleton, The Surround of Red Cloud and Red Leaf,
Mackenzie-Dull Knife fight, Indian scouts, Crazy Horse,
Sun Dances, Pine Ridge Reservation, Wounded Knee, Frank
Grouard, Yellow Bear–John Richard Jr. episode, Flagpole at
Red Cloud Agency
2. Philip F. Wells 121
Biography, Sioux customs, language and religion, Little Big-
horn, The Messiah/Ghost Dance, Wounded Knee, Drexel
Mission fight, Agents and agency service, Sioux tribes and
bands, Minnesota war
Chapter Two: The Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee
1. Short Bull. The Messiah, Ghost Dance 189
2. Joseph Horn Cloud. Wounded Knee,
Wounded Knee casualties 191
3. Dewey Beard. Wounded Knee 208
4. Louis Mousseau. Wounded Knee,
Pine Ridge Reservation 226

5. William Palmer. Wounded Knee 232
6. George Little Wound. Wounded Knee 232
7. Ed Janis. Wounded Knee fatalities 233
8. William Peano. Wounded Knee fatalities,
Pine Ridge Reservation 233
9. Paddy Starr. Wounded Knee and burials 237
10. Frank Feather. Wounded Knee fatalities 239
11. Man Above. Wounded Knee, Indian scouts 240
12. Standing Soldier. Wounded Knee,
Indian scouts, Crazy Horse 241
13. Creighton Yankton. Wounded Knee hearsay 247
14. William Denver McGaa. Pine Ridge Reservation,
Wounded Knee, Indian scouts 248
15. James Garvie. Poncas, Wounded Knee,
Winnebagos, Santees 251
16. John Shangrau. Reynolds’s Powder River campaign,
Wounded Knee, Cheyenne outbreak, Crazy Horse 256
Chapter Three: The Old West—Indians and Indian Fights
1. Chipps. Crazy Horse 273
2. American Horse. Grattan fight, Fetterman fight,
Red Cloud, Biography, Crazy Horse 277
3. Charles A. Eastman. S. D. Hinman, Crazy Horse 285
4. Mrs. Richard Stirk. Biography, Crazy Horse,
Saunders escape on Cache la Poudre 287
5. Louie Bordeaux. James Bordeaux, Frank Grouard,
Crazy Horse, Pine Ridge Reservation 290
6. Respects Nothing. Little Bighorn 302


7. Moses Flying Hawk. Little Bighorn, Sibley Scout 307
8. Standing Bear. Little Bighorn 309
9. Nick Ruleau. Little Bighorn, Fetterman fight 311
10. Iron Hawk. Christian Indians, Little Bighorn 314

11. Frank S. Shively. Crow Indian customs,

Little Bighorn, Indians and priests, Chief Blackfoot,

Indian scouts at Little Bighorn 318
12. Two Moons. Battles at Tongue River,
Rosebud, and Little Bighorn 321
13. Henry Twist. Black Hills treaty 325
14. Charles Turning Hawk. Black Hills treaty 325
15. George Sword. Biography, Crazy Horse,
Wagon Box fight 326

16. Frank Salaway. Biography, Crazy Horse, Grattan fight, Ash Hollow fight, 1865 Horse
Creek fight, Pine Ridge Reservation 330

17. Red Cloud and Clarence Three Stars. Treaties, Black Hills, Grattan fight, Tribal government

and politics, Lightning Creek incident, Allotments
in severalty 344
18. Alfred N. Coe. Dakota ministry, Two Sticks case 355
19. Jacob White Eye. Haircuts at Pine Ridge 358
20. Eagle Elk. Pine Ridge Reservation 358
21. Little Wolf. Cheyenne Indians 360
22. Peter Shangrau. Ute Indians, 1906 361
23. Maggie Palmer. Janis family 367
24. Mrs. Nicholas Janis. Nicholas Janis 367
25. Mrs. Julia Bradford. Henry C. Cli ord 368


26. Nettie Elizabeth Goings.
Goings family, Frank Grouard 369
27. William Girton. Bull Bear/Red Cloud 370
28. William Young. Henry Young 370
29. Mrs. Charles C. Cli ord. Biography,
Saunders escape on Cache la Poudre 371
30. Amos Ross. Biography, Pine Ridge ministry 373
Appendix A. Forts 375
Appendix B. Agencies 377
Notes 381
Bibliography 463
Index 475


following page


1. William Garnett

2. Brothers Dewey Beard, Joseph Horn Cloud, and White Lance

3. Chipps and his wife

4. Mass grave at Wounded Knee

5. Ricker’s shorthand

6. American Horse and his wife


1. Phillip F. Wells’s map of Wounded Knee

2. Joseph Horn Cloud’s map of Wounded Knee

3. Paddy Starr’s map of Wounded Knee

4. William D. McGaa’s sketch of the Stronghold

5. Respects Nothing’s Little Bighorn

6. Standing Bear’s Little Bighorn

7. Nick Ruleau’s Little Bighorn

8. Two Moons’ Little Bighorn

9. Frank Salaway’s Grattan fight



Due to the broad scope of the subject matter covered in the Ricker tablets, it has been necessary to elicit the expertise of several specialists. Without their contributions, the Ricker tablets might continue to languish in the recesses of the archives. Richard G. Hardor has graciously given his permission to quote notes from two of his books, The Surrender and Death of Crazy Horse

(Spokane: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1998) and Lakota Recollections of the Custer Fight: New Sources of Indian-Military History (Lincoln: University of Ne-braska Press, 1997). Donald F. Danker extended the same courtesy in allowing the use of his endnotes from ‘‘TheWounded Knee Interviews of Eli S. Ricker,’’ Nebraska History 62 (1981): 151–243. Eli Paul was generous enough to let me quote his biography of Sam Deon published in Autobiography of Red Cloud: War Leader of the Oglalas (Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 1997). Thomas Buecker, curator, Fort Robinson Museum, answered numerous ques-tions and recommended many sources foranswers to others that had perplexed this editor. Gary H. Dunham, Native American Studies editor, and W. Clark Whitehorn, former history editor, University of Nebraska Press, o ered many helpful suggestions. Mary Grindahl deserves a special thanks for the many hours she spent transcribing portions of the tablets.



In the early 1900s Eli S. Ricker began gathering data for a book he planned to call ‘‘The Final Conflict Between the Red Men and the Palefaces.’’ While the title would raise many an eyebrow today, Ricker’s viewpoint is another mat-ter. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he did not see the European advance across the American continent as a glorious conquest of the wilderness. In-stead, Ricker recognized the terrible consequences for the Native Americans who faced this avalanche in their homeland. Ricker had been working on his book for only a few months when he wrote a brief note that summarized his views:

When the white man landed on the shores of the New World, an eclipse, blacker than any that ever darkened the sun, blighted the hopes and happiness of the native people, races then living in tranquillity upon their own soil.1

In addition to chastising the whites, Ricker had the audacity to suggest that history as seen from a Native American point of view was as valid as the white man’s history. In the course of his research he would interview at least fifty Native Americans about conditions and battles on the Plains in the last half of the nineteenth century.

Eli Seavey Ricker was born on September 29, 1843, the son of Bradford W. Ricker and Catherine Harmon Ricker. The family lived on a farm near the little town of Brownfield, Maine, until 1855, when they moved to a farm near Oneida in northwestern Illinois.2

Young Ricker planned to enter Lombard University in the fall of 1862.Then a call came for volunteers to fight in the Civil War and on August 9 he enlisted in Company I, 102d Illinois Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was stationed near Nashville, Tennessee, where it guarded railroad lines in the vicinity. Near the end of February 1864, they marched across Tennessee into the northwest corner of Georgia. During May and June the 102d was engaged in five major


encounters, resulting in thirty-one fatalities. Ricker described only one close call during this campaign. His company was crossing an open field when Con-federate sharpshooters opened fire from a grove of trees. Ricker admitted, ‘‘It was a miracle that none of our men got harmed.’’ In early September his unit entered Atlanta, Georgia, and he wrote, ‘‘Atlanta has been a beautiful place [but] it is now invested with the desolation of a graveyard.’’ A month later his company, now a part of the Twentieth Army Corps of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s army, continued the march through Georgia, arriving at Savannah in late December. The army then turned north and Ricker wrote, ‘‘We left a black track in South Carolina.’’3

Near the end of March 1865, Ricker was in Goldsboro, North Carolina.Two corporals in his company were killed nearby in separate skirmishes. By this time Ricker was also a corporal and the men were probably his friends. It was the only time he wrote to his mother about fatalities in the unit. The 102d con-tinued its northward march through Raleigh, North Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia, arriving in Alexandria on May 19. On May 24, 1865, Ricker partici-pated in the grand review of General Sherman’s victorious army inWashington . Ricker received his discharge papers the following month.4

In 1864 Ricker began corresponding with Mary M. Smith, a young woman from Wyanet, Illinois. Apparently she wrote the first letter to him on the urg-ing of her uncle. Ricker responded with extreme formality, as was typical of the times:

Miss Smith, Esteemed Friend. It is with exquisite pleasure that I seat myself to acknowledge the receipt of your kind letter. I feel highly flattered to think you should select me for a correspon-dent.5

It took six months before Ricker felt su ciently comfortable to use ‘‘Dear friend Mary’’ in the salutation. About that same time she sent him a lock of her hair. The formality in their letters disappeared as they discovered shared inter-ests. Ricker confessed, ‘‘The subject which engages my attention is largely that of education. In me the desire for it amounts to a passion.’’ No doubt Mary understood the feelings he expressed. She had enrolled at Lombard College in Galesburg to study art and music, but when her father died she was forced to give up her studies and take a job teaching school.

They met for the first time after Ricker came home from the army, and the correspondence continued. Eli had found work on a farm near Oneida, while


Mary taught school in Wyanet, forty miles away. There were occasional visits and during one of them, Ricker proposed marriage. In late November 1865 Mary confessed, ‘‘I had heard of love at first sight, but I loved you before I had ever seen you.’’ They were married on July 3, 1867, by a justice of the peace at Henderson, Knox County, Illinois.6

Ricker had moved to a farm in near Woodhull in November 1865, and in the spring of 1867 he borrowed $2,000 to buy a farm in the vicinity. He assured Mary the debt would not be a problem, but a lack of money would plague Ricker for most of his life. In February 1869 the couple moved to the vicinity of Loda, Iroquois County, where Ricker began raising broomcorn, apparently on a grand scale. At the end of the second season he wrote to his mother with the sad news that ‘‘broom corn is a drug this year; mine will not pay expenses at present prices If I had left it in the field I should have saved [money].’’ Al-though he was deeply in debt, Ricker later looked back on the misfortune with some pride. He had been able to overcome the obstacles and pay his debts. He admitted it took him five years to do so.7

In 1876 Ricker decided on a career change and enrolled in a two-year com-mercial course at a school in Onarga, Illinois. He also devoted a year to studies in the literary department of Grand Prairie Seminary and Commercial College. During this time he worked intermittently in the Iroquois County clerk’s o ce at Watseka. A friend there was publishing a series of biographical sketches of pioneers and Ricker joined in the endeavor. This experience led to a position with a firm based in Chicago that published county histories. Ricker worked for more than three years compiling histories of nine counties in Illinois and Indiana.8

In July 1882 Ricker temporarily left his wife and five children in Galesburg, Illinois, and went to Brooklyn, Iowa, to study law under John T. Scott, a Civil War comrade. Ricker was approaching forty-two years of age when he passed the bar examination in March 1884. He continued to work for Scott, but after a year he began thinking about moving west and starting his own practice. He first considered Dakota Territory, but Mary refused to live there. Ricker then ‘‘heard of a place in the extreme northwest part of Neb. that seems to o er a good opening.’’ Hewas thinking of the new town of Chadron in Dawes County, Nebraska. The Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad was laying tracks westward in northern Nebraska and by late summerof 1885 Chadron was at the end of the line. Rickerarrived there on September 17. His familyexpected to follow him after he found a home for them, which took longer than expected.


In the spring of 1886 his son Leslie Ricker, then age thirteen, wrote to his father complaining, ‘‘You had disappointed me so many times I expect the next time you [write you] will say that we cant come till next spring.’’ Leslie was nearly correct. The family did not leave for Chadron until the end of August 1886.9

In Chadron, Ricker formed a partnership with Fred J. Houghton. On their letterhead they o ered services in law, real estate, insurance, and collections. The partnership lasted only briefly and by 1889 ads for the law firm of Ricker and Turner appeared in local papers. Now the emphasis was on loaning money if the borrower had ‘‘first class real estate’’ for collateral.10

Ricker entered politics shortly after his arrival and was elected clerk for the village of Chadron. In the spring he ran for a three-year term on the school board, but was narrowly defeated. When the county judge resigned in 1886, Ricker campaigned for the vacant position. He ran as a Democrat and won the election by fifty-nine votes out of a total of slightly more than thirteen hundred cast. At that time a county judge was authorized to probate wills, perform mar-riages, hear civil cases involving less than $1,000, and attend to other relatively minor legal matters.11

The following year he ran for judge of the Twelfth Judicial District. His opponent was Moses Kinkaid, a rising star on the political horizon, and Ricker was defeated by a margin of more than two to one. Ricker lowered his expec-tations in 1888 and ran for Dawes County attorney on the Democratic ticket. He was defeated again and the loss put a temporary end to Ricker’s political career. Seven years later he ran for county judge and was elected in a close race. In 1897 he joined the Peoples’ Independent Party, or Populists, and they won all but one of the county o ces. He served his two-year term but never ran for the o ce again.12

While Ricker was practicing law he and his son Leslie were buying land along Bordeaux Creek about eleven miles southeast of Chadron. By 1904 they had acquired nearly one thousand acres of ranchland they called Gray Cli . It seems Leslie and his mother lived on the ranch, while Ricker spent most of his time in town. Leslie recalled that his father moved to the ranch only after completing his last term as county judge, but ‘‘he did not stay on the ranch I think over two years for this kind of life did not seem congenial to him.’’13
Ricker’s dissatisfaction with ranching may have been behind his decision to purchase a newspaper in Chadron. In January 1903 he and his partner, A. M. Clark, began publishing the weekly Chadron Times. Ricker was listed as editor and Clark as publisher. A year later Ricker o ered both the newspaper and the


ranch for sale. He assured readers the properties were a bargain and would be sold on easy terms. Ricker also noted jokingly, ‘‘Reason for selling—going to Cuba or someplace.’’ The ad for the ranch ran until May 19, 1904, when it was presumably sold, and the ad o ering the Times for sale ran until February 9, 1905. Ricker and Clark published the last issue of the paper two weeks later. That summer the Rickers moved to Grand Junction, Colorado.14
It is not clear why Ricker decided on this complete abandonment of his ranch and business. His eldest son, Albion, may have been living in Grand Junction at the time and the sale of the ranch and the newspaper provided a meager but su cient income, suggesting that Ricker was contemplating retire-ment.

Ricker became interested in Indian history during his later years in Cha-dron. In what appears to be a draft for an introduction to his book, Ricker wrote, ‘‘I was somewhat past sixty years of age [ca. 1904] when I first thought of it in its present general scope.’’ Many years later, in a letter to Addison E. Sheldon, Leslie Ricker mentioned that he thought his father’s interest in the ‘‘Indian Question’’ arose when Eli was editor of the Chadron Times.15 Ricker published somewhat more news about events at nearby Pine Ridge Reserva-tion than could be found in other western Nebraska papers. Early in 1904 a correspondent who used the pseudonym ‘‘Sioux’’ began contributing articles about current politics and events on Pine Ridge, but they were brief and infre-quent. In one of his early editorials Ricker urged Chadron businesses to treat Indians fairly. ‘‘Honesty and fair treatment to these customers will bring the trade. The Indian drawn by the ties of friendship is a friend to tie to. Treat him mean and cheat and rob him as has often been done by the whites and he never forgets. They like Chadron. Keep ‘Honor Bright’ with them.’’16
Comments in the Chadron Times certainly suggest Ricker was thinking about the ‘‘Indian Question.’’ In July 1903 he mentioned a visit to the day school on Wounded Knee Creek, where the Sioux ‘‘fought to the bitter death their last battle’’ referring to the culmination of the Ghost Dance era and the near anni-hilation of Big Foot’s Lakota band by the Seventh Cavalry on December 29, 1890. Ricker returned to Pine Ridge early in November, but this time he wrote about the ‘‘slaughter’’ at Wounded Knee and expressed his belief that it could have been avoided. This statement was a radical departure from nearly every-thing about Wounded Knee that had previously appeared in print. Newspaper accounts describing the ‘‘a air,’’ as it was commonly called, tended to depict brave soldiers fighting crazed savages.17


The real turning point in Ricker’s interest in the Indians’ circumstances may have come about during the so-called Lightning Creek or Wyoming inci-dent. He published a series of articles about it in the Times during the latter part of 1903. Indians from Pine Ridge Reservation had been hunting in eastern Wyoming when they were accosted by a sheri and his deputies and accused of breaking Wyoming’s hunting laws. Tempers flared and a gunfight resulted. The sheri , a deputy, and four Indians died. Most western papers blamed the Indians because they were accused of violating the law. While Ricker’s reports could not be described as pro-Indian, his view was more balanced than most. Unlike most other reporters, Ricker felt the Indians’ account of the encounter should be considered as being at least as reliable as the story told by the white participants. Leslie recalled the incident years later and wrote, ‘‘Pa made a trip to the scene of trouble and got the inside facts and aspoused [sic] the Indian cause This act of justice on his part endeared him to the Indians and ever after that he was widely known by the Indians over [at] the Agency.’’18

By the end of 1903 Ricker was taking depositions from peoplewith firsthand knowledge of the massacre at Wounded Knee and had gained a fair under-standing of the tragedy. On November 30 he talked to George E. Bartlett and recorded the first of what would become known as the ‘‘Ricker interviews.’’ Bartlett’s discussion of Wounded Knee included some questionable conclu-sions. Ricker noted these politely with comments such as ‘‘I did not think that was so.’’ Two weeks later he talked to Charles W. Allen, who had witnessed the massacre in 1890 when he was the editor of the Chadron Democrat. Ricker concluded that Allen was ‘‘a calm man not inclined to fiction, fancy or sensa-tion but his characteristic methods are careful, accurate and truthful.’’19

Leslie Ricker recalled that his father spent two winters gathering informa-tion on the Pine Ridge Reservation, one winter traveling on foot and the other by horse and buggy.20 Ricker’s dedication to this project, and the discomforts he faced obtaining the interviews, are vividly described in a twelve-page letter to his wife in Grand Junction. The following is an excerpt:

Monday, the 11th, I started from Louie’s School No. 12, on foot, with the determination to reach Kyle either that or the following day. There was some snow and a vast amount of ice all over the ground—from the highest summit to the lowest hollow—till I as-cended the divide betweenWounded Knee and Porcupine creeks; from thence the ground looked quite bare, but all through the buf-


falo grass the unseen and treacherous ice was yet The 12th was balmy. Mrs. Snowden filled one of my pockets with hard tack and I started, crossing the Porcupine [Creek] on a log. Had gone but a little way when I noticed that I had lost my cotton handkerchief. Went back half a mile but did not find it. Needed it or I would not have doubled back that distance. Had left Louie’s with an awful cold.21

About 1905 Ricker had personalized stationary printed with his name above ‘‘Ex-County Judge and Late Editor of the Chadron Times’’ in the upper left corner; in the upper right corner was ‘‘The Final Conflict Between the Red Men and the Pale Faces (In Preparation).’’22

He was also was toying with an outline for his book. The emphasis was on ‘‘The Butchery at Wounded Knee’’ and ‘‘The Political Battle on the Little Big Horn.’’ In addition Ricker envisioned sections on the ‘‘habits, customs, rites, imagery and oratory of the Indians’’ and ‘‘exploits of trappers, adventures of fur traders, and hardships of explorers.’’23

Ricker estimated the final product would consist of four octavo volumes of five to six hundred pages each. He realized, ‘‘when it comes to publishing I may be obliged to change the whole plan.’’ Ricker realized he could not follow the lead of traditional historians of his era, who tended to write about sturdy pioneers conquering the West, while the army won glorious battles over the ‘‘savages.’’ One of his notes clearly spells out his perspective:

The Indians sneer at the whiteman’s conventional reference to the Custer massacre and the battle of Wounded Knee. They ridi-cule the lack of impartiality of the whites in speaking of the two events—when the whites got the worst of it it was a massacre; when the Indians got the worst of it it was a battle.24

Apparently Ricker planned to write his history from the viewpoint of the people he interviewed. As a result he ‘‘found it both logical and necessary to discard the easy yet unapt [sic] word ‘savages’ when applied to the natives,’’ and ‘‘to speak of the people flocking to the New World as ‘foreigners.’’’ Ricker also was uncomfortable with the term ‘‘civilization,’’ noting that civilized people ‘‘not infrequently inculcated acts of barbarity hardly less atrocious than the worst practiced by the ‘savages.’’’ ‘‘As between the foreigners and the natives the former have always set up claim to superiority, and on this ground have ab-


solved themselves from guilt for their seizure of a continent and for the endless wrongs they have inflicted and the collective wickedness they have committed upon the inferior race.’’

Ricker was not willing to elevate the natives too far at the expense of the foreigners. He explained that the foreigners were educated and had learned the ‘‘divinity of cleanliness and the nobility of labor’’ that set them above the natives. Ricker was not without prejudices, but his stance regarding native peoples placed him far ahead of most of his contemporaries and many of those who came after him.25

There is little in the historical record to explain Ricker’s motivation for undertaking a project that was expensive, time consuming, and at times down-right unpleasant. His family and friends never o ered an explanation. Ricker himself begs the question in a 1907 draft of an introduction for Final Conflict:

If the reader cannot see the reason for its [the book’s] existence the writer . . . would not be able to assist his enlightenment But to gratify the super-curious, whose rights are to be as religiously guarded as any, he will confess that he has not written to supply a long felt want—he has not written at the urgent request of friends; for these were not numerous enough to raise the necessary insur-rection—he has not done it for his bread and butter; for heaven knows it has taken these away.26

Ricker was sixty-seven years old and still gathering data for his Final Con-flict when he was hired by the U.S. O ce of Indian A airs in Washington , beginning work on December 3, 1910. Unfortunately Ricker never bothered to explain what the job entailed or how he got it, but years later, his friend Addison E. Sheldon explained that he was a ‘‘record clerk’’ and that ‘‘most of his work was organizing and indexing o ce files.’’27 It seems this would have been a menial job for the former judge and newspaperman, but it allowed Ricker the opportunity to pursue his passion for research. Ricker worked for Dr. Howard M. Hamblin, the o ce’s assistant historian, at least part of the time, but he had little regard for the man.28 Ricker assured his wife, ‘‘I can do any part of the work without assistance.’’ He considered his ‘‘real director’’ to be Annie Heloise Abel, who taught at Johns Hopkins University, but visited the o ce frequently to do research. Rickerobviouslyadmired her. His descrip-tion of Abel in a letter to his wife also reveals something of Ricker:


Like myself, she is plodding and slow, because she loves the truth; and she knows that history must be true, otherwise it is not history. Her mind, I am proud to know, is not corrupted by the dollar-lust. Who writes with his eye on shekls does not write history.

Mary joined her husband in Washington early in the summer of 1911, and they acted like tourists on vacation. They visited historical sites in the city and spent a weekend at the Bull Run battlefield. They also traveled to Maine to visit Eli’s birthplace. That summer must have been one of the happiest times in the couple’s lives, but the happiness did not last. In late February 1912 Ricker was notified that he had been terminated because the Indian o ce was running short of funds and Ricker was a victim of a last hired, first fired policy. The Rickers remained in Washington, hoping that Eli might be reinstated, but he had to wait until the next congressional appropriation. His old position was reinstated and Ricker returned to the Indian o ce on August 28, 1912.29

A more serious di culty arose six months later when Mary su ered ‘‘sev-eral bilious attacks with sickness in her head and stomach.’’ She was under a doctor’s care in Baltimore for a time and then spent the summer in Grand Junc-tion. Mary recovered and rejoined her husband in Washington and assisted him in his research. Years later Leslie recalled his mother’s contribution:

My mother worked at least two years writing out this historical data. For a long time she went to the [Smithsonian] Institute [sic] and did her writing there. Finally the superintendent after be-coming so well acquainted with her told her she could take the books home to do her writing. This saved her much extra work. My mother contributed in many ways to my father’s success in his historical research. All of which cost them thousands of dol-lars in labor and money.’’30

While he was in Washington Ricker occasionally hired a typist to copy ar-chival documents he needed for his book. Mary felt paying the woman $5 a week and providing a lunch each day put an undue strain on their limited in-come.31 Eli tried to explain his feelings and to justify the expense: ‘‘My thought and life and ambition are in this service. I do not want to fail to turn out some-thing for a showing.’’ Ricker was undoubtedly sincere in his desire to ‘‘turn out something,’’ but he was overwhelmed by the vast historical resources avail-able in Washington. He began to delve into diverse themes, ranging from the


Seminoles in Florida to pueblo dwellers in the Southwest, and it was his un-doing. In his lust for knowledge he became sidetracked from the project and the book he originally planned.

Ricker stayed with the Indian o ce until July 1919. It is not clear whether he resigned, or whether the funding ceased. Whatever the cause the Rick-ers moved back to Grand Junction and lived in a house owned by their son, Albion.32 There Ricker joined Leslie in a business venture. The younger man had developed the Ricker Universal Cooker, claimed to be so e cient it could cook food using only 10 percent of the fuel required by conventional methods. Prospective buyers were also assured there was no danger of explosion. After two years the Rickers admitted the undertaking was a failure and the Univer-sal Cooker was never again mentioned in their correspondence.

Eli Ricker returned towork on his book and in 1923, told Leslie hewas ready to begin the chapter on the Little Bighorn battle. He never went beyond por-tions of a rough draft and miscellaneous thoughts. By this time he was nearly eighty years old and his health had begun to fail.

Eli and Mary faced additional problems. He received a Civil War veteran’s pension, but they had to supplement their income by renting the second floor of their house. Apparently the rental did not provide enough income because in February 1925, the Rickers decided to move into what Eli called the ‘‘garage’’ so they could rent the first floor as well. Ricker mentioned that the garage had a concrete floor, with shelves of books and manuscripts along two walls. The garage might have been the concrete block building that Albion built in 1921 to house his father’s historical records in a nearly fireproof environment. By this time Ricker had acquired more than 2,350 books, plus voluminous copies and some original documents he obtained in Washington.33

On the day they moved to the garage Ricker installed a stove and started a fire. Mary stayed inside while her husband went out to chop more wood. After a short time Ricker heard screams and saw Mary running from the building. Later he would write, ‘‘My wife was near the hydrant, facing me, in a fierce wind, a pillar of fire! The flames streaming above her head.’’ Apparently she had stood too near the stove, which ignited her clothing. The fire was quickly extinguished and a doctor and a Christian Scientist were called, but to no avail. Mary Ricker died at four o’clock the next morning, February 25, 1925.

That fall Ricker contracted the flu and never fully recovered. In the spring of 1926 he wrote Leslie, ‘‘I have been declining in physical strength very fast’’ and worried if it continued ‘‘I shall be lying beside your mother before the 4th


of next July.’’ He had been relying on Christian Science to prolong his life and had been taking ‘‘Science treatments’’ but discontinued them late in April with the concurrence of his medical attendant. His condition continued to worsen and he died in the house on Ouray Avenue on May 17, 1926. A physician was present and determined the cause of death was ‘‘myocarditis, and inflamma-tion of the heart complicated by senility.’’34

During his long life Ricker experienced many philosophical changes. He and his wife joined the Methodist Church in 1875, but Methodism was too strict for the liberal-minded Ricker. By the late 1880s the couple were attend-ing the Universalist Church. Mary’s parents belonged to the sect so it is likely she introduced Eli to the church. Later Ricker adopted Christian Science and in 1905 wrote a long supportive editorial in the Chadron Times. The editorial brought a rave review from the business manager of the Salt Lake Mining Re-view, who called it a ‘‘master piece’’ of ‘‘rhetorical perfectness.’’35

Ricker’s political ideology also moved to the left. He had been a Republican when he was a young man, but had become a Democrat by the time he came to Nebraska. In the late 1890s he embraced Populism. A few years later he moved still farther to the left when he joined the Socialist Party. In 1912 he wrote an ecstatic letter to his wife, extolling the party’s platform as ‘‘the greatest public document that has appeared in this country since the Constitution.’’36
While Ricker grew more liberal in his political and religious philosophies, he became more reserved and aloof in his family relationships. His early letters to his wife and children are full of warmth, but by the time he went to work in Washington, most of the expressions of fondness were missing. Letters were occasionally signed ‘‘With A ection,’’ but most were merely ‘‘A . ES Ricker.’’ It seems Mary grew tired of his formality and apparently wrote a very personal letter, in which she must have described her love for her husband.37
Ricker responded with assurances ‘‘that I reciprocate everything said by you, and more especially the sentiments so deeply rooted in our hearts toward each What would I do if I were to lose my beloved companion?’’
Ricker was capable of deep feelings of remorse for some of his past con-duct. When he was a younger man he attended college and held a variety of jobs that kept him away from his family for extended periods. In a 1913 letter to his daughter-in-law, Margaret, he admitted, ‘‘I su ered such loss as none can ever realize by being away from my own children as much as I was in their childhood days.’’ Three years later he expressed the same sentiment in a let-ter to Leslie, but this time Ricker was on the defensive. Apparently Leslie had


made a disparaging remark about his long absences that Ricker interpreted as ‘‘a reflection on my course of action.’’ Ricker went on to explain:

The sacrifice I made—the loss I sustained—by being away from my young children when they needed me, and I needed them (had you thought of that?) can never be known nor estimated. That separation has not ceased to give me pain down to this day.

In spite of Ricker’s intelligence and his obvious compassion for at least one minority hewas not free of all prejudices. He clearlyexpressed his anti-Catholic views in a letter to his wife:

The attitude of the Socialists toward Rome is making many friends for the party among those who are alive to the menace of Romanism. The treasonable hierarchy must be disrupted, so far as their political power and designs are concerned. The press of the country, the great publishing houses and the magazines are in subjection to-day to the Roman influence. The Protestants are simpletons for contributing as they do to the upbuilding and strengthening of the Beast of Revelation.

Ricker was a lover of the arts. In his early letters from Washington he de-scribed his numerous visits to the Corcoran Art Gallery, ‘‘but it is in the depart-ment of statuary where I go into spasms of enthusiasm.’’ Ricker also had a pas-sion for the Library of Congress. He took binoculars there to read the mottoes and names of people on the ceiling of the dome and described the ‘‘harmonious hues’’ and ‘‘fascinating beauty’’ of the building. He was equally excited about the books and manuscripts housed there, but ‘‘doubt that concerns me is that I may never be able to examine even a small part of all there is’’ in the collections.

During the waning months of his life Ricker realized he would never finish his book. He considered selling his library, and Addison E. Sheldon, super-intendent of the Nebraska State Historical Society, o ered to buy some of the volumes. Sheldon had settled in Chadron about the same time as Rickerand the two men became friends. Rickerdeclined Sheldon’s o er because hewanted to keep the collection together and at a location where his descendents could use it. After Ricker died, Sheldon went to Grand Junction in June, probably in the hope he could promote a donation. He and Ricker’s children discussed several options, including establishing a research library in a new facility at Albion, a little town in central Nebraska, where Ricker’s daughter and her family lived.


It was only the dream of a grieving family because there was no money for such a facility. Son Albion Ricker pointed out that the family had incurred ‘‘some heavy expenses’’ after his father’s death and thought they might have to sell what theycould. Sheldon was critical of secondhand book dealers and warned, ‘‘all of them place a very low figure on things they are buying and a high one on things they are selling.’’38

In spite of Sheldon’s warnings and persuasion, the family decided to sell what they could of the collection. Albion Ricker prepared a list of 2,350 books with a total asking price of $3,907 and sent it to book dealers. Sheldon selected seventy-nine books he felt would be worthwhile for the society, but by the time he was authorized to make the purchase, two-thirds had already been sold.39

Sheldon realized the priceless historical value of Ricker’s tablets containing the interviews and told the family that the notebooks would not be ‘‘salable’’ and ‘‘it would require many more years on the part of a person with special training and special knowledge’’ to prepare a publishable manuscript. In case there was any doubt about the monetary value of such a book, Sheldon added that the writing and editing ‘‘would be largely a labor of love, for neither the sale or nor the royalties from history books of this nature are large enough to pay decent wages.’’40

Fortunately there was no market for what Albion called the ‘‘historical ma-terial’’ and it was donated to the Nebraska State Historical Society. This ma-terial consisted of Ricker’s notebooks, and other data pertaining to his re-search on the Indian wars, as well as voluminous family correspondence. The manuscripts arrived at the Historical Society on November 2, 1926. In Janu-ary Sheldon presented the collection to the society members at their annual meeting and asked State Senator James W. Good, who had been a friend of Ricker’s, to say a few words. Good praised the Ricker family for the donation and naively added, ‘‘I find that it might take a year or two to arrange it.’’41

Ricker’s Methodology

Mechanical recording devices were availablewhen Ricker was taking the depo-sitions but, unfortunately, they were beyond his means. He relied instead on note pads and pencils to record the interviews. Most of these tablets are the kind school children used. A few are even titled ‘‘Public School Tablet.’’ Al-though they vary widely in size, most of the pads are about five by nine inches and vary in length from about one hundred to two hundred pages.
Ricker’s interviewing methodology also varied considerably. In his first


known interview Ricker wrote down both his questions and his informant’s an-swers, but he used this technique briefly on only one other occasion.42 Many of his Native American sources required an interpreter. In those instances Ricker wrote what the interpreter told him, then read it back, and the interpreter re-peated it to the interviewee for his or her approval.43 Ricker provided another clue about his methods during his interview with George Sword. Sword had described an event in his youth, which Ricker recorded. At the end of the para-graph Ricker noted, ‘‘Capt. George Sword sang several hymns in Lakota while I was busy writing down the foregoing about him.’’44

On some occasions it seems that Ricker made short notes at the time of the interview and then expanded on them in the tablets. This technique is sug-gested in his interview with William Rowland. Ricker wrote, ‘‘Rowland gave me the names of the guards, but I did not put them down.’’45 He may have also used this method in the interviews with Philip Wells and William Garnett. In the first instance Ricker’s sentences are carefully phrased in his unique style, which is not characteristic of normal conversation. If they had been written at the time of the interview,Wells would have had to wait on numerous occasions while Rickercomposed his long, convoluted sentences.The exceptionallyclear handwriting also suggests that Ricker was not hurried.46 In the Garnett inter-view Ricker frequently writes, ‘‘Garnett said’’ or ‘‘Garnett described,’’ but there are also strong hints that this version is not the first draft. When Ricker begins to describe the killing of Crazy Horse he prefaces the discussion, ‘‘But it will be for the province of this chapter to uncover some of the hidden inferences which hastened the end of this man’s life.’’47

Undoubtedly Ricker chose the topics for the interviews, but there is little to suggest the extent to which he guided the discussion. There is some evi-dence he questioned or even challenged the interviewee on certain points. For example, William Peno said he heard the cannons firing at Wounded Knee at about sunrise. Ricker knew this was too early in the day and noted, ‘‘He will not admit, on questioning that it was much after the sun came in sight.’’48

Ricker’s Writing Style and the Editor’s Alterations

Ricker accumulated such a mass of information that it would not have been practical to publish the data in a single volume. It is a fortunate coincidence that the total page count for interviews of Native Americans and mixed-bloods on the one hand, and those of whites on the other, were approximately equal.


This was the basis for the division, because there is no significant di erence in the subject matter.

Eli Ricker was an educated man with an extensive vocabulary and nearly always impeccable spelling and penmanship. He did have certain stylistic idio-syncrasies that will annoy purists. For example, he preferred semicolons and em dashes over periods and commas. While these symbols may not be accept-able under the rules found in current style manuals they have been retained because they fulfill the intended purpose and also keep this printed copy some-what closer to Ricker’s original. Occasionally he put a dash after a period or a semicolon and these unnecessary dashes have been removed. He was not con-sistent in his use of punctuation with possessive nouns, or with abbreviations and numbers. These inconsistencies have been silently corrected.

Ricker frequently misspelled personal names, sometimes consistently (Mc-Gillicuddy instead of McGillycuddy), and sometimes only until he learned the correct spelling. Some of these mistakes were likely due to Ricker’s haste in writing down what was being said. Because there is rarely a question about a person’s identity, Ricker’s spelling of names has been let stand. In a few in-stances the editor has added the correct spelling in brackets, following a name’s first appearance. Ricker had his own rules for using capital letters. While his small ‘‘a’’ and capital ‘‘A’’ are similar, there is no question he intended to capital-ize agency whether it is Red Cloud Agency or when speaking of the ‘‘Agency.’’ Reservation was always capitalized, but Platte River was ‘‘Platte river’’ most of the time. There seemed no pressing reason to correct these inconsistencies.

On rare occasions Ricker repeated a word. Rather than use the intrusive sic, the unnecessary second word has been omitted. Ricker frequently used brackets to enclose his parenthetical thoughts, but often omitted a closing bracket. The brackets have all been changed to parentheses to avoid confu-sion with editorial insertions, which are in brackets. The editor added closing parentheses when needed to help define Ricker’s asides.

The editor has also sometimes added quotation marks that Ricker omit-ted during transcription of direct discourse, and occasionally added periods and capitalized the first word of a sentence. In some instances, particularly in the Beard interview, the narrative shifts frequently from first to third person, making it di cult to distinguish Ricker’s words from those of his narrator. Punctuation in this interview has been left as Ricker recorded it.

Ricker had a penchant for long, compound sentences. If the reader is atten-


tive they do not cause a problem in understanding his meaning. Ricker allowed a somewhat wider range of subject matter to be included in his paragraphs than might be acceptable today. He usually did not bother to indent the first sen-tence of a new paragraph. No corrections have been made to his paragraphing because the ‘‘problem’’ is not significant. Ricker crossed out redundant and misspelled words and sometimes entire paragraphs. These were not included in the transcription. Occasionally words or phrases were lined though, sug-gesting the interviewee changed his or her mind. These have been retained. In some cases Ricker wrote a word above another word that was similar in its meaning. Although he did not cross out the original word, the editor has as-sumed he meant to make the substitution in his final draft and has retained the word that was written above.

Ricker usually numbered the recto side, and occasionally both sides, of each leaf. There seemed to be no reason to retain his numbers. In addition to the tablets, Ricker used an assortment of loose tablet pages, the backs of old letters, and eight-by-eleven-inch sheets, some typed and some handwritten, to record notes and interviews.

Some interviews extended over more than one tablet and the separate por-tions have been brought together here. Additional comments or afterthoughts by or about his informants, or the subjects being discussed, were likely to ap-pear almost anywhere. Often Ricker indicated where these fragments were to go within the narrative, and in other instances he did not. They have been in-serted as closely as possible to the related subject matter according to the edi-tor’s best judgment.

In general, the editor believes that Ricker would have addressed many minor editorial matters during subsequent work on the interviews, which clearly he did in several instances. Therefore, while the editor has tried to retain the essence of Ricker’s interviewing style, he has made punctuation and format adjustments, as described above, that seemed likely to assist both the casual reader and the scholar. Those who wish to plumb every nuance of the inter-views exactly as Ricker recorded them are reminded that his tablets are avail-able on microfilm.

After the Nebraska State Historical Society acquired the collection, stickers measuring two and one-quarter by three and one-half inches were printed and a xed to the cover of each tablet. They read, ‘‘From the Historical Library of Judge E. S. Ricker formerly of Chadron, Nebraska. Part of his project for a history of the Plains Indians. Received by Nebraska State Historical Society


November 2, 1926.’’ The Historical Society numbered the tablets, but in no particular order.

The Ricker tablets contain much more than the interviews presented here. In the early planning stages we considered making each tablet simply a long quotation, but the tablets included much material of limited historical signifi-cance. For example, Ricker’s recipe for pickles has been deleted, along with reminders that someone gave him $1.50 for a year’s subscription to his news-paper. Many other notes or reminders to himself, addresses, lists, and tran-scriptions from books and documents have also been deleted. Lengthy sections that could be described as Ricker’s musings have been omitted. These may have been first drafts for his book and ranged from his views about certain his-torical events and the treatment of Indians to quotations he admired. This ma-terial would, however, be valuable for someone writing a full length biography of Judge Ricker, and hopefully someone will undertake that worthwhile task.

Ricker and his informants drew thirty-two maps of Wounded Knee, the Little Bighorn battlefield, and other sites, but not all of them have been re-produced in the present volumes. Some were so crudely drawn that they were meaningless. These maps are briefly described in the endnotes.


Voices of the American West, Volume 1

C r
e R B
llo Ca
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Ft. Keogh b all R.

k G
North Cheyenne nd d R.


R Agency rkGrand R.
o r n S. Fo
. Slim Buttes

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R gu e e P SOUTH
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S o
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M ll Spearfish
r. e Dunn’s
N C B Bear Butte Ranch
Buffalo a n . Big Foot’s
R m Deadwood Ft. Meade r
O o Village

H W Lead Smithville e
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C d Cr.
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h Cr. Hermosa C R.
art Interior e
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Blu Med. Root Cr. in C W P
Cottonwood Cr. r. B Eagle’s a
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WYOMING . Nest s
R a Cr
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. . . Edgemont . Water Cr.
r Cr . r r
C ng r C C White Clay Cr.
S tni C Martin
r a igh e s t Porcupine
g L ’ a
e e c n H Wolf Cr. American
e C n a Butte
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oWhite White
Ft. Fetterman W Crawford Pine Horse Cr.
r Douglas ld Red Cloud Buttes Ridge
le Bed Tick SpringsO Lusk h
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Warm Springs Beauvais Sod Agency NEBRASKA
Three Mile Ranch Spring
r. Ft. Mitchell
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Ft. Sidney California Crossing

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The West of Eli S. Ricker

Mandan A

Ft. Abraham
Lincoln NORTH

all R
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Ft. Yates N

rand and R. 0 10 20 30 40 50 Miles


ye Cheyenne River Agency
Ft. Bennett
L Ft.
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Sioux Falls
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whide Cr. Blair

North Florence Council Bluffs

Bend Omaha
N. Plat te R. .

te R
Lowell B
Centoria B
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u Kearney City
m Cr. Ft. Kearny Geneva R

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St. Joseph

. The Garnett and Wells Interviews

[William Garnett’s Interview]

Ricker wrote the following sketch of Garnett near the end of Janu-ary in Tablet .

William Garnet lives on Cane Creek north of the White River on a ranch of his own, 8 or 10 miles south of the extension of the Milwaukee R. R. Hewas the son of General Garnet who was killed in the battle of Gettysburg. His father was an o cer in the old army and was stationed at Fort Laramie. He had this son by a Sioux Indian woman who afterwards married a man by the name of Hunter; and hence the subject of this sketch is sometimes called Garnet and sometimes Hunter, but his true name is Garnett and this is o cially recognized.1
Garnett is one of the best interpreters on the Reservation. He is a stirring, intelligent, able man; and while he did not have the advantages of schooling, he has absorbed much practical knowledge, and is held in high estimation for his honor, integrity and veracity. Bat says he was in the fight under Mackenzie on one of the forks of Powder River, in the mountains; the command marched from Crazy Woman [Creek] across the divide to the fork where the Cheyenne village was, and striking the village at the lower end and charged up the stream. Garnet was in this fight.
[Tablet 1]

Cane Creek, S.D. January 10, 1907

William Garnett (he had a step-father named John Hunter) He was born on the bottom below where the Sabine Creek disembogues into the Big Laramie River in April, 1855. His father was General B. Garnett who was killed on the Confederate side at the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. He was a West Pointer and resigned from the old army on the breaking out of the war. He was the commanding o cer at Ft. Laramie. Fort Pierre was the headquarters and


detachments were sent across from Pierre to garrison Fort Laramie. This was in the early days, about 1850 and 1854 etc.2

Mr. Billy Garnet has been an Indian interpreter for 30 years and has inter-preted so much about treaties and other a airs which transpired before his day that he knows their history as well as though he had lived when they occurred and had personal knowledge of them.

He remembers when the Mormons were traveling along over the trail every year.

He says that Nick Janis was a guide for Gen. Stephen W. Kearny when he went with an expedition to the Rocky Mts., the first that ever went west.3

Father De Smet baptized a great many Indians on the Laramie and Platte Rivers.4 He thinks Mrs.Tibbitts was baptized by De Smet. Mrs.Tibbitts’ name is Emily. (Emily Janis.)5

The treaty made at the mouth of Horse Creek in 1851 was for the purpose of granting a right of way for the emigrant travel across the plains.6

Billy Garnett says that the treaty was made at the mouth of Horse Creek, 40 miles below Ft. Laramie. It was there that the first issue was made to the Indi-ans, and they all call it ‘‘The Big Issue.’’ The whole Sioux Nation was present but only representatives of the other tribes were there to receive the goods for their tribes. They were issued in bulk to the several tribes and by each, distrib-uted to the members.

Mrs. Ben Tibbitts was born at the mouth of Horse Creek at the time of this issue; she was Nick’s first child. Major Wham did not come out there till 1871. Garnett remembers this well. Agent Twist [Thomas S. Twiss] was there as early as 1860 or thereabout.

He says that in those days the interpreters were very poor, and he does not see how the government was able to transact any business with the natives. He has been acquainted with some of the old interpreters and knows that they were poor. He has had to interpret for Nick Janis, his own father-in-law, when he was stalled, and he was interpreter for the government a great deal.
He also had to help out Tod Randall, another interpreter.7

In relation to this treaty it was one object to harmonize the Indians and put an end to wars among the several tribes and to apportion the country among the tribes; but soon after it was made the Indians fell apart and continued their fighting as before. At the time of the making of this treaty the Sioux Indians elected Conquering Bear their chief.8 Old Man Afraid of His Horse succeeded
Conquering Bear to the chieftainship of the Sioux.


When Old Man Afraid got very old (who died when about 90 yrs. of age) he abdicated in favor of Young Man Afraid of His Horse, who was accepted at once without controversy.9

This name came in this way: It is not proper to say Old Man Afraid, etc.; for the Indians called him Man Afraid of His Horse, because he was a very brave man and the enemy feared him and they could recognize his presence in battle by his horse, and when they saw him in the fight they were afraid, knowing his prowess. So the significance was that his enemy was Afraid of His Horse—not that he was afraid. The whites took to calling him Old Man Afraid, etc., but this is not right—drop the Old. The word Horses is not right; it was Horse, singular. Young Man Afraid of His Horse is right for his son, as the Indians themselves recognized the name, because he was the junior Man Afraid etc.

In 1868, shortly after the making of the 1868 treaty at Fort Laramie, the Sioux Indians moved o north and were assembled about the heads of the creeks which empty into the South Cheyenne River—one of these being Lance Creek—when the Oglalas came in to make the 1868 treaty they camped on Lance Creek, so they went back on that creek which empties into Warm Creek which empties into Cheyenne River.10

East of Lance Creek was one called Old Woman’s Fork (now called by the whites, Old Woman’s Creek), and into Old Woman’s Fork emptied Grindstone Creek from the west. In the forks of these two creeks is the Grindstone butte which is formed of square blocks of stone of varying sizes. The Indians went there to get stones which they used for grindstones by whetting their knives and other implements on these square blocks. White people also get grind-stones in the same place. These two creeks unite after passing one on either side around the butte, and flowing together thence some 8 or 10 miles empty into the Cheyenne River.

The Old Woman’s Fork got its name in this way: Many years ago the small pox was virulent among the Indians, and they scattered out over the country. One old woman went to this stream and erected her lodge and lived alone. She had some dogs and they increased till there were perhaps 100—a great num-ber. She was there a long time. Her lodge at length rotted down. An Indian trail passed close to her habitation, and her dogs were numerous and saucy and ran out and assailed passersby. The Indians being superstitious, viewed her with superstitious awe, regarding her in the nature of a witch, and were care-ful not to go near her but kept at a distance, avoiding her acquaintance. Her lodge disappeared; but the smoke of her fire showed that she had made her


wigwam in a cave in the earth. In course of time her smoke rose no more and she was not seen. It is supposed she had been transported [?] to the hunting grounds on the other side of this life. No one knows what end the dogs came to, but hunters say that in that region there are black wolves, and it is believed that these dogs in-bred with the wolves, and though the wolves are true in size and form and feature to their species, yet they have derived their color from the old woman’s dogs.

A month or two after the execution of the 1868 treaty, when these Sioux Indians were assembled on these creeks about 40 miles northwest of where Lusk,Wyoming, now is, the Sioux Indians were camped in the hereditary man-ner followed by these peoplewhen theyare moving, viz.; In a large circlewith an opening in the east or the southeast, so that it is in a general direction toward the rising sun; the several villages camp together, and generally relatives are in close proximity like neighbors. At the time in question the council house was in the centerof this camp, being a large lodge comparable to a circus tent.The Indians camped this way when moving; sometimes they would remain overnight only, perhaps a day, two or three days or a week or more. At this time Mr. Garnett was a boy, 13 years old, but was apt at observation, and at an impressionable age. He saw some horsemen making the circuit of the camp on the inside and his boyish curiosity was aroused at what was going on. Other boys near his age were with him and all were likewise attracted by the novel proceedings. They saw these warriors ride round to the several villages and pick out certain young men, place them on horses and take them to the center of the camp at the coun-cil house, and the youngsters followed, led by their curiosity to know what was going on. They saw the four young men taken from their mounts and placed on robes spread in the center. The whole gathering was inside of this coun-cil house. The old men or leaders of the nations were seated at one end of the house in a half circle. In front of these and facing them were the young warriors of the tribe. On either side the Indian women were ranged, and standing back of the young warriors promiscuously were a throng of children and all others. A feast of beef, and game and dog flesh had been prepared for this important event and the women were waiting for the moment when they should address themselves to the important duty of serving the feast. An old man, probably the chief of the nation, arose and addressed the four young men seated within the circle, viz; Young Man Afraid of His Horse, American Horse, Crazy Horse and Man That Owns a Sword (the latter was a brother of George Sword, Jr. whose Indian name would be the same, but the whites have cut it down to Sword and


prefixed the English Christian name of George).11 The speaker told them that they had been selected as head warriors of their people; that their duty was to govern the people in camp and on the march; to see that order was preserved; that violence was not committed; that all families and persons had their rights, and that none imposed on the others. These men had the fullest authority and they represented in their commands and acts the entire power of the nation. To maintain peace and justice, or to secure any other end required by their sys-tem of government, they first counseled and advised, then commanded, and if their authority was not then respected, they resorted to blows, and if these failed to secure obedience to their demands, they killed the o enders without further parley, as was their legal right. Without such summary authority do-mestic government would have been a failure among the natives; they could not have dwelt together in peace and unity but would have broken up into thin and defenseless bands little larger than individual families. Experience has shown that human beings are selfish, passionate, and half savage at best, and when not subject to discipline and restraint, are utterly lawless and infinitely dangerous.

Next came the feast which is a function of the highest merit with the Indi-ans and is never omitted on occasions of ceremony or celebration. Whatever doubt has been entertained in relation to whether Red Cloud signed the treaty of 1868 has been disposed of by Mr. Garnett who states that at the time of the assembly at Fort Laramie Red Cloud was not there, all statements to the con-trary notwithstanding—that there is no truth in the assertion that he withdrew in sulkyand angry mood—but that hewas at the time o up in the Powder River country with a handful of Oglalas; that late in the fall he came in to the Fort and signed the treaty. He says that Mr. Colho is right when he says that the goods and cattle left for Red Cloud were removed to the Whetstone Agency, etc.12 He further adds that numbers of the squawmen were induced to remove to this Agency and also a few of the Indians, it being thought that in this way the great body of the Indians could be drawn thither, but such influence was inadequate and the mass never went. The squawmen were given rights in the treaty of 1868 equal with the Indians for the influence of these men with the Indians to keep get the Indians on to agencies and to keep them from going to war, etc.13 After the treaty and in [the] same year the attempt was made to get the Indians down to Whetstone Agency on the Missouri River (?)in Gregory country.

The Loafer Indians under their chief Big Mouth (father of John Farnham’s wife) went down to Whetstone Agency; their camp was around Fort Laramie & from there they moved; very few of the Oglalas went, & these were relatives


of squawmen who had Oglala wives; the Cuto Indians were Oglalas and had for their chief Little Wound who was put in the place of his father named Bull Bear in 1871.

The origin of the Cuto was in quite an early day and grew out of a drunken row in the Oglala camp. Some of Red Cloud’s relatives were killed, and he and friends of his avenged themselves by killing several on the other side; Red Cloud killed Bull Bear and the Indians composing Bull Bear’s band separated from the rest of the Oglalas and went o among the Cheyennes down on the Platte and the Republican. Years afterwards—in 1871—the Cuto s came back up to Fort Laramie and were round in that country, and the necessities of inter-course led to the resumption of amicable relations between Red Cloud and the Cuto s.14 A part of the Cuto s went to the Whetstone Agency and a part did not go. Those who did not go there moved up on Lance Creek. Those who went to Whetstone moved back to Fort Laramie and vicinity in 1871 and there-abouts. The government was desirous to move the Cuto s from the Republi-can and the lower Platte o from the line of overland travel, and assemble the Oglalas together; so Red Cloud was advised to make Little Wound, the son of Bull Bear, a chief of his band as a reparation for the killing of Bull Bear; and Red Cloud had been in Washington in 1870 and this scheme had been worked on him as a device agreeable both to the government and himself; so in 1871 there was a big council held near Fort Laramie, and in the transaction of busi-ness Little Wound, on the politic suggestion of Red Cloud, was made a chief to succeed Bull Bear, and from that date they had their headquarters with the rest of the Oglalas. Mr. Garnett thinks that at this council these Indians were discussing the location of the Agency and that they were permitted to desig-nate it and that while some wanted it in a di erent place (up on the Rawhide Creek) the majority decided on the place where the Sod Agency was built in 1871 on the north side of the Platte, 30 miles below Fort Laramie. Spotted Tail went to Whetstone Agency from the lower Platte and the South Platte, and while he was down there, he killed Big Mouth who was half drunk and under-took first to take Spotted Tail’s life and snapped his percussion revolver at him several times; but someone who knew Big Mouth well and fathomed his in-tentions, had unbeknown to him removed the caps, so that his revolver could not be discharged, and when he had failed in his felonious attempt Spotted Tail in self-defense shot Big Mouth and killed him.15 Spotted Tail moved back with his Brule band to a point about six miles south of the present Pine Ridge Agency and on what was once the Nebraska extension and up in the foothills


on White Clay Creek;16 next moved up just east of Crawford next it was moved just above below the mouth of the Cottonwood where it empties into theWhite River below where Crawford now is, near 2 or 3 round hills on the north side of the White River; it was next moved to a point just above the mouth of the Beaver Creek, and while it was here some soldiers were encamped here and some were also first stationed at Red Cloud Agency, and from this the detach-ment went to mouth of the Beaver. These troops were under the command of General Smith, and were the first that came to these two agencies, and were brought here owing to the killing at Red Cloud of the chief clerk, Frank Apple-ton by Kicking Bear in 1874. General Smith was from Fort Laramie and he went back there after bringing over these garrisons.17

Continuing the subject of the Spotted Tail Agency: This was moved from the mouth of Beaver Creek to the place it finally occupied up the Beaver, on the Riekman ranch. The Agency was where I saw the location as above, and Camp Sheridan was about three-quarters of a mile below the Spotted Tail Agency.

Killing of Frank Appleton

I may as well relate here the killing of the chief clerk, Frank Appleton.18 A party of Indians had been o south in the Platte country and in a fight with some white men and one of their number got killed, and in keeping with their cus-tom of assuaging their grief by killing a white man for revenge they resolved on evening the mortuary account the following night by killing a white man at the Agency; but an Indian belonging to the number, moved by a higher better sentiment friendly to the whites came to the chief clerk and told him what was going to happen and advised him to keep his men inside the stockade that night. The clerk regarded the story as a canard, but jocosely told the people living at the Agency what he had heard, and there were some who treated the mat-ter with more seriousness. The stockade had two main gates and there was a night-watch whose duty was to guard these and see that the enclosure was not entered byanyone.The gates were closed and fastened as usual.The carpenters had been shingling some of the buildings that day next the on the commissary building that day and they left their ladder standing on the outside. The agent at this time was Dr. J. J. Seville, but he was absent at Spotted Tail Agency, and the chief clerk, Frank Appleton, was acting in his stead. In the night an Indian, who, it was afterwards learned was Kicking Bear, using the ladder, came over the palisade into the enclosure and opened the front gate which was on the south side of the square stockade, and was a double gate with a small side gate


for persons to enter. This main gate he left wide open after committing his foul deed which took place about 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. He called Kick-ing Bear rapped on the window in an adjoining room and then knocked on the door. Appleton, after dressing, opened the door, and seeing that he was an In-dian started to go for Wm. Garnett, the interpreter. Appleton had a roommate named Walters, and when Appleton opened the door he [Walters] saw the In-dian with a gun in his hands and told Appleton not to go out as the Indian had a gun.19 Disregarding the warning, he stepped outside, and as his back was turn-ing toward the Indian, Kicking Bear threw down his gun, and Appleton seeing the motion stooped forward to escape the shot and received it in his side and back, the course of the ball being upward, leaving his body near his shoulder. The employees were aroused by the clamor made by Walters. Appleton lived a few hours, dying in the early morning. A search for the guard discovered him sitting on a chair sound asleep in a house just outside the stockade. His name was Paddy Nolan. His negligence had resulted in the tragedy. He broke down and after two days of mental anguish and crying quit his work and the place. An Indian was sent to Spotted Tail to notify the agent, and he arrived at Red Cloud just at night of the same day. This occurred in the winter of 1873–4.

When Sod Agency was Moved

Wm. Garnett says this agency was moved over to the White River in the fall of 1873, and he came over the first time that fall and the Agency was not fully moved till the next spring. At first the buildings had boards on the roof covered with tar paper, and when the mechanics were at work shingling that winter when Chief Clerk Appleton was shot they were making the buildings more permanent, and the next spring they completed moving the Agency as John Farnham stated.20 The Red Cloud Agency was never down in the bend of the
White River northeast of where Crawford now is; but the Spotted Tail Agency was there when it was moved up from the foothills on the White Clay Creek on the Nebraska Extension of the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The first Agency that the Spotted Tail Indians had was down on the Mis-souri, and from there it came up to the Extension. The Spotted Tail Agency was on wheels for some years. Jack Whalen always lived at that Agency and he can give full account of its changes.21
Red Cloud was in Washington in 1870 and again in 1872.

John Richard Jr. killed a soldier at Fort Fetterman while in a half drunken condition in the year 1869.22 He then escaped to the Indians up north and was


there from fall till the next spring. At this time he was in partnership with Jules Ecco ey and Adolph Cooney.23 Louis Richard attended to his part of the part-nership business while he was in this species of exile. He slipped in at times during his voluntary banishment, and it must have been at these times that the scheme was worked up to secure his pardon by President Grant on condition that he would induce the Indian chiefs, including Red Cloud, to go to Wash-ington. A lot went at this time.24 Garnett saw all these with John Richard and a lot of Indians came to Fort Laramie & saw the chiefs with Richard in the center, march up to the o cer’s o ce. They went to Washington in 1870, and Richard was pardoned for murdering the soldier.

The Surround of Red Cloud and Red Leaf

Mr. Garnett says that Red Cloud and Red Leaf were camped on Chadron Creek, four or five miles above the Price & Jenks ranch (or Half Diamond E); that Red Leaf was about a mile above Red Cloud.25 It was just at the close of the campaign of 1876 and the evils growing out of the loose manner in which the Indians were managed which allowed them to go and come at will and to wander o to remote places from the Agency had been productive of great hardship to the country; and while the memory of this experience was fresh the commanding o cer at Fort Robinson, General Mackenzie, decided to bring the Indians near the Agency so that their movements might be more easily watched.26 Red Cloud and Red Leaf were nearly thirty miles from the fort, and it was resolved to bring them in. The interpreter, Wm. Garnett, was sent for and given orders to go to the camps of these chiefs and tell them to move up to the Agency, and that if they did not comply their rations would be taken away, and if they did not move in after that they would be brought in by force. They returned no satisfactory answer. Garnett was sent to Red Cloud solely as he was recognized as the head chief; so he went to this chief ’s lodge, where he found Red Cloud and Red Dog, the latter generally doing the speak-ing for the former.27 Red Dog responded by saying that the troops might have the buildings of the Red Cloud Agency; that they had the Bissonette house where they were, (pointing just across the creek) to put their rations in; to tell General Mackenzie to send their rations down to them and the beef cattle; to tell this to the General, and advised the interpreter to come along to assist in the making of the issue.

Ration day came but they got no rations, and still they were obstinate and remained away. The same messenger was again called, and this time his in-


structions left no doubt that General Mackenzie, after trying the persuasion of hunger, was preparing to make good the promise he had delivered to the chiefs that he would use force if necessary to bring their camps to the Agency. The young man was started o about nightfall on the day of October 1876, for the Cli ord (Henry) ranch and stage station on the Sidney and Black Hills route.28 He was informed that General Mackenzie would move that night at a stated hour 7 o’clock with 4 companies of the 4th Cavalry & 4 companies of the 5th Cavalry, all in charge of Major Gordon of the 5th Cavalry in the direc-tion of the Indian camps on the Camp Sheridan trail next [to] the Pine Ridge.29
He was given dispatches for the o cer that he was informed he would meet at Cli ord’s on the Niobrara River. He arrived there towards midnight, delivered his messages to Major Frank North, and after taking a fresh horse, he led o at the head of 41 Pawnee scouts called Pawnees, but which were an a collection of Pawnees, Otoes Winnebagoes under the command of Luther H. North, and moved rapidly north into the White River Valley to join Gen. Mackenzie whom he was either to intercept or overtake.30 (Garnett says that a way back in the 60’s
Major North had Indian Scouts of Pawnees, Otoe, Osages, and Winnebagos, but they went under the name of Pawnees and that was the only name recog-nized by these Indians. I must verify this statement before using it.) Having passed Crow butte and reached Ash Creek he was hailed by an Indian in the distance toward the hills on the right, inquiring who he was; he answered back that he had some soldiers that he was taking down to Red Cloud’s camp and that he (the Indian) should go to his own camp and not follow him. The Indian shouted back that soldiers had just gone along and were only a little way ahead. The guide knew that he must be close upon Mackenzie. He had been particular to advise his interlocutor not to come near the Pawnee scouts, as a bitter enmity existed between them and the Sioux, and sight of each other was all the provo-cation needed to bring on a fierce clash of arms. This man belonged to Little Wound’s band which was in camp up the creek toward the hills. After a few miles travel the Pawnee advance came upon Mackenzie’s rear-guard which was seized with a flurry, supposing that a heavy force of Indians were at their backs, and they dashed up to the main body announcing their belief to be the fact; but their excitement was quieted when the guide who had sped in among them in the darkness asked for the commanding o cer and let it be known who he was.

Prior to this movement a one-armed man named Clark had been doing duty for General Mackenzie as an emissary in the Red Cloud and Red Leaf camps


and mapping in his brain the routes to be followed when the troops should be led into positions before daylight to invest surround the Indians. When within four miles of the Chadron Creek Gen. Mackenzie divided his force equally and also divided the Pawnees equally and taking one body himself he moved on Red Cloud’s camp, and Major Gordon taking the other and being guided by Clark was to surround Red Leaf; but by some error of Clark he led Gordon’s command to Red Cloud’s and surrounded the camp when Gen. Mackenzie arrived as day was breaking. The general ordered Gordon to advance on Red Leaf ’s village, and he invested Red Cloud’s. The Pawnees were ordered when the troops became occupied with the Indians that they were to stampede the horses at the camps in the usual manner. The sun was just peeping over the hills east of Chadron Creek when Major Gordon’s approach on the upper vil-lage was announced by a boy who was seen at the top of a high hill just west of the camp, who cried out that the creek was full of soldiers coming up. A charge into the village was ordered and the troopers rushed forward, William Garnett, the interpreter outstripping the others and dashing in ahead to talk to the Indians and calm their fears; which he did with safety, as they all knew him; and he hurriedly counseled them not to fire on the soldiers, telling them that if they did not start a fight that they would not be harmed. Major Gordon demanded to know where Red Leaf was, and it was found that he was not there but was somewhere near the Agency with two or three lodges; then the inter-preter pointed out Quick Bear who was approaching, as the chief next in rank to Red Leaf, and though he denied that the was a chief, Garnett contradicted him to his face, having been in council with him and knowing well the truth of what he a rmed; whereupon Major Gordon leveled his revolver at him and told him that he wanted his arms and horses, and the Indian instantly prom-ised to surrender them. Just at this moment an Indian standing close to the chief aimed at Major Gordon with a six shooter, but the quick interference of Garnett and Quick Bear averted the danger. The Indians’ arms were gathered in haste. The horses belonging to the Indians were brought into the camp and their owners were permitted to use them in packing and moving.

The method was not so orderly down at the other camp, the Pawnees being allowed to take the horses of the captives about as they pleased, and some of them outfitted themselves with the best they could find. About a mile and a half on the way the two commands came together. The Indian men and women marched separately in the column, all mounted.31 When Ash Creek


was reached the women were permitted to camp for the night while the men were taken on to the fort twelve miles farther. The column was met here by a convoy of provisions which had been sent for after the capture.
After the Indians with their e ects were arrived at the fort and the lodges were put up, their baggage was searched for ammunition and a considerable quantity was obtained. The same day their lodges were torn down and set up again, this time down at the Agency. The following day a council was held in the Agency stockade.

This was a commission sent out by [the] government to take the Indian chiefs down to the Indian Territory to see the country so they might decide whether they would move down there and have agencies there or whether they would move over to the Missouri & have their agencies there. Spotted Tail & Red Cloud & Young Man Afraid & others went down.32 These did not like the territory, so the trip never amounted to anything, and [the] next year (1877) the Sioux were taken to the Missouri and the Cheyennes were moved to the Indian Territory. In a day or two after the council Garnett, Big Bat and Frank Gruard were sent to the Spotted Tail Agency to get Indians for scouts. This was the beginning of the enlistments of Indian scouts, and it was Crook’s scheme and undertaking.33

The Red Cloud and Red Leaf Indians were released as soon as they got settled around the Red Cloud Agency. This council was one of secret cross-purposes. A man named Howard (called Major) attended this. He had at one time been agent at the Spotted Tail Agency and wanted the job again.34 Crook told this council that hewas going to enlist Indian scouts.These scouts were en-listed for periods of six months. This Howard, thinking to enlist Gen. Crook’s favor and influence, said to him that he had influence among the Spotted Tail Indians and might help him to get some of those Indians. Crook said very well, help these men who are going up there. When they got to Spotted Tail Agency therewas a council of the Indians held the next dayand Garnett waited. Howard and Dr. Daniels, an Indian Inspector, were explaining to the Indians about the forthcoming trip to the IndianTerritory.35 A party of chiefs including

Spotted Tail and others went from here at once across to Snake Creek where they were to wait for a like delegation from Red Cloud Agency consisting of Chief Red Cloud, Young Man Afraid & others, and the whole were to pro-ceed thence to Sidney to take cars for the Territory. In this council the Agent at Spotted Tail Agency, who was an army o cer, having been informed by


Garnett what the business of these men was over there, called the attention of Howard and Chief Spotted Tail to Garnett’s business, and suggested that they bring the matter to the notice of the assembled Indians.36 Howard got up and threw cold water all over the plan and disapproved it altogether. Spotted Tail expressed no opinion but left it to his men to act in the matter as suited them. Then Garnett spoke to the Indians and explained the plan and its ob-ject and the good it was expected to produce. As soon as Gruard and Bat saw themselves opposed by Howard they returned to Fort Robinson, but Garnett remained a day or two longer, and when he went back he had seven with him for scouts, though only two were of Spotted Tail’s band.

Here were the two departments of government—War and Interior—work-ing at cross-purposes.

Garnett returned to Fort Robinson and Gen. Crook had left for the east; but when Gen. Mackenzie heard of the action of Howard he said this man will never get another appointment as Indian Agent, and he caused Garnett’s a davit to be taken describing what Howard had done, and forwarded it to Crook, and Howard’s appointment as Agent at Spotted Tail Agency never materialized.37

It should be observed here that at this council which was held at Red Cloud Agency Gen. Crook deposed Chief Red Cloud and made Spotted Tail the chief over the Indians which were enrolled and rationed at the two agencies.38

So far as Red Cloud was interested this little a ected him, much less a ected the Indians who acknowledged his chieftainship which was not denied in any quarter among them. The e ect of Crook’s act was simply to set up another with whom the government would hold o cial intercourse and whom it must perforce thereafter hold responsible as the recognized head of the tribe for the good behavior of its members. If so disposed to do, Red Cloud was now freer than ever to foment trouble; for, from the new position of the government au-thorities, he could be regarded only as a private person who might be put into the guard house temporarily by arbitrary authority, or ‘‘accidentally’’ killed or summarily hung according to the nature of the times or the convenience of the surroundings. Here is the way the deposition was done:

The council was on the inside of the stockade. The commission had come out to take the chiefs to Indian Territory, according to the terms of the 1876 treaty which had been made there at Red Cloud Agency a few months prior to this present event. It was a new set of men from the first commission, the only one who came to both conferences was the Indian inspector, Dr. Daniel. Cap-


tain Eldon a cavalry o cer, was the acting Agent at Red Cloud.39 Wm. Garnett was the interpreter at the conference which made the Black Hills Treaty, and at this one. (See the Black Hills Treaty.)

Garnett was at the conference when the Commission came out in 1875. He says the meeting was under the lone tree. There were other trees along the stream, but this was a tree that stood out by itself. The commission at this time o ered $7,000,000 for the Hills.40 The Indians did not understand how much this was.

Spotted Tail was in this council and Crook told him that he was chief of both Agencies.

The Indian scouts expressed at this council their dissatisfaction with Crook’s order deposing Red Cloud making Spotted Tail chief of the two agen-cies, because they had a design of their own which they were promoting with the utmost endeavor, and which had been the real motive for enlisting as scouts in 1876, when they joined the winter expedition of that year; and it was no less than to thwart the object of the 1876 treaty for getting the Indians out of their own countryand settling them in Ind.Territoryoron the Missouri River; hence they protested from personal motives. Red Cloud and Spotted Tail had freely signed this treaty and now were hand-tied; but Young Man Afraid (he thinks) did not sign it and it is his belief that the scouts who represented the real sen-timent of the Sioux and Arapaho nations, and as a few, being chiefs only, had weakly surrendered their rights and given away the interests of their people, it was secretly determined by the younger members of the tribes to recover as much as they could of what had been lost. They were shrewd enough to cal-culate that if they would assist the government to reduce the hostile Indians to submission and bring them in to the agencies they would have a strong claim for recognition of their important service and would be in position to press their demand to undo the bad agreement of the chiefs and to get an Agency established in the country where they wanted to live. This secret object de-veloped on the winter campaign of 1876, as will be related further on, when they asked for councils with Gen. Crook and succeeded in obtaining from him promises of his assistance to accomplish the design. (Crook’s mind had evi-dently been enlightened as to Spotted Tail’s real feelings by his treatment of Garnett & Gruard and Big Bat when they wanted scouts; for Spotted Tail had told Crook that he would send him scouts, & when Garnett et al. reached his camp he was lukewarm and rendered no help.)

Garnett says now that he is not sure that Red Cloud went to the Indian


Territory; but the rest of the principal chiefs went. When Garnett was getting scouts for Crook at this period, it was the first enlistment of Sioux scouts.
Crook’s army, after arriving at Fort Robinson, kept sifting o to Fort Lara-mie to fit up. These scouts also went to Laramie in company with the 4th Cav-alry and other soldiers. There were (he thinks) 68 Sioux scouts; the Arapahos, including 5 or six Cheyennes, numbered a hundred, lacking 3 or 4.These sepa-rate scouts were each in command of a sergeant. Three Bears was the sergeant in command of the Sioux and Sharp Nose was the sergeant in command of the Arapahos; but when they were all out together the Arapahos voluntarily recog-nized and acknowledged Three Bears as the ranking o cer. Three Bears died at Pine Ridge as a sergeant of Police & is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery.41

This expedition started out from Laramie. These scouts drew their revol-vers and Sharp’s rifles.

The chief scouts on this expedition were Big Bat, Louie Richard and Louie Shangrau. The chief interpreters were Wm. Garnett and Wm. Rowland.42 At

Fort Reno on Powder River (this Fort Reno is about a mile south or up the river from old Fort Reno of 1865 & 1866) the Snake or Shoshone Indian scouts were met. These Indians were under a white leader who had a Snake wife. His name was Crosby.43 They had an interpreter who was a mixed-blood. These scouts had their wives and children along with them. The Snake wives had their babies strapped to boards with a band fastened at one end to pass over their heads so the babes could be carried on their backs when walking; and when riding these boards and babies were hung on the horn of the saddle. After leaving the fort one of these babies hanging to the saddle was run away with by the horse. The mother dismounted to fix a pack and the horse started o . At every jump the board and baby flapped the horse and frightened him. He was surrounded and caught and the infant received no harm.

At Fort Reno Gen. Crook assembled all the Indian scouts and announced to them through the several interpreters that from that day all the Indians in the United States who remained on the reservations and were peaceable would all be as one and be as one harmonious with the white people and could visit one another no matter on what reservations they lived, and if they turned against such as were hostile and assisted the whites against them they and the whites would be as one; and that he would send out a letter or order to this e ect that day.The general told them to shake hands.Theydid sowith great rejoicing and handshaking; and some of the Indians made presents to other Indians, giving even horses in some cases. It was a most politic measure, and had an exceed-


ingly conciliatory e ect among the scouts of di erent tribes. Up to this time the Sioux scouts had been somewhat reserved toward the others, but after this there was the fullest freedom and warmest friendship and most cordial inter-course. (Garnett says Sheldon told him in 1903 that he had seen it, or something else about it.)44 Garnett interpreted this speech of Crook’s. Garnett says that after this speech the Pawnees who had been suspicious of the Sioux and were a little afraid to go among the Sioux were full of confidence and not afraid. The Arapahos and Sioux had formerly been friends and united in conflicts against the Snakes, and there was traditional enmity between these two & the Snakes, but now the fullest satisfaction and good will were established. It cannot be too emphatically stated that this was one of the most pacific acts that was ever performed by any agent or o cer of the government. (Ask Sheldon if he ever found the order.)

Notwithstanding the Arapahos had lived up around Fort Robinson, on White River, and Deadman Creek, and a part of the time were mingled with the Sioux and had been inveterate enemies in conjunction with the Sioux against the Shoshones, in 1877 when the Sioux went down to the Missouri river, the Arapahos went o west to the Shoshone reservation.45

After the Indian chiefs had been to the IndianTerritory and come back with their minds set against removal down there the alternative remained under the 1876 treaty of a few months before to go to the Missouri River; but removal to the latter point was a government proposition dictated by the desire to have the distributing agencies on the river on account of transportation, while to the Indians it was a sacrifice of all their desires to comply with the government’s conveniences. But the Indians went reluctantly in conformity to an understand-ing that it would be for a year, as their rations and supplies had been sent there and the agency buildings were in course of erection. The Arapahos, however, were not required to move east, but were allowed to go in the opposite direction to the Shoshones for the year, and their supplies were to be conveyed to that Agency. They failed to return and have ever since been on that reservation. In 1877, after the death of Crazy Horse, a delegation of Indians went to Washing-ton and had a meeting with President Hayes at the Executive Mansion,46 and among those of the Sioux whowent, he remembered the following: Young Man Afraid, Red Cloud, He Dog, a nephew of Red Cloud and one of the northern Indians and a chief—he means by the northern Indians those who had never come in to the reservation till theycame in with Crazy Horse—Big Road, Little Big Man, Iron Crow all these except Red Cloud & Young Man Afraid were


Northern or Crazy Horse chiefs; and the following Red Cloud Indian chiefs who had lived on the Reservation, viz; Three Bears, Little Wound, American Horse, Yellow Bear; (Wm Garnett went as a and the following interpreters for the Sioux, viz.; Antoine Janis and Leon Palladay47 (a relation, not a brother, but he thinks a cousin of Alfred Palladay who was killed with John Richard Sr. on Running Water);48 on the part of the Arapahos was 1st Chief Black Cole

Coal, Sharp Nose 2d chief, and Friday (so-called by white people) who was an Arapaho Indian and acted some of the time as interpreter for the Arapahos and went for this purpose; and the following Spotted Tail Indians: Spotted Tail, Sr., Spotted Tail Jr., Hollow Horn Bear, White Tail; and the following Sitting Bull Indians who were Northern Indians also, having been brought in from the north by Spotted Tail himself.49 Red Cloud had been sent out to bring in Indi-ans whowere out up north and he passed west of the Black Hills and brought in Crazy Horse and his Indians but did not meet or see Spotted Tail who alsowent out going on the opposite side of the Black Hills about the same timewhich was in March (at any rate snow was on the ground) and he brought in these Sitting Bull Indians; Garnett says there were two villages of these Northern Indians up there and Red Cloud got one and Spotted Tail the other, and when Crazy Horse got in to Red Cloud there were 40 lodges with him that belonged to the Spotted Tail Agency and these moved on down to that agency. With the delegation that went toWashington were Garnett who was telegraphed for by Gen. Crook who was in Washington (it was on this trip that Garnett saw him dressed up in a fine broadcloth suit, plug hat, diamond studs and carrying a gold headed and gold feruled cane & G. did not know him and thought he was a Washington shark); and Lieut. Clark (sign language Clark, one of Crook’s sta ) who went in charge of the delegation, and Dr. Irwin, U.S. Indian Agent at Red Cloud.50

Garnett went as government interpreter and did all the interpreting. Bou-cher (who paid his own expenses) and Jo Marivaill were brought up by Spotted Tail for interpreters and they went; but they were selected by Spotted Tail as a partiality to them for their going up north with him when he went to bring in the Sitting Bull Indians.51

This was probably about September, 1877. All these persons composing the delegation went to the Executive Mansion accompanied by General Crook. To start in, General Crook named Lieut. Clark to President Hayes and Clark introduced each man to the President, describing each as he introduced him, giving some account of the position each held at home, and what had been the attitude of each in the complicated di culties which had kept the northwest


embroiled. The President would not allow the public and the newspapers to be represented, and he made the conference on the first day a private a air. The short-hand men it is believed belonged to the President’s private corps. When the Indians went to talking to Hayes their selected interpreters became confused and unable to interpret with success, so that no progress whatever was made. After 2 or 3 hours of futile e ort the conference ended with the an-nouncement by the President that there would be another meeting the next day. This was held in the afternoon, and so was the second conference. The one on the second day turned out the same way and ended by the President announcing a third meeting the next. What had been done and taken down up to this time was thrown away as worthless. Now on the third day the meeting was opened (as he remembers) by Spotted Tail.

Garnett says some Indians on the Reservation have the printed pamphlet of all the speeches by the chiefs, by General Crook and by President Hayes and he will get one for me to be copied and returned. These Indians were working with a united purpose to obtain a change of the plan to remove them to Indian Territory & in case they decided not to go there then they were to be taken to Missouri River. They did not find the Territory agreeable—the climate did not agree with them, for the Northern Indians had fever and ague and fevers down there, and those who had settled from the north and been there some years were still dying o with too great mortality. They decided against the Territory. They did not want to go to the Missouri no more than to the Terri-tory for another common reason, viz; there was no game in either place, and they complained that both places were dead.

Gen. Crook made a strong talk to the President detailing his councils with his Indian scouts on the expedition north from Fort Robinson and Laramie and Fetterman when Mackenzie cleaned out the Cheyennes Nov. 25, 1876, and the promises he made them that if they would help him to secure Indian scouts, & help him to cause the Northern Indians to come in to the Reservations, or in case they would not peaceably return, would aid him in forcing them in, that he would lay the case of these Indians for an agency back in their country wherever they wanted it before the President and use all his influence to obtain it for them; that they had performed their part of the agreement and were en-titled to have their wants gratified.52 The President told the Indians that their wishes were reasonable, but that as their supplies for a year had been shipped to the Missouri and it would be necessary for them to move down there for a year and consume the provisions, and then they might move back and select a


location for an agency. Red Cloud got up and said he would not go down; but Young Man Afraid arose and said that Red Cloud had signed the treaty prom-ising to go there if they did not go to the Indian Territory, and now he should go and he himself would see that he went. (Red Cloud and Spotted Tail signed the treaty, but Young Man Afraid had not done so because he was not around, but his father, Man Afraid of His Horse signed.)

As soon as these delegates came back from Washington the two agencies moved. The Spotted Tail Agency went east and crossed W. K. crossing 6 miles south of where the battleground is, and continued on east, and must have struck the Niobrara in the neighborhood of Valentine, for this band followed this River. Red Cloud followed the course of theWhite River. Spotted Tail took the old Ponca Reservation and drew rations there. He was a long way below Yellow Medicine.

Red Cloud stopped at the forks of theWhite River, and this had been agreed upon before they left Red Cloud Agency that Red Cloud should stop there and winter. This was not where the Agency was. The Yellow Medicine Agency was on the Missouri bottom and above the mouth of the Creek of the same name, and the traders’ stores were between the Agency and Yellow Medicine Creek & some 300 or 400 yds. from the Agency.

The Red Cloud Indians came down from the forks of the White River to draw rations, distance 65 miles. John Deere [Dear], Tom Cogill and Major Paddock had each had main stores at the Agency and branches at the forks of the White River. The beef herd was kept up at the forks, and Ben Tibbitts was butcher and acting agent there. Ed. Stevenson was the chief herder there and Alec. Adams, Mitch Jarvis, Dan Powell and George Carson were the other herders.

I must now go back to the northern expedition of Gen. Crook when he moved troops from Robinson to Laramie and thence to Fetterman and sent Mackenzie to punish the Cheyennes on Nov. 25, 1876. While at Fetterman the Indian scouts under him asked for a council with him. Garnett was the inter-preter on all these occasions. They began by saying: They told him that they wanted to talk; told him (Louie Richard and Louie Shangrau were not with the command at this time—had not yet come up—did not reach the command till it got to Sage Creek, a little creek about 15 miles out from Fort Fetterman). The first day out from Fort Fetterman the command camped on Sage Creek.

Gruard and Big Bat were present. After the command reached Fetterman Garnett made up his mind from what he saw that the scouts were in the service


for an ulterior object. In the Fetterman council they informed him (Crook) as follows:

(The speakers were Keeps the Battle, a brother of Woman’s Dress, and Red Shirt—who has always been a leading showman for Bu alo Bill & is out with a lot of Indians with a show company this winter of 1906–7; he has been a show-man for many years—he has been Chief of the Loafer band, which is settled on Pine Ridge out north of Jack Whalen’s since 1878 when he was elected to that position; and he was sergeant of scouts under Crook at this time, and has been at several times.) (Keeps the Battle and Fast Thunder were sergeants of the scouts under Crook on this winterexpedition of Crook’s; the former is dead, so is Feather on the Head dead; he was a sergeant also at same time under Crook; Fast Thunder is living on W. K. Creek midway between the battle ground and Manderson.)

Three Bears Keeps the Battle was a sub-chief under Red Cloud and was one of those who were captured in the camp on Chadron Creek and stripped of horses and arms; Crook had 3 or 4 of these men of Red Cloud’s as scouts on this expedition; Crook had also 2 Indians as scouts at this time, who were captured at the Slim Buttes fight, one of whom Crook made a Corporal, which act was evidently to show them that if they would submit and be really good and useful Indians to the whites that they would receive marked consideration as well as good treatment.53

Garnett remarks that Red Cloud Agency had a bad reputation as being troublesome and belligerent, and he believes that the young men showing wis-dom beyond their years, according to the popular idea of ‘‘old men forcounsel, young men for war,’’ had resolved by wise and firm conduct to put their na-tion upon a better footing in the estimation of the country; and what followed with Crook was in pursuance of this sage plan.

Three Bears was not a speaker, but a very brave and reliable man. He was head sergeant of the scouts. Sharp Nose, the leading Arapaho sergeant, was a good talker, and he was backing Three Bears with his powerful aid. No other Arapaho spoke at this council, though others were present, he being the mouth-piece for his tribesmen on such occasions, and whatever he did commanded cheerful compliance from his fellows. The Arapaho nation was small in num-bers, and on this expedition nearly every one of their warriors was enlisted among these scouts. Another point to be noticed was that after Crook got this force of Indian scouts the regular guides were much less needed, for the Indi-ans all knew the country better than the o cial scouts; these Indians revolu-


tionized things, brought about improved methods, showed a better way, etc. Sharp Nose led Mackenzie all through the night march before they fell on the Cheyennes. Garnett says that Sharp Nose was the best scout he ever knew; Gruard was not to be compared on a night march.

At this council Three Bears opened the speaking by telling, in a few words, Gen. Crook that his sergeants would do the talking, and whatever they said would be the sentiment of these scouts; they will tell you why we join you as scouts. To begin: He is told first about the Agencies & the recent 1876 agree-ment about them; they told him the greater part of the people were in the north, & only a very few Indians were at Red Cloud where the treaty was made in the summer. (This 1876 treaty was made in this way: the Commission came first to Red Cloud; a few signatures were secured; then the Com. went to Spotted Tail where a few were got; then the Com. went to the R. R. and whirled around to some other place and got a few more signers, and so on till they wound up with less than 40, and not all of these were chiefs.)54

These scouts told Crook that they were dissatisfied with the treaty. (Crook knew that he had a hard task before him to get the Indians in & settled and the northwest pacified; he knew that a part had gone across the border which made the settlement of the di culties a case of indefinite postponement and duration; he understood further that the Indians were being all the time im-posed on by schemers, agents & politicians and their tools and that treaties and bargains and o cial acts and reports and recommendations were all a part of one general scheme of injustice, the Indians being deceived by false promises and overreached; and he was also the strong arm or representative of this self-same corrupt, dishonest machine and stood between this monster with orders to execute its will, and his own uncorrupted conscience and personal honor.) They told him further: That the reason they were with him as scouts on this expedition was for the purpose of getting an Agency in their own country— they said they did not want to go to a strange place. Crook told them he was not after the Indians because there was any desire to kill them; that he did not want to kill them, but to get them in so they would mingle with the friendly Indians.

(When Red Cloud and Red Leaf were captured the Pawnee scouts took their pick of the horses taken at Red Cloud’s camp—this was not allowed at Red Leaf ’s—and after the Indians were brought in to Red Cloud Agency from Chadron Creek all the Indian horses were taken; and here, before going out on this northern expedition Crook mounted his Indian scouts on these horses captured from Red Cloud & Red Leaf; and furthermore he took a band of


them along with him to Fetterman where he turned them over to these same scouts, at this council, in his speech he gave the horses to them, and further said that all horses which they might capture on this campaign should belong to them.) He told them that his business was to get the Indians who were out, and if they would be loyal to his purpose and aid him all they could, when the object was gained he would exert his influence to get them settled down in the country of their choice with an Agency as they wanted. (This he told in Wash-ington to President Hayes at the Indian council.)

Crook moved north and the first night camped 15 miles out on Sage Creek where Louie Shangrau and Louie Richard joined him.

It took about three days more to gain Powder River where a camp was made lasting about a week. From the time Mackenzie left Fort Robinson all through the month of November there were snow storms at short intervals, but no great depth of snow came in any single instance, until after the fight with the Chey-ennes. When the troops were encamped at Fort Reno there was at least one storm.Therewere storms while at Fort Robinson and at Laramie; they marched from Laramie to Fetterman in the snow. It snowed the night they camped at Sage Creek just north of Fetterman.

The Snake scouts were already encamped there at the new Fort Reno (else-where described), about nearly 100 in number, but over one hundred with the Indian women and children (elsewhere mentioned), under their chief, Washa-kie.55 In 2 or 3 days Crook asked the Sioux and Arapaho scouts to go out to look for Indians. There were 5 Sioux and 5 Arapahos, an Indian sergeant with each, Red Shirt was the Sioux sergeant and the Arapaho sergeant he cannot name.56 The Sioux scouts besides the sergeant were Six Feather, Little Bull,

White Face and Red Horse. Gen. Crook instructed them to dress as the Indi-ans always do, and to carry their military uniforms with them, so their real character should be concealed, telling them that if they were out as an Indian party and were not suspected as belonging to Crook’s army, that other Indians would not avoid but would come up to them and then these could get informa-tion desired. The Sioux and Arapahos were chosen for the special reason that the other Indians that it was hoped they would meet, knew of the old friend-ship of Sioux and Arapahos for each other and their habit of being and going together, and this would make the hostiles more approachable.

(Painted Horse, an Oglala, a relative of Red Cloud, was in the Custer battle; he returned to R. C. Agency and enlisted among the Oglala scouts but was not one of this little party.)


This party left Crook’s camp and traveled some 40 miles northeast in the supposed direction of hostiles (Garnett was not with this party.)

(Every step from Fort Robinson to Reno Old Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and all the hold-out Indians knew what Indians Crook had taken with him as scouts, and who the chief scouts were.)

These scouts had camped at night and picketed their horses and started a fire and cooking and around which the men were warming and singing and ex-changing jokes as was usual with them when it was noticed by the others that Red Horse who was an odd Indian always passing jokes and acting the part of a clown, was uttering observations which they did not understand and which they suspected was some of his native drollery. He was craning his neck and looking toward the horses and saying: ‘‘I wonder if that fellow would take one of those horses. He is right among them now.’’ And he kept repeating his query whether the ‘‘fellow’’ would take one of them, etc.

Some of the others inquired, ‘‘What areyou talking about?’’ He said: ‘‘Don’t you see that fellowout among the horses? He don’t look like one of those Arapa-hos.’’ The others looked. An Indian in a blanket was near the horses; he kept approaching and stopping as if in doubt and examining every object. Finally he halted at a distance and one cried out to him: ‘‘Come up! the meal is on!’’ and he walked up to the fire. Red Shirt was a good sign-talker, and all Arapa-hos were naturally expert sign-talkers while the Sioux were not as a nation. Red Shirt told him that these scouts had left the Agency to come to Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse’s camps and were direct from the Agency; that there were a lot of soldiers and Pawnees and Arapahos and Sioux coming out after the hostiles, and these told that they had just left the Agency, as this Indian could see they were cooking Agency provisions as well as wild game.

This was a Cheyenne named Many Beaver Dam. The Arapahos and Sioux had separate fires. The Indian was put to eating at the Arapaho fire, and while he was gorging himself the Arapaho sergeant passed over to the Sioux fire to fix their plans for his capture.57 The Arapaho told Red Shirt that the Sioux are the leaders at home and would be recognized on this scout as leaders; ‘‘You put on your sergeant’s coat and I will mine; just about the time you throw your blanket o to show by your coat who you are, we will throw our guns down on him; you can tell him we are Indian soldiers & are out to look from camp for anything we can come across; and we will take your arms and take you back to camp; anybody who is good we are good to; we have a few Cheyennes as scouts, with Bill Rowland for Cheyenne and Arapaho chief interpreter.’’
(They called him Long Knife, he had a Cheyenne wife.) It was agreed further that they would talk more to him when he was disarmed. Red Shirt told his men to be ready.
The Arapaho added that his men had been prepared since his arrival, and fur-
ther that if the Cheyenne made any break while Red Shirt was disarming him
that he would shoot the Indian. The capture was performed according to this
agreement. Red Shirt announced to the man that he was under arrest of this
party of Indian soldiers and not to put his hand on his gun; if he did he would
be killed. And then his arms were taken. He had a gun and a knife and 3 car-
tridges. (Before his arrest he had been engaged in conversation and had told
where the Indian villages were located, and given other information of value.)
After his arrest he was told that he would be taken to Three Stars (Gen.
Crook) and that he must tell the general just what he had told themselves. After
taking the arms from one of the scouts so that the captive could not seize them
to make a fight with, he was put on behind the scout, and as one horse became
weary from carrying a double load, the prisoner was transferred to another
scout similarly treated as to disarming, until the party arrived in camp on the
afternoon of the next day. General Crook examined the prisoner. On the fol-
lowing day he called a council of the Indians and told them that he was going to
issue an order that, from that day they should be free to go wherever they chose
to visit other Indians; that they should be friendly with one another and avoid
wars among themselves; that it would be their duty to aid the government in
fighting if necessary to get the hostiles in, or to assist in any way possible to do
this, and to be friendly with them afterwards, and that this should apply to all
the Indians, that it would promote friendship between between the whites and
Indians, and that he would issue an order that day declaring these purposes;
and he told them that he wanted them all to shake hands together in token of
their acceptance of these new and better relations. (Elsewhere described.)
Then followed a general handshaking and universal and demonstrative re-
joicing. Garnett says he never saw before or since such manifestation and ac-
claim of good will and genuine happiness. (Inquire of A. E. Sheldon if he ever
found this order.)
The prisoner, Many Beaver Dam, had given information of the location
Cheyenne village, and while this was not found where he had located it in his
statement, though the troops did not go to the locality he had described, yet
it had been in that place but was moved from there.
The prisoner told where Sitting Bull was camped and where Crazy Horse
was camped and where the Cheyenne camp was, and also where he was camped

 
with his friends. He said he had been watching these scouts all day, and when
he discovered that they were Sioux he decided to approach their camp, and
did so with the result noted.
When the Cheyenne fight came off this Indian slipped away and escaped.
After the speech by Crook aforesaid, the Pawnees and Sioux associated
freely. All the way from Fort Robinson to Reno where this pacific measure was
given out, the Sioux had not mingled with the Pawnees, for their ancient feud
could not be forgotten, and they camped apart, Joe Bush being the only Sioux
who went among them in camp; but when Crook issued this manifesto the two
tribes, and all the tribes entered into the most cordial and sociable relations,
and approved and cemented the conciliation by exchange of presents, some of
these being valuable horses.58
Now came a twelve-mile move to Crazy Woman. The night the troops
camped there the Sioux and the Arapahos were apprehensive of trouble, being
certain that something was hovering in the vicinity, though nothing had been
seen, & they watched their horses all night. The night the camp was made on
Crazy Woman it snowed to the depth of three or four inches, coming from the
northwest with moderate wind. At full daylight a man came over the hill north-
west of the camp from the direction of old Fort C. F. Smith, bearing a white
flag. When he came into camp he proved to be a Cheyenne government spy
who had been in Sitting Bull’s camp. Crook had two Indian spies already up
among the northern Indians, and one of these remained there till Crazy Horse
came in, but it is not known that they ever rendered any particular service, for
the occasion for such service never came, as they had been commissioned to
slip away from the Indians when Crook should approach and press them, and
give him advice as to the direction in which they contemplate escaping. These
two spies were Lone Bear and Iron Bear. These had been sent out by Macken-
zie before the starting of the expedition. One of these, Lone Bear, came back
before the other did, as some of the northern hold-outs returned in advance
of C. Horse, and Lone Bear returned with one of these straggling parties.
The Cheyenne government spy who came in with a flag was named Sitting
Bear; had a family back at Red Cloud Ag., and the Indians became suspicious
of him, more particularly a few Cheyennes who were with the Sioux, and these
denounced him as a spotter and advised that he be cast out of the camp or
killed; and he, conscious that if a fragment of his tribe could so well surmise
his real character that it would probably be much worse for him if he should
try to pass himself off on the main camp of his tribe, he at last made up his

                       
mind to get away from them and make his way into Gen. Crook’s camp. This
he succeeded in doing as stated. He brought news of the present location of
the Cheyenne village, a place to which they had moved from where the cap-
tured Cheyenne had said they were. The latter had not tried to deceive, but
the Cheyennes had moved without his knowledge.59
Sitting Bear gave the information that the camp he came from, viz.; Crazy
Horse’s, had known from the time the expedition first started up to the day
he left, every movement of the army and where it was all the while, and every-
thing that was being done; for he had scouts out all the time passing through
the country in formidable squads; and this emissary advised the scouts not to
go out in twos and threes to be overcome, but always to have a strong force for
protection. Sitting Bear told how the Sioux and Cheyennes were split in two
and camped something like 100 miles apart.
On Sitting Bear’s arrival in camp the Sioux scouts formed a plan of move-
ment which, being carried to Crook, was executed so far as the Cheyennes were
concerned, with success. Garnett knows that this was planned by the Sioux
and communicated as stated, because he interpreted for the Sioux when they
went to Crook with it; and he was the Sioux interpreter all through the cam-
paign. They told the General that their plan was to go against the Cheyennes
while they were so far from the Sioux, and use them up, and then to turn on the
latter and finish them, thus destroying the hostiles in detail. They told him to
send out some companies of soldiers two or three miles in different directions,
for there were scouts of the enemy watching the movements from his camp at
distances, to push these back so far that they could not see what Crook was
doing—could not see movements of troops from his camp. This he did, send-
ing them out before noon. Right after dinner the Indian Scouts under Clark, as
Garnett thinks and says he knows (but, Judkins says Frank North. See Bourke),
[were] followed by Mackenzie with the 4th Cavalry.60 After camp was made that
night 4 Sioux and 4 Arapahos were sent out—the Sioux were Kills A Hundred
(later name Red Dog, as he took the place of his father Red Dog when the father
died on Pine Ridge Reservation, and he is now—1907—a chief on the Reser-
vation), Little Battle, Skunk Head, and another. All 8 were sent out to discover
the Cheyenne village. A little larger force of Pawnee and Snake scouts also went
forth. Next morning the command marched and at noon was in the foothills of
the mountains, as the Indians opposed moving out on the open country where
Mackenzie proposed to move, as they would be discovered by the enemy. Sharp
Nose, the Arapaho chief who was in command of the Arapaho scouts, was the

 
guide leading the whole command, he being in country of his acquaintance.
While the column was in motion a shot was fired contrary to orders either acci-
dentally or at some game, by a white man with the pack train, and he was not
permitted to go farther with the troops but was turned right out. At noon no
fires were built, as orders were issued to that effect. Mackenzie had pickets out
on the hills while the column halted for dinner. Suddenly ‘‘boots and saddles’’
sounded from the bugles and the troops gathered their horses. A soldier was
running from a hill toward the command. He gives information of the approach
of Indians. Scouts go out at once to see what it was. They discover their own
scouts coming with a signal; Skunk Head and the other Sioux whose name was
not given, and two Arapahos were returning. The Indian scouts who had ad-
vanced to meet the returning scouts were singing and dancing some war figure.
They had a blanket; they stood up a stick and hung the blanket over it and they
were dancing around it, and when the scouts came in they knocked this blan-
ket down, and one of the singers advanced to a Sioux and led him inside the
circle and he was asked what he had learned. He told them that they had seen in
a valley seven lodges, a lot of horses, and they thought from the great number
of horses that there must be more lodges there, and the leaders other scouts,
2 Sioux and 2 Arapahos, including the leaders of this party, had remained to
advance nearer to the village and make a more minute investigation of the camp,
and had sent these back to report, and stated just where the other scouts would
meet the command. Sharp Nose now brought his Arapahos up and these made
the same report. After this the command moved and at night they found the rest
of the scouts at the place where they had sent word they would be; and from
these they learned that it was the main village of the Cheyennes that had been
discovered; that there were 200 or more lodges and thousands of horses. Here
the Indian scouts threw off all extra incumbrance and left behind the horses
they had been riding, some hobbled and the rest turned loose without guard,
and mounted their fast horses, as they called them, which they had been lead-
ing, as was the custom when they were on the warpath to have two and to mount
the fresh one when they go into action. Sergeant Red Shirt had charge of the
rear guard of the scouts, Yankton Charley being in his squad.61 Sharp Nose was
in the lead as the guide for the column, he being as familiar with every inch of
the country as though it was his dooryard. Garnett was chief Sioux interpreter
for Mackenzie. Lieut. Clark was in the lead at the heels of Sharp Nose. Garnett
was with these all night and up to the moment when the charge was made, when
he and Big Bat were ordered, on arrival at the point where the dispositions were

                       
making to charge up this branch of the Powder River, by Mackenzie to stop the
Sioux scout named Scraper who was dashing ahead to reach the village. Mac-
kenzie was back at the head of his cavalry men. Riders were passing backward
and forward all night between the advance of the scouts and the Colonel.
The weather was clear and cold, no light save from the stars and it was there-
fore pretty dark; there was snow on the mountains and spots of ice along the
line of march, all remaining from former snows, but there was no fresh snow
to leave a trail but there were places where they would cross crusted snow. The
scouts left their horses on a flowing stream, one of the main branches of Pow-
der River. This stream they followed up some way that night; when they left
this stream (which ran east at the point where the horses were left, they mov-
ing therefrom in a westerly direction) they crossed over to the south side and
retraced their course for a little way, and then turned nearly south and passed
over a high ridge a distance of nearly two miles, then descended into a dry val-
ley, all the time going deeper and deeper into the mountains while continually
ascending in elevation. Here in this valley some ears a little quicker to catch
sound than others heard the first faint notes of drums in the village echoing in
the night air among the hills. All the time that the column was toiling on scouts
were pushing out in advance to discover all they could and were returning with
whatever information they found; these accounts described scenes of revelry
in the village; a while before the Cheyennes had had a fight with a hunting
party of Shoshones and destroyed it, killing about 30, and the Cheyennes were
celebrating their victory with dancing and singing, and the occasion was one
of great joy in the scalp dance which was kept up day and night (for months
usually) with the invariable accompaniment of feasting. The column picked its
way along, at times being obliged to pass in single file, word being sent back
along the line bearing advice of obstacles in front when these narrow passages
were encountered. The distance was not so great as it seemed by reason of the
obstructions which impeded the movement.
When the column emerged from this dry valley at its head it was at a pass
between two mountains where it could look forward and down into another
valley in front, very heavily timbered with cottonwood, box elder, willows and
other soft woods. From this point there was a gentle descent for men on horse-
back for a distance of half a mile to the creek on which the village was situated
farther up. From this pass or gap the eager scouts saw herds of horses to glad-
den the prospect before them. They were coming in from the northeast, ad-
vancing down an incline toward the southwest in a widening gap. As soon as

 
Mackenzie reached the center of the pass he halted the column and issued his
orders to the scouts. He told them that he wanted them to take the horses be-
longing to the village, but not to shoot unless the Cheyennes first shot; if they do
not shoot we will capture them without shooting. Meantime the Indian scouts
were chafing to spring on the village as daylight was breaking and they could
hear the strains of music and other sounds of merriment and knew that the vil-
lage was all unconscious of the presence of any foe, and the scouts could scarce
restrain themselves, so great was their desire to make the attack a perfect sur-
prise and success. It was with the greatest difficulty that they could be held in
check from breaking forward and bursting upon the village; and Three Bears,
the chief sergeant of the Sioux, was kept busy in pressing the over-anxious
ones back into their places in the line. One of the Sioux named Scraper had
eluded the officers’ notice and advanced halfway down the slope when he was
discovered by Mackenzie who exclaimed: ‘‘What man is that down there?’’ He
was told that he was a Sioux. He ordered Garnett and Baptiste Pourier to go
down to bring him back. When they overtook him he had gained the bed of the
creek. Garnett told him that he had been sent by Mackenzie to get him back to
charge with the scouts. Just as this took place Scraper was tying his war bon-
net under his chin. He answered back: ‘‘I never allow anybody to think before
me in a case of this kind. You’ve made sergeants, even common Indians, follow
me; I’m a-go-ing.’’ Just then Sergeant Fast Thunder came up. (It should be ex-
plained that Scraper was a Waj jah je—Waz zah ze better represents the sound.
Garnett now writes it here in Oglala: Wajaje—; that is a member of Old
Conquering Bear’s band, and he was the only one of that band who was among
these scouts; and for that reason the officers who had the appointment of non-
commissioned officers did not give him an appointment, he being alone; and
the seeming neglect had made him jealous and envious, while he was a very
brave man and knew that he was deserving; so he did not mean to be held in
restraint but intended to be in advance and in the thickest of the fight.)
[Tablet 2]
Tuesday January 15, 1907. Second Book of Interview of William Garnett. Con-
tinued from First Book [Tablet 1].
When Sergeant Fast Thunder arrived there were four in the squad. They
advanced together mounted, Scraper leading; they crossed the stream in the di-
rection of the village, being guided by the sounds of the music. Their progress
was hindered by the fallen logs which lay in the way, and the inclining trees and
hanging limbs, their course being through heavy timber. At length they struck

                       
the trail to the camp, and from now on they were passing among the Indians’
horses which were scattered everywhere in small herds, the whole aggregating
a vast number. From where the stream was crossed to the village was fully two
and a half miles. The horses, some of them, had buffalo shoes to protect their
feet from the rasping stones which covered that country and had made them
footsore. These shoes were pieces of raw buffalo hide wrapped about the hoof
and drawn up to the fetlock pastern joint and fastened by a string. The loca-
tion of this village was in a park in the mountains, which was probably three
miles long and a mile and a half wide, allowing liberal space for operations, as
well as an ideal retreat for the Indians’ winter encampment and the security
of their herds. The valley was diversified with hills and depressions; in parts
was dense timber, then clear spaces; the creek entered from the west not far
from the southwest corner of the park, and flowing directly across to a point
between the middle and the east side, abruptly bent north until facing the pass
through which Mackenzie’s column bore down; there it swept broadly to the
west, gradually veering in a wide circle and passing the mountain north of the
gap in a northeasterly course. This was its general direction, but the banks, mi-
nutely described, presented a great variety of crooks and windings, high first
on one side and then on the other, according to the concavities of the channel.
The village lay on both sides above the bend where the water changes flow from
east to north, fixing its location near the middle of the valley east and west and
not far from the southern extremity where there was a gap in the hills oppo-
site the village. From the northwest corner of the park a crooked dry gulch ex-
tended to the village and opened into the creek. After the scouts and troopers
had debauched into the valley their general movement was upward and toward
the south. The borders of this park were high mountains, steep cliffs on the
west side and a sloping flank on the east.
The squad of fighters consisting of Big Bat, Garnett, Scraper and Fast
Thunder forged ahead four or five hundred yards when they saw the first In-
dian who was out looking after horses. The two Indians were in war bonnets
and the scout and interpreter wore citizen’s clothes. This solitary Indian gazed
at these startling intruders a few seconds till he evidently realized their char-
acter, then he gave them a shot from his revolver, and turned and ran like a
deer. Garnett yelled: ‘‘He fired first; now fire!’’ The squad fired. This was the
beginning of the battle. Two of the scouts who had gone forward during the
advance in the night had not returned, but in their enthusiasm and boldness
to penetrate as close to the village as they could for observation had pushed

 
themselves into such a situation that when dawn came they could not withdraw
without danger of being seen and exposing the presence of the expedition in
the neighborhood; so these two men secreted themselves awaiting the arrival
of the troops to be released from their enforced imprisonment. These were No
Neck and Last Horse, both still living on the Pine Ridge Reservation.62 When
Garnett shouted the order to fire, these scouts heard his words and recognized
his voice, and they knew that the time for them to be free from their confine-
ment was close at hand.
The scouts in this squad had listened to Mackenzie’s order to the main
body of the scouts regarding the capture of the horses and they understood
what was necessary to give effect to his order on that part of the field where the
contingencies of the morning had allotted their fighting. In pursuance of the
object to get possession of these animals the squad pressed up the valley to get
between them and the village and at the same time to drive back and hold in
check as many of the Cheyennes as they could, giving the scouts of the main
body all possible opportunity to run off the horses.
This squad kept pressing the herders back and continuing their own course
now in a westerly direction till they attained a rocky ridge east of and parallel to
the dry run where Lieut. McKenney was afterwards killed.63 Scraper and Fast
Thunder were now separated from the squad and fighting on their own hook
somewhere else and their places were taken by the half-breed, Jim Twist and a
stranger (whom Bat well knew). The Indians were increasing in number in the
front of the four men, for by this time Indian scouts had passed up the stream
and along the base of the hills on the east of the park and assailed the village
at the southeast corner and were driving the inhabitants toward them up the
main dry run; and the cavalry was advancing up the valley.The four men before
taking to the top of the ridge had dismounted and hitched their horses out of
the range of the enemies bullets. The approaching cavalry must have mistaken
these men for Indians. On a much higher ridge at some distance opposite and
on the other side of the main dry run were Cheyennes who were directing their
fire at the cavalry and their shots were passing over the squad of four; but the
cavalry evidently believed the bullets were coming from the ridge where the
four were trying to keep back the Cheyennes who were coming up the main
dry run from the village, for their shots were directed at these and made their
position untenable and they changed to other places, each going his own way.
But before this took place a lone Indian appeared on horseback, mistaking this
squad for his own tribesmen as he came up on a canter within a few feet of them

                       
before he stopped. As he was nearing them Garnett remarked that he was a
stranger, but Bat said he was one of our scouts. As he halted the four men fired
on him and he instantly wheeled and rode toward the main dry run, but before
he could reach it Garnett fired at his horse and brought him down. Garnett
shouted to Bat that he had killed the horse.The man raised up and Garnett gave
him a shot and he fell. Garnett shouted to Big Bat that he had killed the Indian.
I have gone thus much into particularity in relation to this Indian because
of his notable life and subsequent celebrated career. Before he had been shot
at by the four men he had received a wound from the scouts. This and the
one that Garnett gave him at the last fire made six wounds for him that day.
To show that this is authentic I will add that when the Cheyennes returned to
Fort Robinson in March, 1877, Garnett made a feast for the chiefs and others
of the tribe and this man whom he supposed he had killed, was present. In
talking over this battle it was learned that this many-times wounded man was
the chief of the Cheyennes, Little Wolf, who afterwards made so much history
in coming up from the Indian Territory and escaping to the north by passing
east of Spotted Tail Agency and Camp Sheridan.64
Dull Knife had two sons killed in this battle. Garnett saw one of these lying
dead on the field and recognized him.
When the four men were driven from the ridge by the fire of the soldiers,
Garnett dashed in the direction of the village and fell in with Three Bears, who
was mounted on a bay horse which Lieut. Clark had loaned him in lieu of his
own which had been shot under him. Three Bears, addressing the interpreter,
said: ‘‘Go to Gen. Mackenzie with me.’’ Riding up to the commanding officer
he said to him: ‘‘Stop your paper fighting and let the soldiers fight as the Indi-
ans do. If you don’t we are all going to leave you; and if we do, you will all be
killed as Long Hair (Custer) was.’’ When this was announced to him he was
writing orders and three lieutenants were coming up. Immediately Mackenzie
changed his tactics and sent out orders to the men to fight as they saw fit.
Between the time Garnett left the ridge and reached Mackenzie, Lieut. Mc-
Kenney had made his charge with his troop over the ridge and down to the
main dry run where the Cheyennes, whom the four had been standing off lower
down in the run, now were, having got up in the run opposite the ridge and
McKenney ran right up on to them. Here he was shot and killed. His bugler
or an orderly had his horse shot at the same time and place, and the rider laid
still on the ground feigning dead till a later time in the day when soldiers had
taken the ground. McKenney died with sword in hand. From Fetterman to the

 
time of his fall he had been boasting his intention, if he got in reach of an In-
dian on the campaign, to dispatch him with his sword. He started to redeem
his promise—to assault the foe on the ultra-dry run ridge; he was unaware
of the dry run—unaware of the Indians coming up this run from the village
whom the four men had been resisting and checking till they themselves were
driven off by the cavalry; he rushed right down on them; he was up in plain
view on the bank; they were sheltered by the bank, and a bullet from their side
ended all for him after the unexpected dry run had stopped his charge. When
the dead were being gathered up, someone undertook to raise the soldier lying
near McKenney, and the man asked if the Indians were gone and when told
that they were, he announced that he was not hurt and immediately arose.
From the moment that Mackenzie’s order to the soldiers to fight at will took
effect, different results followed. The men protected themselves from the shots
of the Indians; better success attended their exertions; and few casualties oc-
curred afterwards. The Cheyennes scattered promiscuously westward, south-
westward and northwestward; the greater number were killed along the main
dry run; their dead were widely spread around; some of the tribe had started in
the beginning down the stream from the village when the scouts were coming
up at the outset and some of their dead lying below the village was evidence
of the encounter between the two sides early in the morning. In the beginning
of the action the Snakes or Shoshones were dispatched along the crown of the
ridge east of the park and they proceeded along that route till they came round
south of the village and to the end of the ridge where the gap is south of the
village, and here they halted and remained about three hours, or until the day
was well advanced; about this time Garnett, Big Bat, Louie Shangrau, Lieut.
Clark, Three Bears, (Lieut. Clark was not collecting things but was present
looking after his command) and two or three others had got into the village
and were gathering tanned deer skins, elk skins other valuable property, and
buffalo robes; the Indian scouts were also in the village at the same time pick-
ing up the best of things, and all were destroying the guns found by breaking
them, etc., but no burning had yet taken place; the Garnett party needed pack
animals to load with the plunder they had secured, and seeing a lot of loose
horses south and southwest of the village they started for these to get some
pack animals, but while getting these they were fired on by Cheyennes who
had collected in some timber up the creek west of the village and some who
were scattered out to the southwest and they were also fired on by the Snakes
from the mountain; after the Snakes had shot at these men (probably it was

                       
through mistake) long enough, as the latter thought, a few of these returned the
fire (Garnett among them) and brought the Snakes to their senses as to what
they were doing to oppose their own side. Painted Horse, (still living at the
Agency & was in Custer battle) a Sioux Indian who happened to be among
these, shouted to the men below who were firing up at them and said, ‘‘Hold
on; these are Snakes up here; you have shot one of them;’’ and then the Snakes
retired to the other side of the ridge or mountain they were on, out of sight;
not very long afterwards Garnett was down the creek below the village some
distance and here he now saw Painted Horse and numbers of the Snakes, a
fact going to show that they had retraced their route of the morning and de-
scended into the valley through the gap where the main column entered (as I
understand it, they had been sent around there to encircle the village as much
as possible. Bourke tells about this). It was at this time, past the middle of the
forenoon, that Garnett saw the pack train under Uncle Dave Mears, in the val-
ley;65 ammunition was being handed out; the dead and wounded soldiers were
being brought together down on the creek below the bend next [to] the vil-
lage; the dead were being prepared for transportation on the pack animals by
wrapping them in canvas to be laid across the animals. The battle was going
on without intermission; the soldiers and the Indian scouts were pressing the
foe to the west and beyond the main dry run; and some whose business it was
to make some pretense of getting dinner were engaged at this. Mackenzie sent
for Garnett and told him he wanted to send couriers to Gen. Crook. Sergeant
Red Shirt and Charging Bear (and possibly others) were given this mission.
The Indians’ horses were collected down at the lower end of the valley and
Garnett heard that a lot were brought in from the south through the gap and
put with those which were in the park when it was invaded in the morning.
This park was a natural Indian fortress, completely surrounded by moun-
tains rendering the place inaccessible except where the creek entered and was
discharged and three other places—one where the troops came in, another on
the south side, and one at the northwest corner formed by the main dry run
which gashed the encircling sierra. These were all capable of easy defense,
and only for the unconscious strategy of General Crook the Cheyennes would
have successfully opposed him during the winter had he been able to main-
tain the campaign that length of time. But the Indians who were watching his
movements had been completely lulled by them into a sense of perfect security.
When he moved from Fort Reno his course indicated that he intended to strike
Crazy Horse’s camp. The Indian scouts who were with Crook on this expedi-

 
tion in what may be described, as it actually was, tentative service, rendered
him admirable aid, not more by their numbers and scouting and fighting than
by their suggestions and advice; and to this latter feature of their good work
is due the signal triumph of Mackenzie in the battle now taking place. It was
they, it will be remembered, who advised Gen. Crook to march companies out
from his camp on Crazy Woman a few miles in various directions to cause the
enemy’s scouts to fall back beyond the range of knowledge before he set Mac-
Kenzie’s column in motion.When the latter marched he went unobserved.The
Indian scouts had done another good service in suggesting that the Cheyennes
be the first ones hunted down. This was extremely fortunate, as it turned out,
as they were found after a two days’ march. At that season distance was a fac-
tor of no mean consideration. (Look into this fully to be exact as to whether
Crook was closer to the Cheyennes than to the Sioux under C. Horse.)
The surface of the park was undulating—broken by small hills and ridges
and gashed by coulees. The Cheyennes had their lodges down close to the
water, so that the banks and knolls and woods screened them from observa-
tion till the last moment. When it became necessary for the defenders and their
women and children to escape from their camp the protected routes by which
they did so were numerous and sufficient, as was shown by the fact that the
sole trophies which remained to the victors were the horses, the village and its
contents, and the dead bodies which the Cheyennes were unable to carry away.
No prisoners were taken.
It should be noted that the Indian scouts had forged up the creek to the vil-
lage and entered it at the lower end long before Garnett got into it, and while
he was on the ridge where McKenny was killed. The fight for undisputed pos-
session of the village lasted some time, the Cheyennes tenaciously holding on
and bravely defending their homes and families and worldly possessions.
Garnett says that the Cheyennes were the most reckless, uncalculating, un-
compromising and obstinate fighters of any of the northern Indians.
The son of Dull Knife that Garnett had personally known at Red Cloud
Agency and saw dead on this field was lying across the stream southwest of
the village on the level plateau on his back, as if he had dropped asleep un-
disturbed and at peace with all the world. He was a young man of noble mien
and handsome face. He wore a blanket of fine cloth in two colors—one-half
red, the other blue. This was doubled and suspended from his waist. Around
him was a belt holding to his body a gun of the pattern then in use in the army,
pointing diagonally across his body.

                       
Garnett and Louie Shangrau were riding by in pursuit of pack animals when
the former recognized this son of Dull Knife, the chief of the Cheyennes sec-
ond to Little Wolf. Garnett spoke to Shangrau, suggesting that they coup the
dead man after the Indian fashion, and both dismounted and struck his body
with their whips. Louie Shangrau then took his gun and his moccasins, which
were beaded and finely figured. Garnett says his hair was light, tinged with
golden hue, unusually long, and the most beautiful he ever saw on an Indian.
Thinks they were the first ones who saw him dead. Garnett afterwards heard
that he had been scalped. He could not identify him exactly; that is to say, he
could not determine whether he was the oldest son or the next to the oldest.
He was acquainted with three sons of Chief Dull Knife. This dead son was a
noble looking fellow. The three sons were all fine looking; as also Dull Knife’s
three daughters. The two oldest sons looked alike is the reason Garnett could
not tell which it was that lay before him dead. He became acquainted with Dull
Knife’s family at the Sod Agency in 1872. This chief had two wives.
Garnett now got his dinner and after that went out on the firing line, but he
did not stay long, for it was not necessary; the firing continued regularly all the
afternoon the soldiers and scouts keeping up the battle and the Cheyennes re-
plying doggedly. Garnett did not pay much attention after this to this part of the
field, but was down in the village and at the camp made by the soldiers and the
scouts just below the village, the former being next [to] the village.The arrange-
ments for that night were as follows: The horses were herded in the southeast
corner of the park, across the creek from the west half of the village; below them
were the Sioux and Arapahos, and above them were the Snakes and Pawnees;
the openings through the range were guarded, while the soldiers held the line
west of the main dry run keeping the Cheyennes back in their positions. The
fighting went on all day and continued desultorily until near midnight.
At this place I must correct the description of the sierra enclosing the park
which has been given heretofore. The mountain on the east had sharp escarp-
ments in most parts of the flank, but the west front where the Indians retreated
over the range was a more gradual slope all the way from the creek increasing
in grade as the climber advanced to the west. The ground on the north of the
creek, after it entered the park, and on down by the village and nearly or clear
down to where Mackenzie came in, was a pretty steep rise or bank, too high a
pitch to go up with a loaded wagon; then when this was overcome in the ascent
there were little parks, but the ground was continually rising until the moun-


 
tain proper was reached, when the ascent became steeper and steeper as the
summit was approached. The mountain was high.
It was on this flank where the Cheyennes held out to the last concealed be-
hind the rocks and other objects.
The mountain on the north of the park was very high and steep and defied
passage by any ordinary means. South and southwest of the village the surface
of the park was low and level.
During the afternoon the work of destruction in the Cheyenne camp was
carried on and completed. The scouts were allowed to take what they wanted.
A lot of poles were saved from the lodges to make travois for carrying the
wounded soldiers back to Crook’s camp. The soldiers were working to con-
struct these under the direction of some of the Indian scouts and chief scouts.
Surgeon LeGard, who later in life served with the American army in Cuba,
was the medical officer on this expedition.
One of the trophies secured in the village was the celebrated necklace of
human fingers taken possession of by Big Bat and by him given to Capt. J. G.
Bourke, and by him presented to the Bureau of Ethnology, and which is fully
described and represented by a plate in one of the Reports; the article having
been prepared by Bourke himself.66
The abundance of supplies in the Cheyenne camp could hardly have been
improved on. There were at least 1,000 buffalo robes, but these were not yet
tanned. There were all kinds of meats; dried beef done up in bundles in every
lodge, and very fat and tender and juicy; pemmican in large quantities; skins
of all kinds; beaver traps; dozens of bottles of arsenic to poison wolves; beaver
traps in great number, some brand new.
After the village was looted, all the effects that were not destroyed by smash-
ing, and that was not to be moved away, were thrown into piles and burned.
All the skins and buffalo robes were saved and brought into camp.
When the women and children retreated from the village they were crying
from alarm, mainly the children. Not many of the assailants in the park saw the
escape of these people, as they went early before more than about 40 had got
up in proximity to the village.
It has been mentioned before that these Cheyennes had lately met a party
of Snakes and destroyed them. In this village the saddles belonging to these
unfortunate Snakes were found and recognized by the Snake scouts with the
expedition, and Garnett heard them crying and mourning in their customary


                       
way.The Snakes were grieving as they were scattered and moving about.There
was no formal rite of mourning.
Not long after dark it commenced to snow and the storm abated little dur-
ing the next two days, and when it was over the snow was a foot deep. The
weather increased in severity. About seven in the morning following the battle
the column withdrew and began the return march. It had been found that the
Cheyennes had left.
On the morning of the second day the Pawnee and Snake scouts who had
been sent out on the evening of the first day that the column moved from Crazy
Woman to attack the Cheyennes, overtook the returning troops and came into
camp about the time the column was to move. These had not found any Indi-
ans until after Mackenzie’s fight, when they and the defeated Cheyennes came
together, and the latter being too strong for them, they hastened back after a
spirited encounter. It should have been said before that the troops on the first
day of the return passed the place where they had left their extra horses and
luggage to be in light marching order, and left it three miles in rear when they
made camp that night. It was next morning that the Pawnee and Snake scouts
came in.
About noon of the third day Mackenzie halted and made a distribution of
the captured horses. It was done in this manner: The eight Sioux and Arapaho
scouts who discovered the village were given preference of choice of the whole
number, taking one apiece; next choice fell to the Sioux and Arapaho scouts
who went out from Fort Reno and captured the Cheyenne Indian who came
to their camp, each taking one; the third choice fell to the Snake and Pawnee
scouts who had the skirmish and had returned the day before, these taking
one each; Garnett was now told by Mackenzie to go in and get a horse. Gar-
nett said to him that there were two horses in the herd which he would like to
have, and they were animals which the Indians would not take; Mackenzie told
him to get them and he did; these were Americanbred horses which had been
taken from Custer; the next party to select were Red Shirt and his party who
had been sent back to Crook while the battle was going on (these had come
out from Crazy Woman to meet the soldiers); then one scout from each tribe
was sent to take a horse; for instance a Sioux, then an Arapaho, next a Snake,
then a Pawnee, and so on around these scouts till each one had a horse.
After this he began again at the head of the list and repeated the selection
till the herd was reduced to about seventy head. There not being enough to go
round again, and the ropes being nearly exhausted, Mackenzie told them to go

 
and take the rest as they were minded; but only a few cared to have any more
and quite a number, supposed to be upward of 40, were left; and it is under-
stood that some camp followers picked them up.
The afternoon had been consumed with this issue, and camp was made
right there. Next day by noon the command was back at Crazy Woman.
These Indian scouts were the happiest lot of people who ever performed a
brilliant exploit.
It was two or three days before anything more was done.
Garnett’s recollection is that the loss on the side of the army was six sol-
diers and Lieut. McKenney and 16 wounded. (Do not rely on this.)
The Indian loss that Garnett saw was 16 men and 1 woman dead.67
He is satisfied that other Indians were killed, for he was not all over the field
where fighting was done. He saw a great deal of blood stains on the ground
where there were no bodies and thinks that the Indians had removed them.
After a few days at Crazy Woman, Louie Richard, Louie Shangrau and some
five Sioux scouts were sent by Gen. Crook back to Fort Robinson to enlist and
bring up reinforcements of Sioux scouts. They raised over 500. The general
told them where to meet him. He was to move back to Fort Reno and thence to
head for the Belle Fourche, passing Pumpkin Buttes on the south. The point
for assembling was the main crossing of the river, where the regular Indian
trail from Red Cloud Agency crossed to go to the Powder River country. After
their departure the army went back to Reno. Camped there on the southeast
side three days and then Washakie and his Snakes departed for their homes.
Crow Indians were sent for to join Crook at the camp on Belle Fourche. Crook
marched to that point. It required three days to reach the first prong of the
river which heads in the vicinity of Pumpkin Buttes. Here they saw the burn-
ing coal mines.
It was very cold on the morning the army left this warm place. Three citi-
zens who were following the troops preferred to hover round these fires where
the banks of earth were warm and the fires were sending up flames four and
five feet high; in one place he saw the coal bed on fire covering a space of 40
feet; and there were several fires. The next camp was one day’s march from the
burning coal beds, at a point on the southeast branch of the Belle Fourche, a
few miles just above where the Sioux Indians had made a camp of a month
in 1868 , from where Red Cloud and his followers marched that year to Lara-
mie to join in the treaty of that year, and to which he returned after signing the
treaty. Garnett was in this camp at the time and remained there with the other

                       
Indians while Red Cloud and a few of his followers went down to Laramie to
‘‘make the agreement with white people,’’ as Garnett puts it, he not knowing
or hearing then anything about ‘‘signing’’ or what the term meant . On this trip
with Crook he recognized the old camping-ground of 1868.
(In the winter of 1867–8 Garnett went with some uncles of his north from
Laramie and was living a year with the Indians in the upper country, return-
ing in the spring of 1869 to Laramie. He roamed around on the south side of
the Black Hills with some band or bands of the Sioux; but Red Cloud was not
with these; he was away off with a few others in the Big Horn country.
The Indians being in motion in 1868 over the treaty of that year naturally
congregated on the Belle Fourche where their big camp was, and here is where
Red Cloud came in and from where he with just a few went to Laramie to as-
sent to the treaty.)
(There were Indian Agencies at this time in various places, and all the sig-
natories did not go to Laramie, but the Commission moved about from place to
place to treat with the natives. So the Missouri River Indians called this treaty
the ‘‘Long Lake Treaty,’’ from the circumstance of their meeting the Commis-
sion at a long lake; and the Republican River, Platte River and Powder River
Indians called it the ‘‘Black Beard Treaty,’’ from the circumstance that the chair-
man of the Commission, General Sanborn, wore a long black beard.)68
At Crook’s camp one day’s march from the coal beds in a northeast direc-
tion toward the Black Hills which they could now see from the highest points
of travel, the army stopped several days. The soldiers improved the rest in get-
ting their horses shod. A wagon with an escort was sent back to the coal beds
for coal to do blacksmithing. The bodies of the three citizens who stayed by
the fires when the troops marched were found where they had been attacked
and killed by some of the enemy’s scouts hovering on the trail of Crook and
watching his movements.
It was at this camp that the Indians began the scalp dance over the vic-
tory gained against the Cheyennes. This dancing was kept up day and night—
nearly all night—and the rejoicing among the Indians was a remarkable fea-
ture of life in that camp. I have noticed that the white writers who were in that
camp at the time have treated this as a case of noisy demonstration as annoying
to the whites as it was noisy and which was borne with patience as a concession
to their customs and modes of pleasure of the Indians . Their happiness was
complete. One tribe’s scouts would have their scalp dance, and then another
tribe’s scouts would have theirs, and so on till each had had its turn or round.

 
These Indians who were enemies until lately, came together with great mani-
festations of friendship and happiness, and visited one another from camp to
camp and lodge to lodge, and gave presents of value even to good horses, and
thus were welded into a combination of good portent to Crook whose smiling
face around the camp at what was developing among these Indians showed that
while many of the white officers did not comprehend the import of these hilari-
ous proceedings, he was happily alive to the significance of this boisterous plea-
sure. As when ice breaks up in a river, we know that spring has come; so in this
instance Crook could see signs of bright promise in the breaking of the hostile
spirit and the striking of hands with the white man in welcoming, not resisting,
the day which could not be put off—inevitable, be the cost what it might in
blood and money—when the final conflict for supremacy in the west between
the two races should by common consent be at an end. It was the bow in the
cloud. There was no mistake to those who looked below the surface of events
to discern the powerful causes operating beyond the reach of common vision.
The next removal was ten or twelve miles down the creek where camp was
made on the main Belle Fourche southwest of the Black Hills where Crook
was to be met by Louie Richard and Louie Shangrau with such scouts as they
should be able to bring back from the Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Agencies.
A short stay of about three or four days sufficed at this place; but it was a
period of conference and decision of the deepest interest affecting the course
of events in the near future and the policy of the more distant time.
It was now well along in December—in the dead of winter—in a north-
ern latitude where winters are severe—already many storms had added to the
snowfall till two feet of snow lay on the ground—the months of January and
February—the worst of winter—were yet to come and be endured—the sol-
diers were less inured to these rigors than the Indians and less likely to hold
out—their animals were not so hardy as the Indian ponies and would give out
under the strain of work and the assaults of wind and frost and want of forage
and shelter—the trains were cumbersome and burdensome—to this argument
was brought forward the remarkable instance of 1865–6 (?) when the winter
was so hard that the Indians suffered great misfortunes and losses, their horses
died, the wild game perished, the Indians could go out and stampede animals
from the bare spots into mammoth drifts where they floundered and struggled
hopelessly until overtaken by their pursuers and dispatched—the soldiers in
the country underwent equal hardships and even greater sufferings; and their
losses of livestock were extreme; the white man’s horses under such natural

                       
conditions without corn to eat could not last, his strength would fail at once—
the column could not move forward or backward if the wise course should not
be promptly taken now, and the expedition having probably no further likeli-
hood of success, would be at an end so far as results were concerned. This was
the reasoning of the Indian sergeants and Sharp Nose and leading Indians who
were discussing the chances and probabilities and conditions, and deliberat-
ing with earnestness and far-seeing judgment in behalf of the cause to which
they were bending all their faith—energies of body and mind.
Thus they thought and felt. At last it was suggested among them selves that
it would be a good thing on their part to go in person to Gen. Crook and sub-
mit to him the points they had been considering. At the insistence of Three
Bears and Sharp Nose and the others who had been conferring (this was con-
fined to the Sioux and Arapahos) Garnett went to General Crook and told him
that these men wanted to have a talk with him. He asked if the business was
anything of importance, and being told that there were some matters on their
minds that they wanted to communicate to him, he told the interpreter to fetch
them to a large tent near the one he occupied, and when this was done and
they were all assembled there were about twenty persons altogether inside, in-
cluding Big Bat (?) Frank Gruard, Lieut. Clark, Capt. J. G. Bourke (?), Bill
Rowland who was chief interpreter for the Arapahos and Cheyennes.
The speaking was begun by Three Bears, the chief noncommissioned ser-
geant of the Indian scouts except Sharp Nose who was second chief of the
Arapahos at home, but on this expedition was their leader who sensibly and
voluntarily gave the preference to Three Bears, as this latter officer was at the
head of a far more numerous tribe. Three Bears arose and said: ‘‘Brother, we
come to lay out our plan for this winter and the future. My men will tell you
the particulars.’’
Three Bears was no speaker and had planned for certain of the Indians to
do the talking with General Crook.
Keeps The Battle, a Sioux sergeant, was the first speaker to follow Three
Bears. He spoke in substance as follows:
He explained the chances for a hard winter and spoke of the severe weather
already had this winter—the deep snow—the many storms—the hardships
and losses sustained on a former occasion by the troops in Gen. Connor’s day
(during the conference the tent kept filling up) how faint the horses would be
without grain—that they would lose strength and fail—and if the winter kept
up as it had begun he could not get more corn.69 He told the General of the

 
beneficent effect to follow if the command should break camp and go back to
Red Cloud and Fort Robinson and save and keep the horses in good condi-
tion, and the men of the command also who would not be weakened by the
exposures of winter service—he referred to the defeat of the Cheyennes and
pointed out that they had lost all their property, including provisions and even
clothing—he pictured their pitiful destitution and starvation and suffering and
showed that the Cheyennes were not only defeated in battle but were reduced
to such abject and hopeless extremity that they could not stay out in the hostile
country if they wanted to ever so much—that they could save their lives only
by coming in to the Agency; therefore this tribe was disposed of and would
not have to be reckoned with as a hostile organization in the future. The plan
that he would suggest to the General was that if the command should go back
now the Indians would undertake by all the influences in their power to get the
hostile Indians to return to the Agency this winter and the coming spring; that
they would persuade the Indians on other Agencies who had members of their
tribes out with Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull to send embassies to the camps of
these chiefs to induce them to return to their homes on the reservations; and if
possible, they would convince the chiefs themselves that it was a vain hope to
stay out and perhaps could bring them in; if however they could not succeed
in this latter object, they felt confident they could disaffect and draw away from
these chiefs enough Indians to weaken them greatly; and then when spring
should come if the army should go after the obstinate hostiles, these scouts and
others that could be procured would go as a part of the army to bring them to
terms. We know, he pursued, that we have reinforcements of scouts coming to
join us; and we are sure that a great many more would come only on account
of the horses being poor; but when we go again there will be plenty of Indians
for scouts. The policy of persuasion which could be accomplishing its work
in dead of winter when the army could do nothing stood a chance to render a
campaign the next year unnecessary. Fast Thunder had come out on this ex-
pedition from the Spotted Tail Agency, and he spoke on behalf of that agency,
following Keeps the Battle, and arguing the same propositions that his fore-
bear had done, and promising to exert at his agency the same efforts to bring
the Indians in peaceably. While these speakers were addressing General Crook
the Indians kept prompting them so that they should omit nothing that had
been considered among themselves. When these prompters broke in to refresh
one of these speakers, the General would ask the interpreter, Garnett, what the
Indian was saying when he would be told that he (the prompter) was assist-

                       
ing with some point that they did not wish to have forgotten in the discourse.
Sharp Nose was the last to stand up and speak. He said he had no Arapaho
hostiles holding out against the government to go out after as the others had,
but that when the time should come for the army to move on another cam-
paign, he and his Arapaho followers would be ready to respond.
Right here Garnett’s memory fails . He cannot remember about whether
Crook held a conference with his officers after this talk with the Indians, or
whether Crook made his announcement this same day or the next morning.
Ask Bat.
(It should have been inserted in the speech of one of the Sioux speakers
that the Indians purposed to use as an argument with the hostiles when they
should go out to see them, that they were working for a home Agency with
General Crook assisting them to obtain it. This was another reminder to the
General that they were relying on him and that they were doing their part in
the agreement they had with him; and this is one more instance showing that
they did not intend he should forget his obligations.)
When the time arrived for the General to announce his decision upon the
propositions submitted to him by his native scouts, there was a reassembling in
the same quarters and Colonel Mackenzie and Lieut. Clark were present. The
General proceeded to state that he was going to abandon the expedition; that
Colonel Mackenzie would conduct the Fourth Cavalry (his own reg’t.) back to
Forts Fetterman and Laramie and then to Fort Robinson where he would take
command. Crook announced that Lieut. Clark would have his headquarters
at Fort Robinson and have extensive authority in connection with the Indian
scouts and direct control of them. The Pawnee scouts and Gruard and Bap-
tiste Pourier marched with him.Wm. Garnett and Wm. Rowland, interpreters,
were sent back with the Sioux and Arapaho and the very few Cheyenne scouts
by a different route, viz; the regular Indian trail from the Belle Fourche to Fort
Robinson. These interpreters were to carry orders to the fresh Indian scouts
approaching along this route under Louie Richard and Louie Shangrau to re-
turn to Fort Robinson. The interpreters and their party marched southeast up
the Box Elder Creek all day; but before noon they met Richard and Shangrau
with over 500 fresh scouts and [a] large number of Indian women belonging
to these fresh scouts and a few wives of the old scouts under Garnett and Row-
The scouts under Richard and Shangrau were obtained at both Agencies;
there were about 100 from Spotted Tail, and the interpreter with them was

 
Charley Taggart, a quarter-blood Sioux, and White Thunder was in charge of
them as their chief.70 This party did not all get into Fort Robinson together but
the hindmost with whom Garnett traveled arrived on the eighth day.
Garnett says that when he and Rowland met the scouts the latter were out
of rations and the two interpreters divided what they had with them. On the
second day none of them [had] anything to eat, and from that time on they all
[were] famished. Garnett says they got something at the Hat Creek stage station
and saloon by paying exorbitant prices, but all that the place afforded was but
a mouthful for each one of nearly 700 men and the proprietor was soon eaten
out. It was two or three weeks before Mackenzie and Lieut. Clark arrived from
their circuitous journey at Fort Robinson. After a little while Louie Richard
and Louie Shangrau were discharged by Gen. Crook with recommendations,
as he had no immediate use for them.
At length Lieut. Clark sent Garnett to bring Red Cloud up to the Fort. The
Lieutenant did not talk with him in his office where Indians and others were
About the latter part of January, 1877, Lieut. Clark dispatched George
Sword and Few Tails on a mission to Crazy Horse.71 Garnett says Sword did
not have the name of Sword until some months later when he went to the Custer
battlefield with Generals Sheridan and Crook (summer of 1877); that his name,
as he recollects, was Hunts the Enemy .
These two men with a few leading Indians went to Crazy Horse’s camp
to open negotiations with him for his return, according to the Sioux custom.
Packages of tobacco [were] wrapped in blue cloth and some in red cloth, a
package to be given to the chief of each band in Crazy Horse’s camp. If these
packages were opened the act was an acceptance of the proposition which the
bearers announced as the object of their business; if they were returned un-
opened it was rejected.
(If the packages were opened the tobacco was cut into small pieces and
given around to the members of the band. If a chief had control over his band
he could decide alone what to do; if he was afraid of opposition and did not
wish to take the responsibility for a decision, he assembled his tribesmen and
submitted the matter to them for ratification or rejection.)
These couriers were gone three or four weeks. One was the first to come
back & he thinks it was Few Tails; later the other arrived, and with each there
came some Indians from the hostile camp. Word was brought that the Indians
would come and that some were then moving in the direction of the Reserva-

                       
tion; that Crazy Horse would return, but that Sitting Bull had moved and was
going to cross the border into Canada.
Lieut. Clark now directed the interpreter, Garnett, to bring Red Cloud to
his office, but the officer did not confer with him in his public office where both
Indians and white men were entering at will but he escorted him to a private
room and there through this interpreter told him he had sent for him to say to
him that he was going to try to help him. ‘‘You have been dismissed as chief by
Gen. Crook who placed both agencies under Spotted Tail. When the General
was ready to get scouts only one was obtained from the Spotted Tail Agency;
there were some brought up from there, but nearly all of these belonged here
and happened to be down there. They were out on the late expedition and
proved themselves faithful and successful. When we called a second time for
scouts your people of this Agency turned out four times as many as the Spotted
Tail Agency did. The government has accused you of having your son ( Jack)
out in the Rosebud fight and assisting the hostile Indians, because a gun that
was given to you in Washington with your name on it was taken from him in
that battle and your son was seen there by some who knew him. I was the only
son my father had and he wanted my name pretty well known so he got me
into this position; but after I was out in this country he began to see the dan-
ger I was in, and he wanted me to resign; but I liked the service so well that I
would not quit it. Red Cloud, the money that my father puts in the bank for
me brings me $250 a month. I get $125 a month for this work. I am spending
my official salary among you Indians as fast as I get it. This is one reason I have
not married; I do not wish to leave any orphans; for a man in my place is liable
to be killed any time. So I do not blame you for what your son has done. I sent
for you to let you know that I am going to try to get you back where you once
were, so the government will recognize you as a chief as before. Crazy Horse
has agreed, as you know, to come in. (During all this speech, Red Cloud, being
pleased with what was said to him, kept ejaculating, ‘‘How, how.’’)
‘‘Now I want you to go out and bring Crazy Horse and all the people he
claims in. Spotted Tail is going out and I think he has already started.72 I will
assist you with all the rations you I don’t want him to get ahead of you. It was
your men who studied out this scheme to get him in. Your people are striving
to stay in this country and to have an Agency of their own. They are dissatis-
fied with Indian Territory and Missouri River. After you complete your work
you people will be going to Washington to try to get an Agency. We want to


 
have some of those northern Indians with Crazy Horse go to Washington with
the delegation to let them know that they are at peace; and Gen. Crook is a
friend of mine, and if you do as I tell you I’ll have him to reinstate you to your
place; and I will make you First Sergeant; that is as high as I can place you, for
it is the highest office in the Indian scout service; I have all the other chiefs on
the Agency enlisted; but I will recognize you as the highest officer among the
chiefs; so that you can have control of your people. I will assist you with all the
rations you think you will need.’’
Red Cloud was greatly pleased at the tempting offer of the officer, and in-
stantly promised him that he would go. It took only about three days for Red
Cloud to be ready to start. His party was nearly a hundred strong with a pack
outfit, travois, and small tipis. After he was gone awhile couriers arrived from
Red Cloud asking that provisions and beeves be sent out to meet the Indians
who were coming in. Red Cloud had met many small parties drifting toward
the Agency as he progressed toward the Crazy Horse camp.
Lieut. Rosecrans of the 4th Cavalry was dispatched with Garnett as inter-
preter, and about 50 Indian scouts under command of Chief American Horse,
convoying some ten wagons loaded with rations and about 100 head of beeves
going up by Soldier Creek.73 This convoy met Red Cloud on the Laramie and
Black Hills Road three miles below the Hat Creek stage station. Chief Ameri-
can Horse, true to his instinct as ever to help himself, posted his scouts in line
in front of all the others and had them sitting down facing the Indians coming
from the north. This side proceeding was not understood by the Lieutenant in
command, but it was a ceremony familiar to the Indians, and when the Crazy
Horse men came up they presented each Indian scout including American
Horse and the Lieutenant who was surprised to get one, a pony. This Lieuten-
ant Rosecrans shook hands with Crazy Horse and all the chiefs. It has been
said that Lieut. Clark was the first army officer ever known to shake hands with
Crazy Horse, but this is a mistake. They stayed at this place till the fourth day
and then began the march to Fort Robinson, arriving there the third day. Be-
fore reaching the fort Lieut. Clark came out and met the procession two miles
north of the Agency. The chiefs sat down in a row and they told Clark to ad-
vance and shake hands with them, using the left hand, they using the same; for,
said they, the left hand is next [to] the heart, but the right hand does all manner
of wickedness. Crazy Horse presented the Lieutenant a war bonnet, war shirt,
pipe and beaded sack for tobacco and kinni kinnick and pipe.74 Clark was told


                       
to put on his Indian clothing, being assisted by some of his new friends, and
he made an imposing appearance.
While these Indians were camped a mile below Red Cloud Agency on the
south side of the River (on that big flat) their horses were taken first and turned
over to the Indian scouts. Next, the guns were taken and the census enumera-
tion at the same time.
Before Red Cloud went out it was all explained to him how the Indians
would be treated in relation to horses and arms when they should come in. So
when they arrived everything went off smoothly. After they had been met at the
stage station (near it) the Indian scouts were on the alert in watching for guns
and counting those the Indians carried; these scouts were most active, indus-
trious and faithful in their new capacity. After taking from the Indians in camp
the guns that were brought forward there were not as many obtained by about
35 or 40 as the scouts had numbered on the stay at the station and on the way
down, for these scouts were counting every day. So another effort was made to
get the missing guns. The scouts knew pretty well who the men were who had
kept their guns, as they were acquainted with all and knew who the fighters
were; and they were very efficient in calling on them and telling each that he
had a gun and to deliver it over. At length the sufficient number was found
and the officers were satisfied. At this time there were a company of Cheyenne
scouts for the Cheyennes had straggled into the Agency ahead of the returning
Sioux. They were camped around the Agency within a few hundred, 300 or
400, yards. The snow was pretty deep when they came in, it must have been in
March; Garnett saw where they had butchered horses on the snow; they were
fully a week straggling in and getting settled in camp and were in a miserably
forlorn condition. They were badly frosted, starving and eating horses to live,
had traveled 300 miles from the north in deep snows and severe cold, for it was
a hard winter; their clothing was very scant and ragged and they had little be-
sides blankets; but they were soon provided for and made very comfort able; the
Indians are a great people in such respects; their natural liberality is almost un-
bounded, and when examples of destitution like the case of the Cheyennes are
known they are remarkably free in supplying want; this time the different bands
got up dances on behalf of the Cheyennes and furnished them with clothing.
It should be said here that the Sioux themselves told afterwards that when
the Cheyennes came into Crazy Horse’s camp after their defeat, that the Sioux
gave them all the provisions they had to spare and bestowed on them great
quantities of clothing.

 


The 500 scouts led by Richard and Shangrau were kept in the service after
their return until the period of their enlistment had expired, which Garnett
thinks was three months. After matters were settled down at the two Agen-
cies, and shortly after Crazy Horse had come in, the organization of the Indian
scouts was perfected by systematic regulation, and the number employed were
250, officered with Indian corporals and sergeants, the whole under the con-
trol of Lieut. Clark. They were formed into small companies. Of this number
80 were stationed at Camp Sheridan and the rest at Fort Robinson. All the In-
dian chiefs who had any influence among the Indians were made sergeants and
corporals. Twenty-five of Crazy Horse’s band or camp, including C. Horse,
were made scouts. Crazy Horse was an officer over his scouts. Garnett kicked
to Clark against making any of C. Horse’s band scouts, and against making
C. Horse a scout and giving him and them arms so soon after they had sub-
mitted. The scouts were armed with Sharp’s carbines (for horseback use) and
the six-shooting revolvers such as used in the army.
Garnett relates that on the campaign from Fort Fetterman on, Gen. Crook
was impressing on his Indian scouts that if they held out faithfully to the end
and were successful in getting the hostiles in, that they should have the pref-
erence around the Agencies in the service and be given authority and control
over the hostiles who should be subject to them. So when Clark was making
scouts from Crazy Horse’s band in Crook’s absence, Garnett warned him of
this dangerous experiment of trusting them with arms again after having so
soon disarmed them of their own arms, and Garnett reminded him of Crook’s
plan; but Clark, in the bigness of his heart, and to convince the late hostiles of
his confidence in them (a virtue that they could not appreciate, as they could
see in it only an opportunity for their advantage) declared that he was going to
treat them all alike.
Crook, it is safe to believe, would not have made this mistake, one which
brought any amount of trouble, and which Clark afterwards acknowledged to
Garnett when he told him he was sorry he did not take Garnett’s advice. Gar-
nett says Clark had the most gratifying reputation all around, among white
men and Indians, of any officer he ever knew. He was a brave, generous, and
noble man and officer. When the Cheyennes had become well settled Garnett
assembled the Cheyenne chiefs at his own house at Red Cloud (he had a house
of 3 rooms and he took them into his kitchen); it was one Sunday and he sent

                       
Black Bear (a Cheyenne Sergeant in the late expedition who had a Sioux wife)
to invite them to his house that day for dinner. After the eating was over, a Chey-
enne chief (who talked Sioux) and owned the necklace of human fingers taken
from those of other tribes that had been killed (fastened together with buck-
skin), and who was present and acted as interpreter for Garnett, was told to
tell these chiefs that he had sent for them to ask them some questions. He said
the trouble was now all over and he wanted to talk about things past. Speaking
of Crook’s late expedition into the mountains, what did you know of us when
we started out from here? They said we knew from the time you started in to
enlist scouts; we knew the enlistment was going on—knew that Black Bear
was enlisted; and knew from these enlistments that Crook’s army was going on
the warpath. They knew that the troops started for Laramie & then knew that
the route would be by Fetterman, and they watched this place. They spotted
Crook again when he left Fetterman. When he got to Powder River where
some soldiers were stationed (Fort Reno) Crook left Powder River going in the
direction of Crazy Horse’s camp; when the Cheyenne scouts came back the
Cheyennes said among themselves that Crook did not know where they were.
Crook’s scouts they said had already captured one of their Cheyennes. From
that prisoner Crook learned where the Cheyennes were, they said. That man
came back to us after the fight was over; we knew then that Crook had had us
located. (This Cheyenne prisoner was held by the Indian scouts till the battle
began when he escaped, and returned to where the troops left their horses and
luggage and took a horse or two and saddle and whatever else he wanted.)
We did not know all these things that had taken place and did not know
Crook was up there; we had killed 30 Snakes a little while before that; and
we were having a good time dancing scalp dances. (There were two classes
of dancers for night dancing and scalp dances were on at same time; both
are danced at same time—during day and night—but the part danced by the
young men and young women is danced at night—in scalp dances, both men
and women are allowed to dance; this young peoples’ dance is carried on day
as well as night but is called ‘‘night dancing.’’)
Garnett asked: ‘‘How did you discover we were coming on you that night?’’
They were all talking and laughing among themselves when asked this. He
said: ‘‘The women in the dance then going on were all tied to one another; one
or two of the old fellows in the camp said daylight is here and it is time to cook
breakfast for the dancers.’’ At the beginning, the first they noticed, they heard a
shot, then 4 or 5 shots together. As usual, the young men who were out early in

 
the morning shooting game would do shooting in just that way. The shooting
kept increasing down that way. Just then the dance came to a stop and a lot of
horsemen (the Shoshones) were seen on the ridge, and the Cheyennes looking
down the valley heard more firing and saw the herders running back toward
the camp. The dancers then broke to run, but being tied together, they were
thrown and tumbled together in wild confusion and tumult, and were tumbling
and throwing one another in heaps. (It ought to be added that this tying was
partly for sport and partly to keep the dancers there and from going off to their
lodges.) Then the Cheyennes saw the Indian scouts coming up the creek, some
in Indian war toggery and some in uniforms; it was known by this time that the
village was attacked, and then there was a fearful and terrible rush and the most
alarming disorder, many trying to gain the lodges, others striking for the hills.
It was in this conference that Little Wolf was present and told how the 4 men
shot him, all as before related. The Indian who owned and wore the necklace
of human fingers was called by the Indians ‘‘The Man Who Wears The Human
Necklace,’’ but he had also another name in which the word ‘‘Bear’’ occurs. He
was told that Bat had the necklace; he said it was bad—good for nothing—and
Bat ought not to wear it; that he wouldn’t take anything for it; he knew Bat and
called him his partner; Bat at this time was at Laramie where he had gone with
Crook on the return from the north because his home was there; and Frank
Gruard and North and his scouts all went back to Laramie. When Richard and
Shangrau were stopped with their scouts they cut across to intercept Crook
the day the return was begun, joined that column and went to Laramie.
These chiefs told Garnett that after leaving their stronghold in the moun-
tains until they got into Crazy Horse’s camp they had a distressing and terrible
time. Few had any blankets. They had some pieces of buffalo robes, green and
untanned, which were used. The cold was very severe and many of the Chey-
ennes froze to death on the trip to Crazy Horse’s camp. The Cheyennes were
helped, they said, at C. Horse’s camp, but there were too many of them, and
there was not much in the camp and the Sioux could not help them much; they
did not get much so they started to the Agency.

Year 

It is understood that Crazy Horse returned in May, and some two weeks after-
ward and in June, General Crook came to Fort Robinson to inspect the Indians
and inform himself, and the Indians of all tribes on the Red Cloud Agency were
reviewed by him.75 Lt. Clark had been drilling the scouts, and he arranged the

                       
review, all marching before the General; for two hours before the General’s
arrival the Lieutenant was marching the Indians around to get them in good
form for the review. Only mounted men were in the review.
The general took his station on a little knoll just south of the Agency. The
Indians marched in review before the General. The chiefs, in the advance of
the column, wheeled out of the line when they came to Crook’s position, and
marching up were halted in front of him where he shook hands with all of them.
It was now arranged for a council the next day (perhaps the same day). In
this council, Garnett interpreting, Agency affairs were taken up and consid-
ered. Crazy Horse and the northern Indians were in this council; also a great
lot of chiefs and all the Indians. This was held, he thinks, two miles southeast
of the Agency, the bulk of the Sioux being camped there. Thinks Young Man
Afraid was the first to speak. He said: (Addressing Gen. Crook) ‘‘Brother: One
time here there were people here who committed frauds trying to take us away
from this country; some of us had been to Indian Territory; we see that that
place is not good. They told us if we did not go there we might live on the Mis-
souri River, but we don’t want to go there. A lot of our people were away from
this Agency now they are all back. Sitting Bull has gone over the holy road
(this is what the Indians call the line between the U.S. & British possessions).
Sitting Bull does not belong to us at all; he belongs to Running Antelope at
Standing Rock Agency (the Oglalas recognized Running Antelope as the chief
of the Unkpapas at Standing Rock Agency). We have told—sent word to—the
Crazy Horse Indians that when they come in we would have an Agency in our
own country. Our scouts have been with you and told when with you what we
wanted. Now, this is our first meeting since those things were told to you, and
we tell you again so you will not forget. If you will help us we will stay by you
and do anything you want us to.’’
Another Indian next addressed the General.
(Crazy Horse was always inexorably silent; but Iron Hawk, Big Road, Little
Hawk, He Dog and Iron Crow, chiefs under Crazy Horse were always the
prominent speakers. One of these now spoke.) He shook hands with Crook as
was their custom when they begin their speeches, and said:
‘‘Brother: We were out here in our own country living on buffalo and such
wild game as we generally have. We had not hunted for any trouble; but you
army officers always come out to fight us. That is our country. We don’t try
to take any country away from you. Ever since you white people struck this
county [you] have been crowding and fighting us all the time. Now I learn that

 
you are trying to put us in a country that we do not know anything about (Ind.
Territory) (Referring to the Indians on the Agency).
‘‘You have been trying to scare our people away from this country. Our
people came out and asked us to come in. They have asked us for help. Asked
us to quit fighting soldiers and come in, so we could have an Agency in our own
country. We have come in. These scouts told us if we came in you would help
us to get an Agency in this country. Are you the same man they represented to
us as Three Stars ?’’ (A star on his cap and one on each shoulder.)
Red Dog (the man who was always spokesman for Red Cloud) abruptly
rose and said to the Indians:
‘‘I want you Indians to hold on. One of our Agency Indians has spoken and
one of Crazy Horse’s Indians. We want the man to give an answer before any-
thing more is said to him. Too much talk confuses white men.’’
General Crook replied:
‘‘My friends; I am glad you are all contented with the Crazy Horse Indi-
ans and the other Indians. The government wants you to be at peace on these
Agencies. We are the Great Father’s soldiers. We have been ordered to bring
you Indians in. That is why we went out to get you; but you don’t know this;
you think we came out to fight you, and you always shoot at us, which is sure
to cause a fight. If you had not shot us there would have been no fight. I have
had councils with your young men who first went out with me, and they had
asked me for help, and I told them that I would help them if they helped me,
and they suggested things to me, and I agreed with them. So far everything they
told me has come true. Now there are a few stragglers out yet. When they are in
we will go to Washington and there I will help you. I have to ask for help from
the President, so that you will see that everything I do for you is done openly.
Our president is a new man, he is not the one you Indians saw before; so he
has a great many things to attend to; so we will go when he has more time.’’
The council ended. The Indians were satisfied. The Indians had a great
feast ready. At these councils the feast is always blessed before it is eaten. Iron
Hawk, a notable and learned Indian in history as handed down by tradition
among his people, and who was always a prominent figure at these feasts,
blessed this one in his peculiar way and ceremony in a spiritual oration lasting
some ten minutes, after which the Indian soldiers (dog soldiers), as the con-
cluding part of his ceremony, distribute the cooked viands. In passing around
the eatables, General Crook, Lieut. Clark, Garnett received some dog. Clark
did not wish to eat the dog, so he gave it to an Indian with a dollar to eat it for

                       
him. Crook had not eaten his dog. Clark remarked to him that if he did not
want to eat his dog he would take it and dispose of it as he had his own. Crook
told Clark that this was not the first time he had eaten dog, and he could eat
anything the Indians could eat. He ate his dog and said it was nice.The Indians
were surprised to see the General eat dog and to see his Lieutenant refuse it.
After Crook went away, Gens. Sherman (?) Sheridan and some other noted
general made a trip (thinks) they went out from Laramie on a tour through the
northwest. Lieut. Clark was arranging for scouts to go with Gruard to Laramie
to join this party of officers. These were the scouts: Red Shirt, Little Battle,
George Sword (who gained the name of Sword on this trip) Lone Bear, Charg-
ing Bear, No Neck, Little Bull, and Joe Bush.
Garnett does not know where this party of officers was going, but it was
said that they were to go into the western part, to the Shoshone Agency, the Big
Horn country, and to Fort Keogh. As soon as these scouts left another party
of Indian scouts were sent up on Powder River under command of Big Bat.
There was quite a party of Sioux and Arapahos.
For some time some white men had been looking around the Agency for
Wyoming-blooded horses which had been stolen from them out there. Along
about this time, say in June, a small party of Cheyennes arrived—12 men &
3 women—with 125 head of horses, the identical horses these Wyoming men
had been looking for, and they took nearly all of them. The main party of Chey-
ennes had been gone some time with Mackenzie to the Indian Territory. This
little party of Cheyennes was under White Hawk their chief, who was the son
of Black Moccasin, known among the Cheyennes and Sioux as a noted chief.
Wild Hawk followed to the Indian Territory behind the main body.

Sun Dances

The first sun dance in 1877 took place about 3 miles northwest of the Agency,
over beyond the buttes where Red Cloud Butte is. Crazy Horse had camped
over in there on a creek, and a good many other Oglalas were camped over in
there. Before the sun dance was prepared the usual scouting party went out to
look for the Medicine Pole to be erected in the center of the dancing amphi-
theater. They knew before they were sent out where it was but the going out
was merely the form they always observe. They came back the same evening
they went out.
Next morning they went out to cut this pole. After they went out four young
men were picked out and also four girls; these four young men standing about

 
the pole to be cut they go through the formality of each telling of his brave ex-
ploits, each when through with his recital strikes the pole one blow with his
axe. These four selected girls now chop down the pole. When it falls, all the
Indians who have gone out, and the whole camp is there, send up a mighty
shout. A picked body of men and women, with sticks under the pole, ranged
on both sides now bear it off to the place where it is to be set up. Their rule is
not to stop but four times to rest. Now while all are out there they are getting
boughs and foliage to enclose the back side of their dancing quarters. On this
particular day Lieut. Clark was out to witness this pole-cutting. He was quick
to observe and get onto anything brewing. A great many half-bloods were also
out there as spectators. After they started for the camp—before the pole is
brought a kind of monument is erected as much like a man as they can make it;
and after the pole carriers take their last and fourth rest, the warriors from all
parts of the village rush to the point where the monument stands to see which
can first reach and touch it. After this is over they indulge in a sham battle.
On this occasion there came near being a real fight growing out of this sham
one.This sham battle was arranged to represent the Custer fight, and the Crazy
Horse Indians who had been in that were to take the side they had in that af-
fair, and the friendly Indians were to stand for the Custer soldiers. When this
fight was on, instead of striking the Custer party lightly as was usual some of
the others struck their opponents with clubs and war clubs hard blows.
Garnett was on the Custer side and when he and the others got enraged they
opened fire with their revolvers on the other side and drove them out of the
dancing camp. Clark was on a hill observing what was going on and he rushed
in and stopped the firing and prevented what might have been a serious affair.
A sun dance camp is formed by placing the lodges in a vast circle, some-
times two miles in diameter. In the center of the camp is made the dancing floor;
around this is built a pavilion in exactly circular form making the amphitheater
300 or 400 feet in diameter; this pavilion is made by setting posts in the ground
at some space apart, then poles are laid across and robes are spread over for
shade. On the southeast side of the pavilion it is open by a space of some 40
feet; and the outside is covered with branches and leaves, but the inside facing
the amphitheater is open. The sun dance continues from two to four days.
On the Medicine Pole the dancers hang their sacrifices. They cut their
breasts making incisions on each side and then thrusting sharp sticks through
the flesh and under the skin, between the two breasts tie a rope which is fas-
tened above to the Medicine Pole, they dance around the center pole, leaning

                       
backwards and hanging downward, the weight of their bodies drawing on their
lacerated breasts, the effect being to tear the flesh so that the sticks will be with-
drawn and they will be released from the rope.
Gifts are going on all the time. Children have their ears pierced now as well
as privately at other times. From one to three and sometimes four apertures
are made. At the sun dance the judges determine, according to the gifts a man
has made, how many incisions may be made in the ears of his children—the
greater the gifts the more credit and the larger number of punctures they are
entitled to. These sun dancers partake of neither food or drink for the time
they have sworn themselves in.
When the sticks are inserted in the breast they are also sometimes put into
the back or shoulders.
They also punish themselves by making punctures in their flesh on the arms
and shoulders and cutting off pieces with knives. These sticks in the breast are
by some sacrificers torn out by fastening the rope to the rider’s horse and urg-
ing him to apply the violence necessary to effect the sundering of the flesh.
The sun dance is a sacrificial performance. A brave bargains with the Great
Spirit; he covets a precious favor, it may involve the preservation of his life, or
the success of an important enterprise, and he tells the Great Spirit that if he
will protect and save him from the particular danger with which he is threat-
ened, or will aid him to succeed in his undertaking, he will dance the sun dance,
and he tells the Great Spirit sometimes just what sacrifice he will make or what
species of suffering he will undergo; it being understood invariably that sacri-
fice on these occasions is suffering. For instance, if a warrior is confronted by
enemies and he is in great danger, and in his extremity he turns to the Great
Spirit for aid and says to him if he will protect him from wounds and death in
the encounter that is coming and will give him victory over his assailant; or if
he is going to steal horses and having come to the camp to be robbed he tells
his God that if he will assist him to make the capture and to avoid the owners
and to escape with his booty, he will dance the sun dance. If for any reason
he cannot perform this promise, he withdraws himself from all the people and
goes to a distant hill and there does penance in solitary loneliness, sleeping
neither by day nor night, eating no food and drinking no drink.
Whatever the warrior promises in his appeal to the Great Spirit, that is what
he does in the sun dance.
Another sun dance was held in the same year 1877 on Chadron Creek near
where the crossing was near the Price and Jenks ranch built by Bob Pugh.76

 
This dance was about 10 days later than the Crazy Horse sun dance, and was
held by Red Cloud and Spotted Tail Indians, the latter predominating in num-
bers. Garnett did not attend this but Two Strike sent a horse from Spotted
Tail which Garnett had bought from him, by American Horse.77 Another sun
dance was started below Red Cloud Agency to the south of it, between the
Crazy Horse dance and the one on Chadron Creek, but one man started to
dance but the whole thing fell through, the camp broke on him—would not
hold together, as they wanted to attend the big one coming on Chadron Creek,
and it takes a good many Indians to carry through a sun dance.
There was a big sun dance in 1876 up against the hills between Ash Creek
and Trunk Butte, over in the Coxville neighborhood.This dance began June 12,
1876; and lasted about three days; he remembers the date because he had a son,
Charley Garnett, born on June 10. A lot of Cheyennes came up from Indian
Territory on their way to join Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull in the northwest,
and tarried at this dance. More description: There were always certain Indians
in the tribe whose special duty was to arrange the sun dance. When the pavil-
ion is completed the warriors ride in from all directions of the camp and hold
a dance on the ground where the sun dance is to take place for the purpose of
beating down the grass. An effigy of a man and a representation of a buffalo cut
out of a buffalo skin hang on the Medicine Pole. The dancers who are coming
to do the preliminary dancing are led by those braves who have done boastful
deeds which they have done and have represented in paintings on their horses.
They enter the dancing camp and shoot at the effigy with the belief that this
act will bring them an advantage in fighting men and help them to overcome
enemies. They shoot at the buffalo effigy under the belief that this act will as-
sist in the chase against these food animals and give success in their destruc-
tion. Before the pole is cut there is a preliminary dancing by those who are to
participate. This also is called the sun dance. There may be several parties to
dance around the Medicine Pole. Each party erects a tipi out in front of his or
their regular lodge and a feast is made at each place, the articles which have
been selected for this only being cooked, and one kettle being used. This danc-
ing lasts four nights, and the dancers dance the sun dance and sing sun dance
songs. If they want to make the dance short they use more than one kettle on
one night—they use two on one night.
In addition to sacrifices already described, they cut gashes in the back and
suspend buffalo heads expecting that these will tear out the thongs by which
they are held. Gashes are made in the back for six or eight buffalo heads which

                       
are fastened by long ropes to the perforated flesh, and these objects are dragged
on the ground around the camp, and while they commonly tear loose, if they
should fail to when the sacrificer has finished the circuit, the flesh is cut and he
is released. When he is making the circuit it is not unusual for someone behind
to drop on a head, causing it to be torn from him. Then some of the sacrifi-
cer’s family makes a present to the person who has done this. Another thing:
When the dancers are being prepared, the one who has vowed to sacrifice by
sticks in his breast must procure a person who has sacrificed in the same way
in a sun dance to do the gashing for him on his breast; and whatever the form
of sacrifice he is to perform he must find a person who has sacrificed before
him in the same manner.
These dancers believe that when they had their appeals responded to as
they prayed the Great Spirit to hear and answer them, that he actually did so
and that now they are merely redeeming the promise made to him.
When a sacrificer is ready to begin his performance, the Medicine Man an-
nounces to the Great Spirit that the man is about to do what he had promised
him he would do, and when he is through and has succeeded the Medicine
Man again tells the Great Spirit that the brave has performed as he promised,
with success, and beseeches him to help him again.

[Crazy Horse]

Following these events in quick succession are the known fragments a con-
spiracy of circumstances to end in a much-questioned and not more than half-
designed tragedy—the design not in a single mind—not personal, and impos-
sible of particular location. The death of Crazy Horse was as spectacular as it
was unexpected and momentous. It has been regarded by writers acquainted
with outside facts only—and with only some of these—as a plain, unromantic
affair. But it will be the province of this chapter to uncover some of the hidden
influences which hastened the end of this man’s life and cast over it an investi-
ture of the tenderest and saddest pathos.78
After his return from the north Crazy Horse fell into a domestic trap which
insensibly led him by gradual steps to his destruction. A half-blood woman,
not of the best frontier variety, not lightly measuring her intentions and power
by casting glances, but fixing her captivating gaze upon this man who had never
known fear or a single conqueror before, in defiance of the warnings which a
trustworthy advisor to whom he turned for counsel in the matter gave him, sur-
rendered to her as her husband.79 There cannot be the slightest question, for

 
the evidence of circumstances points unmistakably that way, that Crazy Horse
had come into the Agency with nothing but honorable intentions to accept the
terms of the government and the inevitable situation of affairs. His course was
induced by no misinterpretation; the influences and persuasions addressed to
his mind were not initiated by the government or borne by any of its direct
agents; the arguments and entreaties to which he listened fell not from any
white man’s lips but were uttered by tribesmen of his own blood; and he had
brought his people in at a season when they all might well have stayed out.
This alliancewas a misfortunewhich overcame this chief with ease, whereas,
had it been a case of bullets, his ability to extricate himself would have been
unequaled. This woman at once set about to imbue his mind with poisons.
In the course of the representations by the scouts who first went to Crazy
Horse and of the later ones made by Red Cloud on his trip north to see him he
was told of the contemplated mission to Washington by the Sioux Chiefs to lay
before the authorities the claim of the Oglalas to be allowed to remain in their
own country and to have an Agency there, notwithstanding the treaty of 1876.
So on his arrival at Red Cloud [Agency] Crazy Horse was not surprised with
any new proposition; nor was the journey to Washington, to be arranged for
him and his fellow chiefs anything which he had not before heard of and con-
sidered. An instance will be introduced in this connection, which shows that
Crazy Horse was arranging in his mind for the Washington mission, and that
his frame of mind was tranquil and pacific. Three or four days after he got back
Garnett, who was well acquainted with him and on account of his position as
interpreter was destined to have much intercourse with him, invited him and
Little Big Man and two or three others to dinner. It was on this occasion that he
remarked that he would begin to learn the use of the fork at the table. He said he
had got it to do. And then he began to ask Garnett questions about the traveling
to Washington; how the Indians were provided for; all of which were answered
to his satisfaction by this interpreter who had been there as Agency interpreter
for Dr. Seville in 1875. From the moment that this insidious and evil woman
came into Crazy Horse’s confidence and exerted her invidious arts disaffection
began to assert itself over him. She told him the trip to Washington was a trick
to get him out of his country and keep him; that if he went away he would not
be allowed to return. These representations might not have been insurmount-
able but for another conspiring circumstance which went a long way with Crazy
Horse to confirm what his new (his second or double) wife had said. Black
Elk who had fought in the Fetterman massacre and had a leg crushed which

                       
made him a partial cripple for life, and had always been an inveterate hater
of the encroaching whites, possessed the same type of spirit as Crazy Horse
to whom he would most naturally become endeared through association and
sympathy, added his own vicious suggestions to those of this woman.80 He re-
peated substantially the same silly falsehoods. John Provost, the son-in-law of
Black Elk, one of the Indian scouts, likewise had the chief ’s ear into which he,
too, poured the same misleading strain.81 These latter tried to convince Crazy
Horse that when once he was conveyed east he would be imprisoned; perhaps
placed upon some island in the sea and indefinitely confined, or otherwise dis-
posed of so that he would never return. The talk of the day in relation to the
Modoc affair and the punishment meted out by the government was fresh on
the popular tongue and did not fail of furnishing a horrible example to excite
the imagination of this warrior, though he possessed as little imagination as the
ordinary man possibly could.82 The foundations of his better disposition were
broken up not very long afterward. Lieutenant Clark had him and some 20 of
his warriors up to his headquarters to see what could be done in his camp in
getting scouts for service in the northwest against the Nez Perces.
All the scouts that had been sent out from Fort Robinson got back about
August. Just about the time these got home another trouble rises in the West,
and they were heading this way and entered about the same territory that Crazy
Horse and Sitting Bull used to roam over. Lieut. Clark got word of the trouble;
he told the scouts to get ready, that they were liable to be called on most any
time to start out. Meantime he sent for Spotted Tail who came up. A wrangle
came up over the pay; and there was a kind of deadlock (or something like a
deadlock) about the scouts going out from his agency. Spotted Tail went back
before there was an agreement. At this time Gruard & Big Bat were back and
around the place. Garnett was to go this time with the scouts; they were all to be
taken again. Garnett was set to work among the Red Cloud Indians letting them
know there were chances for more scouts to be enlisted, and he was met with
favorable responses. When returning from the Agency to the Fort he met Gru-
ard who accosted him, saying, ‘‘Billy go back to Lieut. Clark’s office; it is too
hot for me.’’ ‘‘What’s the matter?’’ He says: ‘‘Crazy Horse is up there with his
people.’’ Garnett reached Clark’s office and found some 20 northern Indians in
the room when he went in. Clark directed him to ask Crazy Horse if he would
not go out with the scouts and some of his men; that the Nez Perces were out &
up in the country where he used to roam.83 Crazy Horse said, ‘‘No.’’ Garnett did
not know what had taken place with Gruard but he could see that Crazy Horse

 
was not right. Crazy Horse continued: ‘‘I told him (Lt. Clark) what I wanted
to do. We are going to move; we are going out there to hunt. You are too soft;
you can’t fight’’ (speaking to Clark). Clark answered, ‘‘You can’t go out there.
The trouble is I don’t want anybody to go out there. That is the reason I am
trying to get scouts to go out there, to head them off from that country.’’ Crazy
Horse said: ‘‘If you want to fight Nez Perces, go out and fight them; we don’t
want to fight; we are going out to hunt.’’ ‘‘You cannot go out there, I tell you,’’
said Clark. That was all. Crazy Horse turned and remarked to his Indians, say-
ing, ‘‘These people can’t fight; what do they want to go out there for? Let’s go
home; this is enough of this,’’ and they all obeyed him and went right out.
This passage with Crazy Horse was a revelation, though nothing was spo-
ken out on the subject. Something was wrong, and this evident fact was soon
to receive what seemed to be corroboration. Gen. Crook shortly arrived, and
it was arranged to hold a council the next day out on White Clay Creek, along
which the Oglalas were collected, and two miles southeast of Red Cloud. Crazy
Horse had his camp at the mouth of this stream, some six miles below the
Agency. Just a few Cheyennes were around the Agency. All the chiefs had been
notified. Garnett and Pourier who were to be present had been told next morn-
ing to meet Crook and Clark in front of Frank Yates’ store at the Agency.84 In
the meantime these two had gone to Garnett’s house northeast of the Agency
buildings. Woman’s Dress happened to join them, and learning their business
as they were going back to meet the two officers, he unraveled a tale which
brought the most important affair of the day to sudden pause.85 He recounted
how Crazy Horse had planned to meet General Crook in an apparently friendly
manner and intention to shake hands, and then treacherously to take his life,
while his adherents would kill his attendants. At the store when all the parties
met this information was imparted to the General who received it with some in-
credulity, yet weighed it with that consideration which a prudent man would,
and had it not been for the assurances of Pourier that Woman’s Dress was
veracious, and the plea of his subordinate against his going farther, he would
probably have proceeded to the council. After giving directions to Garnett to
repair to the place of meeting, and select from the chiefs such as were known to
be of the loyal brand, excluding all the northern chiefs who had lately come in,
and quietly notify them to come to headquarters at the Fort [Crook returned to
Fort Robinson]. In two or three hours they were all gathered at the fort in the
presence of Gen. Crook and Lieut. Clark. The meeting was held in the recep-
tion room of Col. Bradley’s residence.86 There were present: Red Cloud (?),

                       
Red Dog, Young Man Afraid Of His Horse, Little Wound, Slow Bull, Ameri-
can Horse, Yellow Bear, Chief Dog, Blue Horse, Three Bears, Frank Gruard,
William Garnett, Baptiste Pourier (?) and possibly some others.87
The Woman’s Dress story was repeated to the assemblage, and the chiefs
learned for the first time why the council had failed.The business transacted all
related to the disarming of Crazy Horse and the scouts in his camp. This was
simply an undoing under the most trying and dangerous surroundings of the
unhappily mistaken policies of Lieut. Clark in treating those newly-returned
northern Indians in the matter of enlisting scouts on an equality with those
who had been in service and tested by utmost experience. Crook put the ques-
tion to the chiefs how the movement against Crazy Horse should be planned
and managed. It was their opinion which was finally adopted that each chief
present should pick two of his best men who should have a support of other
warriors, all to go in the night to the camp of Crazy Horse and surround it
and call out the chief and his scouts who had been armed for service to the
government, and to require them to give up the guns and revolvers, and if he
refused, they were to be taken even at the cost of Crazy Horse’s life.88 Crook
told Clark to issue ammunition for this service, and the chiefs were directed to
return to their camps and make due preparations for the work that night. Then
the General immediately took his departure for Sidney. He had been gone but
a few hours when Col. Bradley, who was in command of the Post, sent for the
interpreter to learn what maneuver was about to take place. The Agent was
there from Red Cloud with his interpreter (Dr. Irwin and Leon Pallady) and
He Dog, one of the northern chiefs under Crazy Horse.89 The startling under-
taking had leaked out through the Indians. Bradley was desirous to find out
from the interpreter what had transpired at the recent conferences, but he was
reluctant to make any communication in the presence of others; so the room
was cleared, and when the Colonel and the interpreter had entered a more
secluded apartment the officer was told to repeat what he had heard. When he
had done this Garnett confirmed what had reached his ear. Bradley said it was
too bad to get after a man of the standing of Crazy Horse in this manner in the
nighttime without his knowing anything about it. ‘‘They ought to do this in
broad daylight. There are plenty more soldiers after we are gone. The life of
Crazy Horse is just as sweet to him as my life is to me. It was a mistake in the
first place to let him have pistol and gun,’’ said Bradley.
Lieut. Clark immediately sent for Garnett and dispatched him to counter-
mand, under directions from Bradley, the preparations which were then in

 
progress to move that night with an armed force to Crazy Horse’s camp; and
to leave orders with each chief to appear at an early hour the next morning
with all his warriors. These having arrived, between seven and eight o’clock,
the command consisting of Indians under all the chiefs before-mentioned, sev-
eral companies of Cavalry under Lt. Col. Mason, and some cannon and gatling
guns which marched down the south side of the White River; and Lieut. Clark
with Little Wound’s Cutoff band of Oglalas, the Arapahos and a small number
of Cheyennes, [began] moving down the north side of the River.90 Specifying
more fully the forces on the south side, they were in this way: Garnett went
over to the Oglala camp and led the Indians along from their camp until Col.
Mason was moving in their rear. When these forces were on the march couriers
were passing at high speed between the camp and the advancing column on the
south, keeping the camp advised of what was taking place. Garnett and a few
of the best informed Indian scouts were extremely solicitous and suspicious
regarding the main body of the Indians that were marching toward the camp,
for among these were many Crazy Horse Indians and, besides these a large ma-
jority of the others were considered ticklish and unsafe in the extreme; so these
men who had this knowledge and concern, passing word around among the
trusty ones, had them gather in a body by themselves and march apart from the
rest; so that in the event of a battle those who were in the procession in the guise
of friends yet would be certain to assist the other side, should not have quite
everything their own way by taking these wholly at disadvantage. When within
half a mile of the camp Little Big Man who had been going and coming con-
tinually, now met the Indians again, bringing word this time that Crazy Horse
had fled, taking with him his fullblood wife, Kicking Bear, and Shell Boy.91
The command was halted. Something like seventy of Crazy Horse’s braves had
collected on a knoll on the east side of the creek about 600 yards above the
River. A boy about fifteen years of age dashed down from this hill and passed
through the halted Indians, men standing apart to let him through. This was
pretty strong evidence that his friends had insinuated themselves among the
supposedly friendly Indians. After this came a man, Black Fox, magnificently
decked in war costume, who rode down from the hill on a gallop and speaking
these words: ‘‘I have been looking all my life to die; I see only the clouds and
the ground; I am all scarred up.’’ 92 Drawing his knife, he placed it between his
teeth. At this instant American Horse, standing with the body of selected Indi-
ans, advanced a few steps and holding in his hand a pipe, extended it toward
Black Fox saying: ‘‘Think of thewomen and children behind you; come straight

                       
for the pipe; the pipe is yours.’’ Black Fox ejaculated, ‘‘How.’’ The two met and
smoked.Then Black Fox spoke again: ‘‘Crazy Horse is gone. He listened to too
many bad talks. I told him we came in for peace, but he would listen to them.
Now he is gone and the people belong to me. I come to die, but you saved me.’’
His warriors were riding in a drill of the most beautiful fashion and keeping
near to his person while this talking and smoking had been taking place. He
now cried out to them: ‘‘All over. Go back.’’ They returned in perfect order to
the camp. American Horse told Black Fox now that they were coming to get
Crazy Horse’s arms, but as he was gone he supposed they would all probably
have to move up to the Agency. Black Fox said they would move; and this was
done the same day. (Black Fox. This chief was a surprise to Garnett who had
never heard of him. He rose up without a moment’s notice like a Viking. The
Indians have the most laudatory accounts of him as a brave Indian. Some of
them speak of him as the last of the race of brave Oglalas. The way he rode
down to meet the army from the fort shows he was a man of the purest and
grandest courage. He came to the front that morning unheralded, but it was
seen that the warriors were under most perfect discipline. A word and a wave
of the hand and the braves behind him caparisoned for conflict, boiling with
passion and thirsting for blood calmed down from a tempestuous lake of fire to
a quiet company of warriors who went demurely to their tents at his bidding.
The Indians with Garnett knew that day that Black Fox was a prominent In-
dian among them. When he came forward he said that when Crazy Horse was
not there he was the chief—that the people were his. He was worthy of them.
He got away with others from one of the Agencies in 1877 and went north and
crossed into Canada with Sitting Bull; and when he returned among the last
and on the way in he was killed in a fight with some other tribe of Indians. He
was remarkably cool and self-possessed, never exhibiting the slightest excite-
ment under the most sudden surprise. His relations were all noted for their
courage. His relatives are: Black Fox, his father, was a chief signing the Manay-
dier treaty made next year after Fauts was killed at mouth of Horse Creek,
and the treaty was effected at Fort Laramie;93 Kicking Bear, the Messiah, died
about 3 years ago; Flying Hawk who lives on east side of W. K. Cr. and ¾ miles
south of White River and was in the Custer battle, and can tell about the death
of Lieut. Harrington, was a half-brother to Black Fox, who was in command
when Crazy Horse fled; these are all the blood relations he can mention, and
all related to this second Black Fox.)94
Lieut. Clark soon crossed over to where the main command rested. He

 
promptly dispatched 30 Indian scouts under No Flesh in pursuit of Crazy
Horse, who had just been seen at some distance. Twenty-five more were se-
lected from the main body, placed under charge of No Water and sent forward
on the same errand.95
All the Indians and troops now went back. All the outlying Indians were
brought up close to the Agency, and when they had pitched their lodges in
close order the camp covered more than a section of ground. Garnett thinks
there were at least 700 Indians in line when they marched down to the camp.
Garnett did not go down to Fort [Camp] Sheridan. He is now stating second
hand, and will give the report of the scouts.
The scouts did not come within shooting distance of Crazy Horse that day
but were in sight of him. The woman was seen in the lead & the three men be-
Garnett explains C. Horse’s own system of retreating which is always talked
about by the Indians. He always ran down hill and across the level country
but slowed down to a walk at the foot of a hill, and when he got to the top his
horses were fresh and in this way he conserved the strength of his animals. The
scouts complained that this was his tactics on this flight. While they kept about
so near to him for a long time, they noticed toward the end he was lengthen-
ing the distance between them, because his way of using his steeds saved them
while his pursuers racing up hill and down were wearing theirs out, when at
length ten miles from Fort Sheridan they were played out. Lone Horn was a
celebrated chief of the Minneconjous who resided on the Cheyenne Agency
[Whetstone No. 1] which is a very old Agency, being on the River (Mo.).96 He
was the chief who in Washington when the Black Hills was raised as a ques-
tion by President Grant told him that the delegation would not consider the
matter there where there were only a few gathered; but that if the government
wanted to treat about the Hills to come out west where all the Indians could
be met and where all could take a part.
Touch the Cloud was the son of Lone Horn and succeeded his father in the
chieftancy on the Cheyenne Agency (The present chief—1907—son of Touch
the Cloud succeeded his father when the latter died three or four years ago;
but he bears the name of his noted grand father, Lone Horn.)97
Touch the Cloud was in command of the Indian camp near Camp Sheri-
dan. His father may have been and probably was living at this time. Touch the
Cloud was one of the Indians who held out in the north with Crazy Horse. His
people were Minneconjous; and while they did not properly belong at Spotted

                       
Tail Agency, yet Chief Spotted Tail brought them along with him and with
those who belonged to him when he came with the party that he went up north
after. He did not drop or scatter these Minneconjous on the Cheyenne Reser-
vation. The Indians composing this reservation were made up of two bands—
the Minneconjous and the No Bows. Those latter were so named by the early
French who passed through or occupied this country. These No Bows are the
Sans Arcs (Without Bows).98
Red Bear was a sub-chief under Touch the Cloud.99
An omission from the story of Woman’s Dress was made.
Crazy Horse was killed by lies and liars. Woman’s Dress was a scout. He
pretended that he had been keeping a brief on Crazy Horse after his return
from the north. He said that Little Wolf, who stayed in that camp was learn-
ing from Crazy Horse the intentions of that chief.100 This Little Wolf is not the
Cheyenne chief by that name but a Sioux Indian who had been in the Custer
battle. He was a brother to Lone Bear.101 Woman’s Dress’ claim was that Little
Wolf was keeping Lone Bear, his brother, advised of what he found out, and
then Lone Bear told it all to Woman’s Dress. Woman’s Dress was magnifying
his own consequence by making it appear that he was doing voluntary detec-
tive work for the benefit of the public service.
His political antecedents must be taken into account to understand him.
He belonged to the Bad Face band over which was Red Cloud.102
Lone Bear was also a Bad Face on his mother’s side, and it is barely pos-
sible that he was being actuated by precisely the same motives that Woman’s
Dress was, though this can be mentioned only on supposition. The Bad Faces
had the reputation all over the Oglala tribe of seeking to be chiefs. They were
much occupied with Indian politics, and were reputed to be tricky, an insepa-
rable art from the actual manipulations of partisan politics without reference
to the color of the actors. This slur or twit or sneer was always being thrown
up in the Indian councils at or about these Bad Faces when some of them was
cropping or tasseling out with schemes or ambitions in this line.
This story of a plan to kill General Crook and his attendants, as in the case
of Gen. Canby and Rev. Thomas, was a fabrication. The reason for it must be
sought in the secret corners and crevices of the human mind. These are alike
to the understanding—identical in all men to the student of human nature. I
have stated Woman’s Dress’ political antecedents as a fact to aid in accounting
for his falsehood.
About ten years after these occurrences Little Wolf and Garnett were sit-

 
ting in the guardhouse at Pine Ridge talking over old times when Little Wolf
asked, reflectively: ‘‘What do you suppose caused Crazy Horse to be killed?’’
Quick as lightning Garnett replied, ‘‘You killed Crazy Horse!’’ This he said,
remembering the tale that Woman’s Dress had told in 1877 of Little Wolf ’s part
in eavesdropping and reporting to Lone Bear. Garnett believed that if Little
Wolf had not done that, that Crazy Horse would not have been the subject of so
much gossip and the victim of misrepresentation and an innocent conspiracy
of army officers to confine him and that his life, instead of being a forfeit, would
have been saved.
‘‘You killed Crazy Horse!’’
Little Wolf stared as he paused to collect his senses. Had a thunderbolt shiv-
ered the roof of the building the Indian could not have been more astounded.
‘‘I killed Crazy Horse?’’ he inquired in a reasoning way, like one recovering
from a reeling blow. ‘‘I—how can that be? I who fought with him all through
the north—have always been with him—was his friend—how did I kill Crazy
Horse?’’ Garnett coolly told him the story with which Woman’s Dress had re-
galed Garnett, Pourier, and General Crook and Lieut. Clark in 1877. Little Wolf
denounced his part of it as a base falsehood, and declared that he should see
Lone Bear on the subject to find out if he ever told Woman’s Dress such a story.
Afterwards—not long afterwards—Garnett was at Pine Ridge and so was
Woman’s Dress. The latter began a conversation betraying easily enough that
Little Wolf had been calling him to account for his misrepresentations.
He was abusive to Garnett, calling him a liar for what he had said, denying
that he had ever stated that Little Wolf and Lone Bear had acted such parts,
and affirming now that he himself it was who overheard the secret utterances
of Crazy Horse—that he had sat behind him enveloped in his blanket when
the chief was unbosoming himself supposedly in secret.103 The mischievous
prevaricator had, in the course of justice which ever runs in a circuit, been
overtaken and entrapped; and he had recourse to the device of cutting Little
Wolf and Lone Bear out of the piece of his weaving and putting himself in; this
would make him the sole master of the whole story. It was now nothing more
than a game to save his reputation. But he was too late. There was one factor he
could not eliminate. Baptiste Pourier had joint knowledge with Garnett of all
the facts. Both men were known to speak truth—truth—truth.While Woman’s
Dress was arraigning Garnett with severity, Pourier unexpectedly appeared,
his presence in the neighborhood not being known. Garnett applied to him
and recited what Woman’s Dress had said. Pourier asked Woman’s Dress if

                       
that was what he said. ‘‘Yes,’’ was the answer. ‘‘Woman’s Dress, you are a liar!’’
exclaimed Pourier whose eyes flashed with indignation. The last story was not
like the first, with which Pourier was as familiar as Garnett. Woman’s Dress
had caused to be spread among the officers at the post a falsehood against
Crazy Horse imputing to him the basest criminal purpose. It precipitated the
immediate marshaling of force against him—his flight—his pursuit—his vol-
untary return—the deception to get him into the guardhouse and close the
doors on him before he should suspect he was a prisoner—his discovery of be-
trayal at the last instant—his revolt—the fierce struggle—his mortal wound—
his death. Pourier was a relative of Woman’s Dress (cousins by marriage); he
it was who piled on the last straw to add force to Lieut. Clark’s argument to
prevail on Gen. Crook to abandon the council which he had called with the
Indians, and which made that argument effective by declaring that Woman’s
Dress was one of the most credible of Indians. (Woman’s Dress had credit for
saving Crook’s life by keeping him away from the council. Bosh.)
In 1889 when Gen. Crook was negotiating the treaty which is known by his
name, this matter was discussed with him at Pine Ridge by Garnett and Pou-
rier together, and he was informed of the deception of Woman’s Dress and how
his falsehood had been detected and exposed.104 When the subject was laid
before him in 1877 and the council was given over, he remarked that he did not
like to start to do a thing and not finish it. In 1889 he remarked thoughtfully
that he always thought that he should have gone to that council.

Crazy Horse Continues His Retreat

This same day that Crazy Horse fled from his camp below Red Cloud, he
reached the camp of Touch the Cloud. His arrival threw the camp into the
wildest excitement, and the warriors mounted their steeds and came out to
meet the scouts.
The Touch the Cloud camp was on the Beaver Creek where Frank M. Conn
now (1907) lives, about three miles below Camp Sheridan.105
The warriors ran the first party of scouts into Camp Sheridan. The horses
belonging to the scouts were put into the quartermaster’s corral, and the scouts
were quartered in a building where they would be protected from the infuriated
braves. As the Indians belonging to Touch the Cloud’s camp were coming up
to Camp Sheridan, Crazy Horse among the number, the Spotted Tail Indians
who were scattered in camps, and the Indian scouts who belonged to Camp
Sheridan, were all gathering at this point. Just as all these different bands got

 
there the second party which Lieut. Clark had set off in pursuit, arrived at
the camp and the Touch the Cloud Indians made a burst for them. They were
armed with guns, clubs and one particular Indian had a mighty lance with
which he made blood-curdling sweeps and passes at the scouts who had come
from Fort Robinson.The Spotted Tail scouts by great exertions kept the Touch
the Cloud Indians fended off while the assailed scouts were hurrying forward
with all the speed they were able in their worried condition to make, till at
length they found safety from further assault at the Agency to which place they
had to be helped for accommodations.
(See Louie Bordeaux and Charles Taggart at Rosebud, the interpreters, for
particulars of the negotiation at Camp Sheridan.)106
Next day Crazy Horse accompanied by the Indian Agent Lee, his inter-
preter Louie Bordeaux, and a great number of Touch The Cloud and Spotted
Tail Indians, proceeded to Fort Robinson, arriving late in the day, fully two
hours before sunset.
A scout flew from Red Cloud Agency bearing news to the post that Crazy
Horse was coming.
Crazy Horse and the party with him rode directly up to the adjutant’s office.
He was under guard when he arrived. It seems that Spotted Tail and perhaps
others in conjunction, had arranged for Crazy Horse to go with some of the offi-
cers at Spotted Tail and some of his own Indians to Fort Robinson, and it was
further arranged for the Fort Robinson Indian scouts to follow behind, start-
ing a long distance behind, and gradually to draw on and overtake him and go
in with him surrounded by them as well as the guards with whom he started.
He started from Spotted Tail under guard. The cavalcade halted in front of the
adjutant’s office on the south side of the parade ground. Dismounting, they
entered the building, followed by some two dozen Indians.107
(Garnett was not in this conference and cannot give any account.)
At length they all went out, Crazy Horse between the officer of the day and
Little Big Man, each of whom held him by the arm.108 It was about fifty feet to
the guardhouse, a one-story building having two apartments. In the west end
was the room for the detention of prisoners. This was communicated with at
this time through a door entering from the east room, and this was approached
from the north side where there was a closed awning, open at the east end. A
military guard was pacing his beat before this entry, with bayonet fixed and
his gun on his shoulder. The officer and Little Big Man, with Crazy Horse
in charge, passed in followed by Indians. Outside was a multitude of Indians

                       
trembling with anger, two sides, each with cocked revolvers in hand, bend-
ing and swaying like crouching tigers ready to spring at each other’s throats.
Against the adjutant’s office in the space between that and the guardhouse the
adherents of Crazy Horse are lined up; opposite and against the other build-
ing are the scouts forming a part of the garrison.
As they walked toward the guardhouse Little Big Man kept talking to Crazy
Horse and assuring him that whenever he was taken he would go with him and
stand by him.
South of these immediate buildings and toward Soldier Creek farther be-
yond, teams, horses and Indians were packed in and around that space and
the commissary buildings occupying part of it, teams, horses and Indians in a
seething mass.
A noise was heard in the building where Crazy Horse had entered. Indians
came flying out crying ‘‘It’s a guardhouse! it’s a guardhouse!’’ There was great
uproar within. Indians kept pouring out in a panic. Clanking chains could now
be heard. It is but a minute and prisoners from the cell are on the scene outside
with balls to their ankles. Others are coming out as if their hope is to escape.
As the struggle in the building continues the tumult outside increases.
When the inner door was opened to pass Crazy Horse in, it dawned on him
for the first time that he was a prisoner going into confinement. He jumped
back to escape and drew his knife. Little Big Man seized him by the arms
and a desperate struggle between the two ensued, the prisoner endeavoring
to set himself free. At length they appeared in the open air. The two whirled
into the space between the scouts and the surging Indians on the opposite
side. Crazy Horse is a small man while his antagonist is short, thick, heavily
built and weighs about 170 pounds. Indian scouts repeatedly raise their revol-
vers to fire at Crazy Horse. The officer of the day moving up and down with
drawn sword forbids each successively to discharge his firearms. It sounds like
a growl as Crazy Horse repeats, ‘‘Let me go! let me go! let me go!’’ A scout
leaps forward and grasps the revolver from his belt. A chorus of voices warn
him not to shoot. Gaining an advantage for an instant, Crazy Horse twists his
wrist which holds the knife and inflicts an ugly wound in Little Big Man’s fore-
arm. Swift Bear, chief of the orn Band, 109 and one or two others spring to the
assistance of the disabled combatant who About this juncture the sentinel who
had been gazing at the contest brought down his piece and extended his arms
at full length as if making a thrust. At the precise instant that this was done,
Crazy Horse swung himself around toward the soldier with great force in a

 
desperate effort to break loose, and the bayonet pierced him in the side, pass-
ing nearly through his body and into both kidneys. ‘‘Let me go; you’ve got me
hurt now,’’ exclaimed Crazy Horse The bayonet was instantly withdrawn. ‘‘Let
me go, you’ve got me hurt now!’’ exclaimed Crazy Horse. These were his last
words of which there is any account. Little Big Man was still holding on to
him. Some Indian, said to be an uncle of Crazy Horse, moved by this last ap-
peal, thrust Little Big Man in the stomach with the butt of a gun, saying, ‘‘You
are always in the way.’’ The blow felled him sent him backwards to the ground.
As his hold was released Swift Bear, chief of the Corn band, and some others
caught Crazy Horse.110 In a moment he sank to the ground. A scout, Yankton
Charley (also called Plenty Wolf ) leaps forward and grasps the revolver from
Crazy Horse’s belt. He holds it in the air and shouts that he has the revolver.
The Indian who had knocked down Little Big Man jerked it from his hand. In a
moment Crazy Horse sank to the ground. About this juncture the sentinel who
had been gazing at the contest brought down his piece and extended his arms
at full length as if making a thrust. At the precise instant this was done Crazy
Horse swung himself around toward the soldier with great force in a supreme
effort to break loose and the bayonet pierced him in the side, passing almost
through his body and wounding both kidneys. ‘‘Let me go! you’ve got me hurt
now!’’ The bayonet was instantly withdrawn. So far as known these were his
last words. He sank to the ground. He had fought his last fight. The statement
here made as to the bayonet performance is given without change from the per-
sonal interviews had with Chief American Horse and William Garnett both of
whom saw the particular act and are confident that the killing of Crazy Horse
was not intentional by the soldier was not intentional.111
(Insert footnote of death and affirmance of intention to kill by soldier who
died in Washington.)112
Now occurred an incident showing how like wild animals human beings
are sometimes swayed when under excitement. The followers of Crazy Horse
were now induced by someone to withdraw along the road to the Red Cloud
Agency as far as Col. Bradley’s residence at the northeast corner of the quadri-
lateral enclosing the parade ground. The scouts and the chiefs also withdrew
to Lieut. Clark’s residence at the northwest corner. A short consultation was
had there. Crazy Horse in the meantime was lying on the ground alone in a
dying condition. At length the two crowds started back simultaneously. On
the way around in rear of the soldiers barracks both went to take up their old
positions. The scouts gained a few steps and were on the ground a moment in

                       
advance of the others. A strong guard several ranks deep was thrown from the
southwest corner of the adjutant’s office diagonally to the southwest closing
the space between the two buildings to all ingress by the Crazy Horse Indians
so they could not occupy front ground from the rear as before. But in front of
these buildings the grounds were swarming. The study now was how to avoid
a conflict over possession of the dying man’s body. Chief American Horse who
was always celebrated for his diplomacy (smoothness at deception) had di-
rected the scouts when coming back to have some blankets ready to carry the
wounded man on into the adjutant’s office; for he was going to play the other
side a trick. Then when all was ready he stood forth and addressing the crowd,
said: ‘‘Maybe the man is badly hurt and maybe he is not; we will take him into
the same place where they had the talk, and see how much he is hurt, and
probably the Indian doctors can save him. It will not do to let him lie here.’’
Then the blankets were spread on the ground and Crazy Horse was lifted on
to them and carried into the building. When this was accomplished American
Horse with the calmness and effrontery of the successful deceiver came to the
door and shouted, ‘‘We have the body now and you can’t have it! We’ve been
arguing over this but we’ve got him in the house now! You can’t have him.’’
The soldiers at the various barracks were in great activity getting prepared
to fall into line if needed. Darkness was gathering and the crowds began to dis-
perse. Dr. McGillicuddy, the surgeon was sent for.113
He said it was wonderful to observe the vitality Crazy Horse displayed in
living. His age was about thirty-two.
The father of Crazy Horse 114 came that night to watch with his hero-son
while the candle of life was burning low and fading out. Baptiste Pourier,
William Garnett, Louie Bordeaux and Frank Gruard slept in the adjoining
room. At daylight Crazy Horse senior shook Garnett. All he said was, ‘‘Crazy
Horse is dead.’’
A hand shook him. He opened his eyes. A form was bending over him. It
was the father of Crazy Horse. ‘‘Billy, get up.’’ He paused, and then all he said
was, ‘‘Crazy Horse is dead!’’
Crazy Horse senior came up from the camp to watch that night with his
hero-son while the light of life was fading out. He brought with him his bow
and arrows and hunting knife and at Lieut. Clark’s headquarters asked to be
permitted to stay with him. He was told that he might, but that he must leave
his arms. Then he was searched and his bow and arrows and knife were taken
and put away. The elder Crazy Horse then went down to the adjutant’s office

 
where the younger Crazy Horse was lying on a pallet on the floor. Here he
waited and watched till the night had ebbed away. When daylight had come he
thought of his bow and arrows. He must have these. He went to Lieut. Clark’s
headquarters. In one of the rooms William Garnett, Baptiste Pourier, Louie
Bordeaux and Frank Gruard were sleeping. At Garnett’s head the window was
up. Under Garnett’s head were two big revolvers. Under Pourier’s head were
two more. Under Bordeaux’s, one. These three were lying in a row. Gruard
was sleeping on the opposite side of the room in a corner. At Garnett’s head
a window was up. A hand shook him. He opened his eyes. A form standing
on the outside was leaning in at the window and bending over him. It was the
father of Crazy Horse. ‘‘Nephew, get up; my son is dead.’’ Then he called for
his bow and quiver and knife. These were not given to him at the time, as it was
not regarded as prudent to do so. When an Indian mourned for one who had
fallen by a white man’s hand, it was accounted among them the proper thing to
kill some white man person. Therefore this precaution. Whatever the old man
might have done at the moment of greatest grief, it is due to him to say that his
later life and conduct showed him to be a good Indian.115
That day the body of Crazy Horse was removed in an ambulance to the
camp of his people at Red Cloud. It had not been an easy thing to find two per-
sons to perform this duty. At last two Indian scouts volunteered. It was feared
that some outbreak in the camp might end in the killing of those who should
bear the remains. On the way down an Indian, said to be the same uncle of
Crazy Horse who had been so conspicuous in laying out Little Big Man and
snatching the revolver away from Yankton Charley, leveled his gun at the driver
who fell over involuntarily fell over into the lap of the attendant by his side.116
The latter dissuaded the Indian from taking a shot, and the ambulance pro-
ceeded. The body was taken by the Indians to Spotted Tail Agency, wrapped
in blankets and deposited according to the Indian custom. A pen was built of
poles around it.117 When the Indians were removed to the Missouri River in
the fall of that year the body was placed in a cave in the butte rock three or four
miles north of the Agency and about east of where Frank M. Conn lives on Bea-
ver Creek. When the Indians were returning from the Missouri River in 1878,
between the head of Wounded Knee Creek and where the beef corral is, two tra-
vois were seen moving on the road toward the east. A man was on a hill crying. It
was said to be the same uncle of Crazy Horse who had been so prominent at the
time of his death. Someone passing at the time told others who saw the travois
and heard the lamentation, that it was the body of Crazy Horse being removed.

                       
An Indian named Chipps, living six miles south of Kyle, claims to have superin-
tended all the removals of the body and to have it in his possession for sale now.
Crazy Horse was about thirty-two years of age.
Before the Days of Agencies the Minneconjous and Uncpapas were Mis-
souri River Indians just as the Oglalas and Brules were what might be called
Platte River Indians. The Minneconjous and Sitting Bull Indians lived on the
Missouri and adjacent country; the others clung to the line of the other river,
the Republican, South Platte, etc. So when the treaty of 1851 was made the
government got these widely separated tribes together for that purpose. See
first book of William Garnett’s Statement, [Tablet 1] which begins January 10,
1907, where the account commences of the trip of the Indian delegation to
Washington, which is the next event of importance related by Mr. Garnett. In
the account as given in that book there is one omission which I will supply at
this point. It is to state in substance what President Hayes said in his speech
to the Indians, in addition to what is given in the other book. [Not included.]
Next in the order of Mr. Garnett’s statement is the removal of the Indians
to the Missouri River. This began in the first book. In that book the narrative
leaves the Indians after they have been taken down. Some facts of important
interest belonging to that trip were omitted and they will be here supplied. (For
some account of Lone Horn and Touch the Cloud, see p.87.) [Given earlier
in this tablet.]
(Sitting Bull and his band belonged to the Standing Rock Reservation.)
Touch the Cloud belonged to the Cheyenne River Reservation, made up
of Minneconjous and Sans Arcs.
These were Crazy Horse or Northern Indians who had come in with
Spotted Tail, as heretofore explained, and had their camp at the mouth of the
Beaver. They had no tribal connection with the Spotted Tail or Brule Indi-
ans, and they did not move Riverward with Spotted Tail, but when the Ogla-
las from Red Cloud came along down the river these Cheyenne River Agency
Indians fell in with them and went along. In the course of the journey down
[there were] three deflections and cleavages from the main column. When at a
point where Interior, S.D. now is, a considerable body wheeled out and went
north. Before the Indians turned out to leave, the Agent, Dr. Irwin, and the two
companies of cavalry under Major (?) Vroom and Capt. Lawson (afterwards
killed in the Apache campaign)118 and lieut. Clark who was in charge of all the
government teams and scouts, and the Chief Herder, Ed. Stevenson, went on
ahead from Interior, leaving behind Ben Tibbitts, the butcher, Wm. Garnett,

 
chief interpreter for the scouts who was also helping about the wagons which
were very numerous and carrying luggage for the Indians, and Frank Yates and
John Deere [Dear] the traders, and the beef herd all the government trains haul-
ing Indians’ baggage, the bull trains hauling the Agency property and Indians
rations, and the train that hauled the Indians who had no conveyance. Some
light trains hauling the Agent’s personal supplies and the supplies for the sol-
diers went ahead. Paddock’s store, with a man named Thompson in charge,
also went ahead.
Tibbitts made a beef issue here. The column stayed here a few days. When
they started the Crazy Horse Indians broke camp and wanted all the Indians to
follow, but they would not, there were quite a lot of the northern Indians who
would not go. Low Dog, a northern chief an upstart recently who belonged to
the Lame Deer band and was a brave man, he led these Indians off.119 Black Fox
also went away. Low Dog died at Cheyenne Agency (Northern) abt. 1894. Just
about half of the northern Indians left. Garnett sent a courier to notify Clark,
and Clark sent a message to the Missouri River so that it could be sent by wire
to intercept them with soldiers. The soldiers went after them but the Indians
had crossed the Missouri River ahead of them & they got away. The Indians
had begun lagging along down the river at the rate of 7 or 8 miles a day claiming
that their horses were jaded and could not stand it to travel faster. They were
possuming—saving their horses for a hard march after they should break away
& they succeeded in their ruse. After the column got to the forks of the White
River annuity goods were drawn. The scouts were paid off down at Missouri
River. Clark was still there when this was done, and there he discharged a lot of
them so that only about 75 remained. After While the scouts were down at the
Missouri River getting pay and taking things leisurely, these northern Indians,
including all the northern chiefs except Little Big Man slipped away quietly for
the north and all escaped. A message was sent to Clark at the river to notify him
of the departure of these Indians, and he got word to soldiers at Fort Keogh
and Fort Mead, but the Indians got away. Clark was ordered back to his com-
pany—Troop K, 2d Cavalry, Capt. Egan’s company; Clark was the 1st Lieut.
(Ed Satterly was a member of that company.) Now in the spring of 1878 (grass
was coming on) Touch the Cloud took his Minneconjous and went back to
his Cheyenne River Agency. Now about all the Indians who had come down
from the north had worked back in separate bodies. No Water was a northern
chief. He was the one who had shot Crazy Horse through the head when Little
Big Man held him.120 These two chiefs were so unpopular on account of what

                       
they had done towards Crazy Horse that they dared not trust themselves up
north. It was No Water who had command of the second detachment of scouts
that Lieut. Clark sent down to Spotted Tail Agency after Crazy Horse. All the
northern chiefs except Little Big Man and No Water had now gone back north.
Touch the Cloud, after his return to his reservation had his arms and horses
taken from him and his hair cut off. This treatment caused him much grief and
crying; for he thought that he would not be molested, though Garnett told him
he would and urged him to stay down here. After Lieut. Clark left in the spring
of 1878 he was succeeded by Lieut. Dodd.121 The scouts were cut down from
time to time till they numbered only 15.
Along in the summer (thinks abt. Aug.) Red Cloud took the Oglalas one or
two lodges only besides his own and slipped back and got as far as Pass Creek
when he was overtaken by Young Man Afraid with a lot of his Indian soldiers
and some of the Indian scouts, and brought him and his little party back.
Conquering Bear, son of the old chief who was killed by the soldiers, acted
as guide to the column down White River; he went on ahead from Interior with
the advance detachments.
The Indians (he thinks) started to return from the Missouri about Septem-
ber, 1878. They relied on President Hayes promise to let them return in a year.
They could not be held there. They had a plan to come back and were schem-
ing to go, and secretly making preparations. Garnett at this time was in the war
department service. After Along about the month of August Garnett worked a
month for the Indian trader, Deere; then Dr. Irwin, Agent, got him appointed
Agency interpreter.
A man named Haight, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, had been out to the
Missouri among these Indians trying to persuade them to remain down there,
but they would not hear to it.122 So when they got the last rations to complete
the year down there under the agreement with President Hayes, they acted
like a whirlwind; nothing could restrain or control them. They were furious in
haste and movement; they outran everything.
When these Indians started down from the Forks of White River to the
mouth of the Yellow Medicine on the Missouri [it was] to get their last rations
which were for a month. Before they went they went to Garnett and told him to
tell the Agent left the Missouri to return to the Forks of White River where they
always drew their beef, they told Garnett to remain down on the Missouri, and
he did so for abt. 3 days, giving them time to get back to the Forks. Garnett went
to the Agent abt. 4 o’clock in the afternoon and told him that the Indians were

 
ready to move back toWhite Clayas soon as they had drawn their beef; that after
the beef issue they were going to capture the herd and take it with them. He re-
plied that he had no orders yet for them to move. He asked Garnett, ‘‘What are
you going to do?’’ ‘‘I’m going with them.’’ ‘‘If you go with those Indians I shall
have to dismiss you as interpreter.’’ Garnett said he was going anyway. Garnett
told him that he and the Indians wanted the butcher, BenTibbitts, whowas also
acting agent at the Forks of the White River, and the herders to go along to make
their regular issues of beef; but if they did not go the cattle would be taken any-
way. Garnett now left and rode all night to reach the Forks, distance 65 miles,
and arrived at daylight. The issue was made immediately. The bulk of the Indi-
ans were camped about 13 miles up Little White River. The beef issue was then
on foot. The only block issues were made to the few Indians who were camped
at the Forks where the traders’ stores were. The Indian soldiers (who were also
called White Horse soldiers for local reason) had brought down extra horses
at the instance of Garnett to bear away those Indians who had no conveyance.
After the beef issue was all over, Garnett called the chiefs together, viz.;
Young Man Afraid, Red Cloud, Red Dog, Slow Bull, High Wolf (an old time
chief ), Little Wound, Blue Horse, and a man named Day who was a Waj ja ja
chief, and Three Bears (who had been made a chief at the Forks of the White
River through the influence of the Indian scouts who had served under him
on the Crook campaign—they were partial to him and induced members of
all the other bands to attach themselves to him and form a camp and he thus
formed the largest band by a large number)—American Horse, Black Bear and
White Bird; this was the number of bands of Indians when they left the Forks
of White River. These chiefs had appointed Little Big Man the head soldier
of all the Indian soldiers before the Indians went down to Yellow Medicine to
draw rations. Each one of these chiefs had some Indian soldiers with a leader
of his own over them, and Little B. Man was over the whole as commander.
Garnett told the assembled chiefs that he had delivered the message they
gave him for the Agent, that the minute they should start to go off his own gov-
ernment service was ended. That he was going with them. Young Man Afraid
was the first to speak to him. ‘‘Billy,’’ he said, ‘‘your service will be with Little
Big Man with the braves.’’ So these chiefs and Little Big Man and Garnett went
to Tibbitts who was now issuing the block beef. These asked him and the chief
herder, who were together to come along with the herd and make their issues
as they always had. They refused. The chief herder said to them that he could
not turn the beeves over to them. Garnett told him that he might go along or

                       
stay, as he preferred; but that they were going to take the cattle. Little Big Man
directed Garnett to tell him not to interfere with them when they took the herd,
and if he did not he would not be harmed but to be sure not to interfere. He
was told also that he could go along with his herders and retain control of the
herd if he would. A man named Alex Adams, one of the herders, became pretty
saucy when the cattle had been rounded up. Little Big Man told him he had
said enough; if he did not want to get hurt, to shut up. About 20 of the In-
dian soldiers rode right up to the side of L. B. Man and Adams subsided. Ed
Stevenson, the chief herder, rode up to Garnett and asked if it would be all
safe if he and his assistant herders went along. He was told that if he went the
issues would be regularly made as always before and they would be fully pro-
tected by the Indian soldiers. He told his men to get ready and follow the herd.
The Indians started off with the herd while the herders were packing up to
go. The latter soon overtook the stock which was turned over to them and the
Indian soldiers accompanied them the first day. They all reached the Indian
camp on Little White River the first day. Four scouts had been appointed and
left behind to watch Tibbitts and see what kind of a move he was going to make.
They came on to the Indian camp before sundown, bringing news that Tib-
bitts had started to the Missouri River on horseback. Next day the Indians left
Little White River and moved along camping at convenient distances till they
arrived at Black Pipe Creek which is about on the line between the Rosebud
and Pine Ridge Reservations. Here some Indians, about 200 including women
and children, came to them from Spotted Tail’s band which had already come
to their Reservation, probably in the month of August. These Indians had for-
merly belonged to the Oglalas and were now coming back. The column next
moved to Pass Creek in the eastern part of P. Ridge Reservation.
There were two or three criers whom Garnett caused to go through the
camp and tell the people to bring up their beef tickets, as Tibbitts had the beef
census list, so that an issue could be made; and as Garnett had some famil-
iarity with this business and the herders had seen it done, they had no trouble
to issue beef to the Indians and keep true account. After the issue, Tibbitts ar-
rived at Pass Creek. He said he got to the Missouri and a dispatch was wired
to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs telling him that the Indians had broken
out and left. He got an answer and was directed to follow and issue beef and
make a camp on the White Clay.
The camp lay there till next day after the beef issue, and then they moved
to the head of Pass Creek. A council was held there and Little Big Man and

 
Garnett and 5 or 6 others were selected to go ahead to White Clay to notify the
contractor there that the Agency was coming. This man was named O’Burn
[O’Bierne]. He was there in a tent. No building was up yet; but some lumber
which had been a part of the Red Cloud Agency was piled up in places. The
Agency owned at this time quite a lot of bull teams, perhaps 30. Both agen-
cies had just bought a lot of such teams that year. O’Burn started to building
as soon as he could get workmen.
Next day after arrival of these men, a courier came from the old Spotted Tail
Agency site where a camp of one company had been left when they all went
down to the River under command of Major Lieut. Capt. Lieut. Crawford.123
(Omitted: When Tibbitts overtook the Indians he said some soldiers came
up from Missouri River to the Forks of White River and to the Indian camp on
the Little White River, and finding that the Indians were gone, returned to the
Missouri.) The courier came as stated. He brought news that the Cheyennes
had broken out in Indian Territory and were coming north & had crossed the
North Platte River. Garnett sent Little Big Man back to the Oglalas with in-
structions to keep them together, not to let them scatter and to bring them in
together; and told him about the Cheyennes had broken out & were coming.
The Oglalas arrived.The night they got in it seems some soldiers began coming
down from Fort Meade and up the White Clay Creek. The Indians got alarmed
and thought the soldiers were coming to jump on them; because they them-
selves had gone off irregularly and without orders they thought the soldiers
were after them, and would not believe the Cheyenne story. Another lot of
soldiers arrived from Camp Sheridan, and it looked worse and worse to the
Indians. Garnett told the soldiers not to camp near the Indians, and to quit
going among them, as the Indians were scared, and the chiefs were having all
they could do to hold them. These soldiers from Sheridan came up from the
direction of Chadron; he does not know that they were actually from Camp
Sheridan. It looked as though the troops wanted to camp by the Oglalas. Gar-
nett got them to go up on Wolf Creek and camp above where the beef corral
now is. Garnett was known by the Indians to have been in the military employ,
and had been connected with the Red Cloud and Red Leaf affair and they were
afraid to trust and believe Garnett.
Some more soldiers—2 or 3 companies—came from the Porcupine direc-
tion (those who came up White Clay and down from towards Porcupine may
have both been of the same original body which had come from Fort Mead
and split to come in on the Indian so as to scatter out to look all over for Chey-

                       
ennes). These from the Porcupine direction Garnett persuaded to go up on
the Wolf Creek and above the later beef corral and camp there. Four nights
troops came in, usually after dark, and the Indians thought they were closing all
around them.Troops who had been down with Spotted Tail at his Agency were
coming; also the soldiers that were down at Yellow Medicine were ordered up
to concentrate at Fort Robinson; these kept coming in one after another, and it
was all that Garnett and the chiefs could do to keep the Indians from attacking
the soldiers. The chiefs were up at night, all night, talking and laboring with
the Indians to pacify them. Those Indians who had been scouts went around
with Garnett and the chiefs and argued and pleaded with them not to make any
break on the soldiers. These combinations at this time barely missed breaking
up this agency. The Indians were camped in great numbers along White Clay
Creek where the government farm now is and above there.
On the fifth day after the arrival of the Indians at theWhite Clay the 15 scouts
who belonged to the Agency had after arrival gone over to Camp Sheridan on
government service, and while returning to White Clay one of them discovered
a small party of Cheyennes—not over ten—men, women and children—Lone
Bear was the one who found them—these Cheyennes had got broken off some-
how from the larger party—they were in those hills southwest of the Agency;
these scouts brought them in—there were perhaps two men among them—
brought to Red Cloud’s lodge; they told their story. Two officers got around
and saw these Cheyennes.These Cheyennes settled the excitement.The Chey-
ennes were aiming to strike the old Red Cloud Agency. Red Cloud told the
two officers that those Cheyennes had surrendered to him and he was going to
keep them and was allowed to do so. The movements of the Cheyennes may
be more intelligently described by explaining that a white man called Chey-
enne Charley who lived among the Cheyenne Indians and during the Black
Kettle disturbances was called down in the Indian Territory Little Buckshot
of the Prairie (probably a translation of the name the Indians save him) had di-
rected the course of these Indians all the way from the Indian Territory back to
the north with a degree of success that has been a marvel in the eyes of white
people since that day.124 The reason for their marvelous dodgings and escapes
was his being a white man and on the strength of race and color could go any-
where without being suspected by the whites, and could thus keep informed
of the movements of army officers and soldiers and the knowledge he gained
was communicated to the marauding Indians and their course was managed


 
by him accordingly. They eluded all efforts to head them off and to capture
them; and there would have been no Cheyenne outbreak had it not been for
the waywardness of Dull Knife who would not listen to counsel. Little Wolf
wanted him to stay with him. Cheyenne Charley wanted him to follow Little
Wolf. But his desire was to get back among the Oglalas; so he split off from
Little Wolf (probably down on the Platte) and took his course for the old Red
Cloud Agency. Little Wolf bore off in a wide detour to the east, striking the
head of Pass Creek, crossing White River, and making a circuit of the Black
Hills, passing between them and the Missouri River and finally arriving in the
northern country, the home of their choice. Cheyenne Charley had been up
here in the White River Country (Garnett says he got employment here for a
while and that he saw him in such service). He knew all the time how and where
the troops were concentrating, and moreover, being acquainted with the loca-
tions of posts he could foresee where the soldiers would be sent and do their
scouting. He quit down here and went up to Fort Keogh and told the officers
there he was acquainted with the Cheyennes and could persuade them to come
in and surrender. He was employed on this service and brought them in. Gar-
nett saw him after these events had passed into history and talked with him
and learned facts which he had not before known. The northern Cheyennes
thus became firmly established in that country after many vicissitudes. When
these went up there were a small number there who had not been away.
Speaking of the Cheyennes Garnett says that they and the Sioux in the
earlier days did not have their country in the north as more latterly, but on the
Plattes, the Republican, Arickaree, Cache la Poudre, in the Denver country on
Cherry Creek, etc. The same of the Arapahos. By camping apart in separate
bands they gradually became divided; so that there are Northern and South-
ern Cheyennes and Arapahos.
Garnett knows about the Dull Knife affair only from the Indians themselves,
as follows:
Garnett interpreted the statement of Fire Eater to Gen. Crook as follows:
He said the Dull Knife band were camped on Chadron Creek, and as they still
had their arms the scouts were afraid to go in to them, so they got this Fire Eater
to go and try to get them to give up. He was the only one the scouts could get
to go in. He went in several times before he could get them to give up. Finally
they gave up through him. Lone Bear was among the scouts at the time, and
he is a policeman who lives between Pass Creek and Black Pipe.


                       
During Agent Gallagher’s incumbency this Indian Fire Eater asked for em-
ployment at the Agency during a council of the Indians when Crook was mak-
ing his 1889 treaty. Fire Eater got up in the council with Crook’s permission and
he related his connection with this affair on Chadron Creek and said he thought
he ought to get employment. Garnett did the interpreting. Gen. Crook asked in
the council if anybody knew anything about this. Three Bears rose Lone Bear
stood up and said he was present then as a scout and what Fire Eater said was
true. Gen. Crook asked the Agent if he had any place he could give him, & the
Agent replied that he had one as man of all work at $15 a month. This was given
him and he held it some years, until (he thinks) Clapp’s time when he died.125
The Cheyennes who were brought to the Pine Ridge Agency after the out-
break at Robinsion were given clothing and horses and provided for comfort-
ably by the Oglalas. Garnett thinks therewere from 65 to 75 of these Cheyennes.

Negotiations for Black Hills in 

Garnett says he went to Washington in the spring of 1875 with an Indian dele-
gation.126 The Indians, as near as he can give them were: Red Cloud, Little
Wound, American Horse, Face, Fast Thunder, High Lance, Sitting Bull (not
the old Sitting Bull, but the one who received on this trip a gold mounted gun
from President Grant as a gift); Shoulder, Conquering Bear, Black Bear,Young
Bad Wound and his wife; Iron Horse, White Tail. Above was Oglala delega-
tion. Young Man Afraid would not go, though strenuous efforts were made
to get him. These are all he can mention. The interpreters who went with the
foregoing were: Louie Richard, Nick Janis and William Garnett. The Spotted
Tail delegation was as follows, as near as he can name them: Spotted Tail,
Swift Bear, Crow Dog, He Dog (this is a different He Dog from the northern
chief by that name who has been mentioned before), Good Voice, Ring Thun-
der. Interpreter Louie Bordeaux. Garnett says he has named all the Spotted
Tails. Dr. Seville, Agent at Red Cloud, was in charge of the Oglalas, and Major
Howard the Spotted Tail Agent was in charge of these latter ones.
There was a delegation in Washington when these arrived from Red Cloud
& from Cheyenne River Agency under charge of Agent Bingham of the latter
Agency. William Feeler was interpreter for these.127 This delegation was: Lone
Horn, White Swan, Red Shirt, Long Mandan, Bull Eagle, Rattling Ribs, No
Fat (who went under another name)
Claws. This delegation also went
to Washington on the Black Hills business. These may not all have been from


 
Cheyenne River Agency, but they were from the Missouri River and the Agent
was from Cheyenne River Agency.
(There was also a delegation at Washington same time to investigate Agent
J. J. Seville. Tod Randall, a former trader at Red Cloud, and Leon Palladay
as interpreter, were there. This was still going on when the Indians returned.
Garnett does not know what was accomplished by this.)128
Garnett says that when these Indian delegations went to Washington and
were on their way to Cheyenne, they met the expedition going to the Black
Hills (Dodge’s I think). Garnett says that there was a great body of soldiers
and that the scientific man who reported on the minerals, thinks his name was
Jenny, was along.129
These Indian delegations were in Washington a long time—fully three
weeks—deliberating over the Hills questions; they were caucusing a long time
among themselves at their hotel.
The government sent for these Indians and did not advise them what the
business was that they were wanted for, and when they were arrived the Black
Hills was sprung on them. This was why the Indians were all at sea.130 At this
same time the question was sprung on Little Wound chief of the Cutoffs, to
surrender their right to hunt on the Republican River, and terms were made
for $25,000.131 (See the printed pamphlet in which this is referred to by the
delegation when Red Cloud, American Horse, Clarence Three Stars and High
Star went to Washington.)
President Grant raised this point in his address to these Indians, offering
$12,500. Little Wound replied that he and his people knew nothing of this sub-
ject coming up, and that he could do nothing without consulting them, and
that the price offered was inadequate. He advised the President to send out a
delegation to see his people about it. Now coming back to the Black Hills, the
chiefs Red Cloud, Spotted Tail and Lone Horn were the leaders and their de-
cision finally was adopted by the other chiefs. Red Cloud said in their private
council that we did not know anything about that this business was coming up,
neither did his people know it, and he could not do anything; Spotted Tail said
the same thing, and so did Lone Horn, the Minneconjou from the Cheyenne
River Agency. Lone Horn said his people were starving and he wanted to get
rations and beef for them. And it was at length decided by the three chiefs that
they would end all consultation and go home. Lone Horn was made spokes-
man of the delegations to communicate their decision to President Grant. All


                       
the other chiefs assented to the agreement that the three had come to. These
chiefs knew that the government had already sent an expedition into the Hills to
examine the country, for they met it going. The next day after the above agree-
ment was reached, all the Indians visited the President. Lone Horn, speaking
through Louie Bordeaux, interpreter, said: ‘‘Great Father: I will give now an
answer as to the decision we have all come to about the Black Hills. We did not
know anything about that the Black Hills was going to come before us when
we came here, and our people don’t know anything about it. We have come
to the conclusion that you can send your people out there among our people.
I have known the Black Hills ever since I can recollect. The Black Hills have
no legs and no wings and always stay in the one place. So they will be there
when they come out. My people are starving. I am down here on purpose to
ask you for rations and beef for them. This was all that I knew about when I
left home’’ (when this speech was made, the room was packed with men and
women & when Lone Bear [Horn] mentioned that the hills had neither legs
nor wings the white folks laughed heartily). The delegations then returned to
their homes. When they went to Washington they were hauled to Cheyenne in
wagons; but on the return the inspector, Daniels who had been met in Wash-
ington and returned to Cheyenne bought horses for the chiefs to ride home.
This was the usual way of doing, to buy horses for them to return; it was so
done with Red Cloud when he returned in 1870. Garnett does not remember
what was done with him on the trip in 1872. On the trip in 1875 the Commis-
sioner of Indian Affairs gave Red Cloud a silver mounted gun as a present,
valued at $250.132 The gold mounted one [was] given at same time by Presi-
dent Grant to the minor Sitting Bull who was considered in those days as one
of the greatest of the Indians friendly to the government.
The Crow Indians captured the Red Cloud gun from Jack Red Cloud in
the Rosebud fight, June 17, 1876. The gold mounted gun, valued at $500, was
captured from Sitting Bull (minor) when he was in December, 1876, driving
into Fort Keogh a lot of horses, about 60, into the fort. Sitting Bull had lent this
gun to a friend who went off to the hostile Indians with it, and he followed to
recover it; while there he recaptured these horses which had been taken from
white men, and drove them to Keogh; as he was nearly to enter the fort, some
Crow Indians camped roundabout attacked and killed him and got his gun.133
Garnett thinks this gun afterward found its way to Washington.
Daniels had been a trader at the old Sod Agency before Whalm came.
Daniels came as a civilian and relieved Major Whalm [Wham] as Agent.

 
He had been an Indian agent sometime before (thinks) for the Santees. Says
Whalm was an army officer.134 Thinks when this change was made the Indi-
ans were transferred from War to Interior Dept. When Whalm came first time
it was as Agent at Fort Laramie. Next time Garnett saw him come it was as a
Paymaster. First time he came he issued beeves at Fort Laramie several times.
While he was Agent the Red Cloud Agency was built on the River 30 miles
below the Fort. It was made of sods and so got to be called the ‘‘Sod’’ Agency
but the real name was Red Cloud. It was built in the year 1871.
Now comes next the Commission to negotiate for the Hills. The commis-
sioners sent some of their number to the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock
Agencies, taking some Indian chiefs with them—Blue Horse, Slow Bull and
Red Dog—and others; Louie Bordeaux and Joe Richard, taking Indians with
them went north to the camps of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, about a 100 in
the force for safety, and they got a very few to come in to the council.This party
from the East was large; Garnett thinks a lot of congressmen and other followers
were out for their health and sight-seeing.135 He cannot recall any other parties
sent out; but parties of Indians were coming and going all the time; when their
rations and ammunition were low they came in with a few robes to trade & they
then went back, having drawn rations and exchanged robes for ammunition.
Representatives came from Spotted Tail also; and they came in great num-
bers from all quarters.The commissioners had quarters at Red Cloud, and they
came down every day to the council at the Lone Tree. There were Indian sol-
diers on duty under the chief command of the minor Sitting Bull who guarded
the camp, the council place.There were tents up for the officials’ use, and there
was a canvas pavilion or tent fly, under which the commissioners were seated,
while the Indians stood outside and, generally the Indian speakers and the in-
terpreters stood under the tree. The people out from the east were numerous;
Garnett says it was the largest commission he ever saw come West. They met
at the Lone Tree several days.136 When the council was opened the commis-
sioners stated the object of their presence on the ground, that they wanted
to buy the Black Hills and offered to pay $7,000,000 in money. They did not
know a million from the number of stars in the sky as was shown when Garnett
talked to them. The Indians repaired to their respective camps and counseled
and caucused separately on the matter.
After some days Red Dog (the usual spokesman for Red Cloud) came to
the council to speak for the Oglalas. Among his remarks Garnett cannot tell
what he said, only just what he wanted for the Hills. He said they did not want

                       
the $7,000,000, for the sum was not enough; but they wanted to be paid seven
generations just for the tops of those Black Hills and for no other lands. Either
the same or the second day after, the commissioners got a very few Oglalas to
sign a document, but Garnett does not know what they were signing. It was
just blank writing paper they signed. Next day some tent flies were set up down
near the White River bank, probably 100 yards from the pavilion. After there
had been some talking by Indians, now Spotted Tail spoke for the first time,
having held out until this moment, though the pressure to get him to speak
had been very great.137
Garnett thinks this was about the day Little Big Man [blank] A man named
Wells did the interpreting for this council.138
Spotted Tail demanded to see the document to be signed, and also the
money that was to be paid for the Hills; wanted to see it in ‘‘black and white;’’
he taunted them by saying that he could see nothing. The pointed remarks of
Spotted Tail brought the council to a close. The commissioners could show
up nothing and the conference was at a standstill. This was the last day at the
Lone Tree.
Little Big Man was a Crazy Horse man, vain and troublesome. He was
settled at the council by Young Man Afraid. Garnett thinks it possible that the
whites were alarmed at L. B. Man’s bravado.139
Selling the Hunting Right on the Republican River Garnett thinks that pay-
ment of the $25,000 for the surrender of this right was made in 1875. The
Spotted Tail Indians (Brules) received some of this consideration, as they had
always enjoyed hunting privileges down there and used them to a limited but
less extent than the Cutoffs under Little Wound. This payment was made in
horses, cows and wagons.
Before this Commission had come to the Lone Tree Council, a small com-
mission came out to treat for the Hunting Right on the Republican, and the
fellow Hinman was one of the number. This commission got them to sign a
paper for this right sold for $25,000. The Indians insisted on having $50,000
and Hinman in his fraudulent way and manner told them to sign the paper,
and ‘‘we will try to get you the other $25,000.’’ The Indians still think that this
$25,000 is due them. (See the Pamphlet containing report of speeches of Red
Cloud, Am. Horse, Clarence Three Stars and High Star in Washington about
1897.) The Indian Rights Association did investigating of the work of this Hin-
man, and he was dispensed with. Write to this assn.)140


 
After the issue of the annuity goods, Garnett thinks Agent J. J. Seville was
removed in the winter after the events detailed took place.
The Indians were continually going and coming, passing between the
Agency and the camps of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull up north. The mail ser-
vice grew to be very hazardous and several carriers were killed. Indian carriers
were at last employed. They traveled differently from the white men and got
through all right, for they did not go by the road. Two were killed to Garnett’s
personal knowledge—Dave Rogers was killed on Deadman Creek; there was
a man killed on White River 5 or 6 miles above Fort Robinson after the Agency
had been moved over from the Platte; the one killed on Deadman was when
the Agency was on the Platte; he was carrying between the Spotted Tail and
Sod Agencies. One was wounded in 5 or 6 places over on Raw Hide Creek on
the road from Robinson to Laramie, but he did not die; this was in the spring
of 1873. The killing on White River was (he thinks) in 1876. This must have
been the man Clark.141

Treaty of 

Manypenny was the Chairman of this commission, but was prevented by ill-
ness from being present, and a man named Vroom acted in his stead.142 They
came with rules regulations and a lot of writing; they brought a treaty fully
cooked containing schemes for schools, children, rations, mixed bloods, etc.
and they told the Indians that this treaty would be tacked to the treaty of 1868.
After the document was all read through they were told that if it was made and
approved by the government that they would be fed beef and rations till they
should be self-supporting. They were to have (thinks) one pound and a half of
dressed meat and three pounds on the hoof to each person every day, and the
rations were to be provided also. This treaty provided also about the Agencies
and removal to Indian Territory and the Missouri River conditionally. When
the treaty had been read the minor Sitting Bull who had three knives fastened
to a long handle, a revolver and a Winchester [spoke?]. He was a conspicuous
friend of the whites, but the dose in this treaty infuriated him. He said they
did not know anything about Indian Territory and Missouri River; that they
wanted to remain in their own country; that the contents of this document were
foolishness; that most all of their people were away off in the north and there
were not enough there to transact such business, and in great fury he ordered
the Indians out of the stockade (the Red Cloud Agency) and White Bird began


                       
talking back and taunting him with his reputation as a friend of the white man,
whereupon the minor Sitting Bull struck him a blow with the back of his knives
and hurried him along, at the same time telling all the Indians to ‘‘get out,
get out,’’ and he quickly cleared the premises. He brought the conference to a
standstill and no further effort was made by the Commission as long as he re-
mained, which was two or three days. Then he went off north where he was
killed at Keogh. The minor Sitting Bull got his gold mounted gun from Presi-
dent Grant because he had been a pacific and respectable Agency Indian who
had made a good name. He was conspicuous in the Flag Pole Affair in clubbing
Indians who had done the cutting and narrowly escaped with his life, an Indian
being prevented from shooting him. Down on the Republican he saved a lot of
robes and other property belonging to hunters and ranchmen from spoilation
by the Indians. During Seville’s time there was considerable trouble with the
Indians on account of their killing contractors’ cattle before they were turned
over to the government. They would meet the herds and shoot and slaughter
such fat ones as they wanted. The cattle were kept in an immense herd down
on the Platte, and they were brought up as needed—two or three issues all at
one time. The cowboys were afraid to try to bring them up alone, and so this
minor Sitting Bull made himself useful in getting together a sufficient force of
Indians to bring the cattle up under guard, his business being to go with them.
One contractor lost a whole herd on the Deadman.
Guards at Agency When the Agency was under civilian control, the chiefs
provided at Red Cloud a number of Indian soldiers for guards to protect the
property, numbering from 5 or 6 to something like 12, as was needed. After
the minor Sitting Bull took departure for the north, the Commissioners got at
it again. They read the document over again. The Indians objected to num-
bers of provisions distasteful to them, and whenever a clause of this kind was
reached this Hinman would obligingly assure them that it would be stricken
out; but Garnett says he notices that the objectionable parts were retained in
the treaty. This Hinman was efficient in explanations and promises to the Indi-
ans on the point of the southern boundary of the Sioux Reservation. He was a
genius at plausability and deception. He told them just where the line would
run. He said that it would follow the Niobrara River from the Nebraska state
line up to the 103d meridian; thence north to the Cheyenne River. The Indians
were ignorant of meridians, so Hinman described the line according to Indian
habit from stream to stream and peak to peak. The Indians were confused and
did not understand that they were parting with the Black Hills. Red Cloud

 
says they did not. But few of the Indians were present. Only about 24 or 26
signed and these belonged, Garnett says it looks to him, mostly to the Cutoffs.
The great bulk of the Indians were out and took no part in this partial affair
and had no knowledge of it, and have not understood the swindle to this day.
Those who participated were overreached and defrauded and have ever since
kept up a chorus of complaint; so that those who were away have ever asked
in vain for information that would be explicit and definitive. No one has ever
been fair enough to tell them without equivocation. They have for years been
in a ferment and agitation over the subject and debating among themselves in
their councils and outside of them, and sending deputations to Washington
which have been blandly received by affable officials who could not and would
not help them; and lawyers have been consulted, but nothing has been accom-
plished and nothing can be.
(In the council at the Lone Tree some Brules were in attendance and they
stated their need of an agency at the mouth of White River, as they lived there
in that region. Their prayer was listened to and they got a small agency estab-
lished there which is called the Lower Brule Agency, and the Agent who keeps
the Crow Creek Agency attends to this.)143 (Look this up.)
Hinman misled the Indians as to the location of the Nebraska state line,
giving them the impression that it would run so as to take in a strip that would
include the country where the towns on the line of the Northwestern R.R. are
Hinman is represented in the Treaty of 1876 as the interpreter, but he did
no interpreting. He was a figurehead and promoter and fraudoperator. William
Garnett did the translating for this council.
During the treaty of 1876 and the subsequent council at Spotted Tail when
it was being arranged to take the chiefs to the Indian Territory & Garnett was
there to obtain scouts for Crook’s army for the winter campaign, Garnett was
serving in the Interior Department, but as soon as he got his scouts and started
to join Crook, he was transferred as interpreter in the military service.

Treaty of 

About 1883 Judge Shannon of S. Dakota, and Hinman, and

and some
secretaries came to Pine Ridge first and set forth to the Indians that the govern-
ment experienced inconvenience and difficulty by having six agencies on the
one great Sioux Reservation; and it had been decided to cut this reservation
into six, apportioning one to each Agency; and if the Indians would consent

                       
to such a change there would be given to and divided among the six Agen-
cies 25,000 cows and 1,000 bulls.144 The Indians talked the subject over. They
were in considerable darkness as to the boundaries, and whether there was a
scheme to cut out some of their land; at last White Bird arose in the council
at the Agency where the several councils were held, and asked a question, viz;
After you divide up the Reservation will the lines of the several reservations
join? The one whose name is omitted answered in the affirmative.145 The com-
missioners wanted three-fourths of the Indians’ signatures but they got but
few, and went to other places, first to Rosebud and to Yankton.146 Before they
had reached the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Agencies a newspaper
rumor got afloat saying that if this commission should succeed it would gain
11,000,000 acres of land to be opened to settlement. The Pine Ridge Indians
got an eye-opener. It was stated that the St. Paul and Milwaukee RR would
then build through whenever the company should pay the Indians a certain
indemnity which had previously been agreed upon between the Pine Ridge
and Spotted Tail Agencies and the railway company. This commission went to
all the agencies where it met with cool receptions and finally retired from the
field discomfited after a failure to obtain anywhere near the number of names
wanted. A few months later the man Hinman came back alone to Pine Ridge.
This was before there were Farmers and Districts. The Indians drew rations
once a month at the Agency. The officers were the Agent, his various Agency
assistants, and Day School Teachers. These latter wrote out the requests for
the Indians to the Agent, and some of them did what preaching they could for
the spiritual uplift of these people. The Indians prospered better in those days
before the scheme of having Farmers was hatched for importunate favorites.
The change to Farmers came about 1885(?).147 The first batch was shaken from
the political bush at Washington. Hinman started in at Medicine Root to get
children’s signatures, names being taken of those ranging in age from two years
up.The younger children who could not sign had their tiny hands held by their
parents on the pen holder while the expert Hinman swung the pen with the
nonchalance of a forger. He drew into the Agency He had Captain Sword and
other policemen with him to interpret and aid in explaining and persuading.
He drew into the Agency, and from there he went down the White Clay accom-
panied by William Garnett acting as interpreter, to the flat between the Agency
and the Holy Rosary Mission. It was here that William Garnett saw the little
children signing. There were just forty (40) of them whose ages ran from two
to eighteen years.148 Next the resourceful Hinman tried his plan on the Loafer

 
band of whom Red Shirt was the then chief. The Loafers twitted him with his
smooth work in 1876 in relation to the location of the Nebraska state line. They
called to his attention the misleading and false statements he had made to them,
and bluntly told him that before he could hope to have them sign anything for
him again he must rectify the wrong he had done on that momentous occasion.
He asked how far they claimed that their line should run south of the Agency
office.They replied that Red Cloud had a map showing it to be thirteen and one
half miles. He told them that they could go with him that distance south and
that there he would fix the line. Next day he and Agent McGillicuddy started
in a buggy on which was attached an odometer. Red Shirt took about twenty of
his men and a lot of the policemen also, the whole number who went out that
day being about forty (40),Wm. Garnett went along also.The party went to the
Nebraska state line, a mile and a quarter from his office. They went five miles
farther south to the south line of the Extension. McGillycuddy told Hinman
that there was the south line as stated. Thence they continued following the
White Clay Creek to the forks of the stream, and thence pursued their course
straight south up between the two prongs of the creek. After they had ascended
to this Table and passed the pines he (Hinman) pointed out to them the place
where the line between their reservation and the State of Nebraska would run.
The Indians saw that his tracing gave them at that particular point, all of the
Pine Ridge. Here he told them that there was going to be their line if they would
sign his paper, and his work should be approved.There were at that time a lot of
squatters in the territory that Hinman was so munificently giving away in oppo-
sition to all existing legal barriers, and some of them had good habitations.The
Indians felicitated themselves on this tide in their fortunes, and some of them
were enthusiastic enough to make their selection of the houses which they in-
tended to occupy as their own. Agent McGillicuddy told Hinman on the spot
that he could never perform the promise he was making to these uninformed
men of the plains. He brazened out the lie on his lips by his insistency that he
could do it. The whole party returned. Then Hinman brought forth his paper
for signatures and the signing by men and babies was quickly executed. Then
he left. This ended here about the spring of 1884. A while afterwards in the
summer along came Herbert Welch, nephew of Herbert Welch who was a mem-
ber of the Board of Indian Commissioners. This Welch was then Secy. of the
Indian Rights Assn.149 He came to find out from the census roll the ages of the
Hinman signers, a list of whom he had in his possession. William Garnett was
interpreting between Welch and Capt. Sword.Welch tried to learn from Sword

                       
about the ages of the signers, but Sword insisted there were none under eigh-
teen years. Failing to discover anything from Sword, he turned to Garnett for
information. Then Garnett told him all that he knew. Agent McGillicuddy ad-
vised Sword to tell Welch anything he knew, telling him that Welch represented
the I. R. Assn. which was looking out for the interests of the Indians. When
Garnett had made his statement to Welch in Sword’s presence, Sword then
stated that the signatures had been taken in the same way all over the Reserva-
tion. Sword was captain of police at this time and he had been loath probably on
that account to say anything for fear that his position might be taken from him.
Having got what information he could, Welch went away. He told Garnett
that it was correctly surmised that Hinman’s work was fraudulent, hence the
investigation that he had been making; and he furthermore advised Garnett
not to be afraid to tell to any others what he had told him.
In the same summer, but somewhat later, Senators Dawes and John A.
Logan and another senator came out to Pine Ridge, to investigate the work of
Judge Shannon and of Hinman when he was here the second time.150 They
went back. The work of Shannon and Hinman was set aside.
Senator Dawes introduced a bill in the Senate and it was passed in 1888.151
Now Capt. Pratt and the Rev. Cleveland were sent under the provisions of
the Dawes bill to the Standing Rock Agency.152 The Indians over there wanted
a dollar and a quarter an acre, but these men were offering less, and on this dif-
ferentiation they split. These men next came to the Lower Brule Agency where
delegations from Pine Ridge and Rosebud went down there where it was ar-
ranged for a delegation from all the Agencies to go to Washington. Twelve Indi-
ans and two interpreters from Pine Ridge, viz; Philip Wells and Ben Rowland
went. Pratt and Cleveland met them in Washington. When the Oglala Indians
came back they claimed that they asked $1.25 an acre for the land that was un-
occupied and would be given up to the government after the six reservations
should be set off. They also insisted on a change of the division line between
the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. Pass Creek was the line, but the
Oglalas wanted it from the mouth of the Black Pipe Creek south to the Ne-
braska state line.
Before the Crook Commission came in 1889, printed copies of the law were
circulated among the Indians, giving them time to study its provisions.
The Commission was composed of Charles Foster of Ohio, Gen. [Sen.]
Warner of Missouri (?) and General Crook.153 The treaty is known as the Crook
Treaty. Three Stars, as the Indians called him, was known to them; they had

 
felt his power as a commander in the field; they had benefitted from his influ-
ence and efforts called out in their behalf; he had always spoken the truth to
and for them; he had kept his promises to them; and nothing was lacking to
augment their confidence in his general integrity; and therefore whatever mes-
sage he brought was sure to call out their faith and lead to favorable results.
These native people had been so woefully trifled with by some of the nego-
tiators who had been among them that it must have been realized when this
commission was organized that an extremity had been reached in the conduct
of the government which forbade the taking of any more chances in the diplo-
matic intercourse with these Indians if it was considered desirable ever to have
any further negotiations with them. It took all the weight of General Crook’s
name and his appeals to their recollections of his honorable course at all times
toward them, he even instancing special occasions on which he had made good
his pledged word, particularly in the case of getting their agency established
according to their wishes, before any headway of consequence was made in
securing signatures to this treaty.
The law provided that the assent of three-fourths of the male members of
the tribe should be necessary to make it effective.The general advised the white
men that they were entitled to sign, as representatives of their Indian wives
who would receive allotments of land under the treaty, and these men joined
in making up the required number of signatories.
Under this agreement the Sioux Reservation was partitioned into six
smaller ones to be separately managed, and the 11,000,000 acres of land which
was turned out as open public domain subject to settlement was to be paid for
at the rate of $1.25 an acre for all that should be disposed of during the first three
years, seventy-five cents an acre for all so disposed of during the next two years,
and fifty cents for all, good and bad, etc. Very little of this acquisition was taken
within the first two periods, so that the Indians realized scarcely more than the
stipulated fifty cents an acre. Three millions of dollars were set apart for the
behoof of these people, and this sum was to bear interest at three per centum
one half to be annually distributed per capita, and the other half to be subject to
use in maintaining schools for instruction of the young. (See the treaty itself.)
The beneficiaries under this treaty have been not a little exercised in recent
years because they cannot obtain any satisfactory accounting from the govern-
ment touching the funds which they calculate belong to them by virtue of its
terms. The quantity of land ceded produced at the lowest figure, $5,500,000.
They understand that there remains to their credit above that which is pay-

                       
ing interest the nearly equal amount of $2,500,000. The national government
is derelict in a reasonable duty in its failure to acquaint these natives fully on
every point in all matters affecting their financial and administrative concerns.
It should gradually relinquish its patronizing attitude, strive to escape from its
self-conscious quality of ‘‘guardian’’ and assume toward the Indians the degree
of respect and trust which a wise parent extends to a son drawing close to the
earlier years of his manhood. One of the provisions of the Crook Treaty gave
to the Indians 25,000 cows and 1,000 bulls. These were distributed among the
several agencies with uncommonly good faith, and were distinct from the spe-
cific articles which go with each allotment.
The trip to Washington in 189 was when Philip Wells went as interpreter.
At this time the delegation was composed of Kicking Bear, Little Wound
and Thunder Bear and George Fire Thunder. When they came back Kicking
Bear reported that a great many white people had had the curiosity to come
and see him and Short Bull, and he could hear them speak his name, but he
held no conversation with them, as Philip Wells would not interpret for him.154
It was during this trip that Garnett accuses Wells of quietly working some
seventy-five (75) families of Santees on to the borders of the Rosebud and Pine
Ridge Reservations—along the Black Pipe and Pass Creek streams—an act
which none of the Indians have ever understood and the mode of which they
have never found out, but which has given them universal offense and ripened
for Philip much unpopularity. When the bodies of soldiers who were killed at
Wounded Knee were being exhumed for removal in the summer of 1906, the
superintendent of the Boarding School who was present with some of his In-
dian pupils took the occasion to say to them: ‘‘Look what your fathers did,
causing all these to be killed.’’ 155
An Indian woman, Mrs. Goings, mother of Frank Goings, Agency inter-
preter, understanding his speech retorted: ‘‘This is no place for these soldiers
to lie; they should be buried at W. K. where they got into a drunken row and
killed one another.’’ On one occasion Garnett and R. O. Pugh and Raymond
Smith and Dartenberger, issue clerk were at theWounded Knee Battle Ground,
at the time taking census and issuing rations and a man whose name is some-
thing like Dorsney and who visited this Reservation at intervals from Sturgis
or thereabouts, took the pains to show them over the battlefield and point out
all the various positions of troops, Indians and others, and explained every fea-
ture of the action. He said that he was a Sergeant in command of one of the
troops, the commissioned officer not being present with the company.156 He

 
was told by Col. Forsyth that at the first sound of firing to order his men at
once to shoot.157
This Sergeant further said that when the Indian discharged his piece in the
air he gave the order. He thinks all the other troop commanders must have had
orders similar to his own, for instant fire rolled out simultaneously from all the
other companies. When this order came from his lips he had a strange, sicken-
ing feeling as though it was something dreadful that was being done. His own
men fired into the Indians and directly across into the soldiers in line beyond
them. He is sure that his fire was fatal to the soldiers there. Three men (3) in
his own troop were killed by the soldiers from the opposite side.
The Philip Wells Episode was explained by a brother of Looking Cloud
at Manderson as follows: This brother of Looking Cloud was the one who
wounded Wells, and this is his account: He was a tall young man under twenty
years of age. When the butchery began he had only a knife. It will be remem-
bered that Wells was the official military interpreter. Philip is also known to be a
loquacious man. In his official capacity he had been conspicuously talking that
morning, and not all of his utterances had been agreeable to the Indians as may
well be conceived. How many other things which seemed officious to them he
had volunteered on his own private account no Phenix from the ashes of that
conflagration has volunteered to tell us; but it is known, for the young man him-
self has said it, that Philip’s voice had made his heart bad toward him; and when
the crash of many guns came as if ignited by a single electric spark, the brave
raised his long knife to bury it in Philip’s breast; but Philip’s marvelous agility
was his protector in this instance—his gun in both hands went up, and his body
went down—the assailant’s blow was nearly parried, the end of the long blade
catching the flexible portion of his nose and severing it neatly, leaving it hanging
by the skin on each side. Instantly the warrior started to seize Wells and retrieve
his failure, but he stumbled on a dead body and fell close to a soldier who was
on his hands and knees, likely wounded; this man he pushed to the ground, at
the same time taking up his gun and rising, he ran off to that murderous angle
in the ravine where a small number of the Indians did ghastly execution. His
own gun that he had turned over was the same kind as the one he had taken,
and the cartridges in his own belt were available in the present emergency.
The Sergeant who commanded the troop saw the Indian fall who struck at
Wells; saw him push over the soldier trying to rise; saw him carry away the gun.
He confirmed the Indian’s story in his conversation with Garnett. The Indian
that Wells killed must have been a different one from the one he thought he got.

                       
American Horse got to be a chief in the following tricky manner: He was
stationed staying at Fort Robinson, claiming that he needed protection, for
he had just killed Sioux Jim.158 He had a paper he was circulating for signa-
tures among officers and others to certify his friendship and good offices, and
among the Indians he got Blue Horse, the chief of the Loafer band to which
American Horse belonged, to sign. He had civilians, Indians and officers rec-
ommending him for his acts testifying his friendship for the whites. He then
told Mackenzie that the Loafers wanted him for chief.
Afterwards his own relations who were numerous, adhered to him. After
the campaign in the north at the end of the year 1876 the scouts who had served
under Three Bears made him their [leader] and influenced a great number
from all the bands, to which these Indian scouts severally belonged, to join
him, and this gave him by great odds the largest band among the Sioux. At a
somewhat later time the Loafer band subdivided into three—one continuing
with Three Bears, one with Blue Horse, and the other with American Horse.
The two latter chiefs are living on Pine Ridge Res.

Some account of Sioux Jim and His
Death at the Hands of American Horse

Sioux Jim and his three sons were tough characters—thieves and robbers with-
out honor; whenever they saw a thing they wanted they took it.
In 1873 his oldest son led a party up in the Big Horn Basin country—a mur-
dering band, which horribly treated the women; butchered them, cut open
two who were enceinte and delivered them. There was a reward for this fellow
Sioux Jim belonged to the Loafer band of which Blue Horse was chief.
Sioux Jim and his sons were out from the Agency and prowling around so
much that it was hard to locate them.
Col. Mackenzie must have got information that they were in the camp at this
time—just after the sun dance in the neighborhood of where Coxville since
has been; for he took Blue Horse into his office and told him that early the next
morning he was going to surround his camp (in front of Frank Yates’ store at
the Agency) with soldiers to try to get Jim, and that he and his people should
not be alarmed as no harm was intended for them. So next morning at break
of day the soldiers had encircled the camp and as the Indians began to push
their heads out of lodges Blue Horse was moving around among them telling
them what was the object of the situation (for Mackenzie had cautioned him

 
to keep this secret till it transpired) and not to be worried as it meant no harm
to them. Garnett went into the tent where Sioux Jim should be. It was occu-
pied by Eagle Horse, his son-in-law who now lives with wife on Wolf Creek on
Pine Ridge Reservation, and his wife; and Garnett noticed that the bed covers
were raised most too high. He threw them down and pulled Eagle Horse and
his wife off from Sioux Jim’s youngest son, and brought the latter out. All the
camp was searched without finding Sioux Jim and the two older sons.The cap-
tured son was placed in a wagon and the searching party headed for the Fort.
When it was at about the place where ‘‘Arkansas John’’ lived, American Horse
overtook them, coming from Red Cloud, shouting, ‘‘Hold on! Come back! I’ve
got Sioux Jim! I’ve killed him!’’ The soldiers went back, and the wagon also
which had been brought along originally to take Sioux Jim and his sons in to
the Fort alive. It was indeed true that American Horse had ended Sioux Jim
with a shot in his body, but John Bear, to make the act doubly certain, had put
a bullet through his head. The body was placed in the wagon where the living
younger son was lying, and again the column turned toward Fort Robinson.
This younger son became one of the famous Indian scouts that went north
in the autumn of that year (1876), and he made a good record and took part in
the battle against the Cheyennes Nov. 25, where, it is not doubted he fought
against his two older brothers.
Garnett has heard Flying Hawk who participated in the attack on the Sibley
Scouting Party say that there were only four or five, at any rate only a very few
in the party which made the attack.159 He said further that they withdrew, feel-
ing that they were too few to whip the Sibley Scouts, and retired to their camp.
Next day they returned to the place to get the body of the Cheyenne whom
Gruard and Big Bat shot, not expecting to find any trace of the scouts, and
there they discovered the horses that the scouts had abandoned.
Flying Hawk was in the battle of the Rosebud and in the Custer battle.
[Tablet 22]
Garnett says emphatically that the Boucher Creek is the Big Bordeaux and
not the Chadron Creek. He says that Louie Bordeaux at Rosebud can tell all
about the creeks. Garnett knew Mrs. Kelly.160
Get Crazy Horse’s medicine from Garnett. He went through certain forms
before going to battle invariably, all Inds. tell it; Garnett’s mother had 2 painted
lodges from his father etc. His father was superstitious evidently & C. H. may
have inherited; C. H. had no fear etc. Crazy Horse’s father’s name was Crazy
Horse & died on Rosebud Agency Garnett has been acq. with every Indian

                       
Agent from Whalm down. He says Hastings, Selwyn and Royer were the fail-
ures who seemed to know nothing abt. Indians.
He ascribed the 1890 troubles to 3 causes: Crook 1889 treaty; Ghost Dance
which was a sort of mesmerism; starvation induced by false glowing accounts
of Farmers and Agents showing thousands of wagon loads of potatoes and
vegetables when he personally knows you could have driven across the Res.
with a dozen wagons and not filled them.161
Says Gallagher was to blame for some of the starvation.
Garnett tells of an instance of Indian cunning to avoid being tracked by
an enemy in the deep snow. They march in single file all stepping in the same
tracks. The two in the rear carry chopped meat which they drop in the tracks.
Wolves are sure to follow for the meat, and they obliterate the Indian tracks, so
that an enemy is deceived into thinking that only a pack of wolves has passed.
American Horse is a Bad Face Oglala. These were always looking to be
Wm. Garnett tells how the Indians robbed the bodies of their dead ene-
mies of rings, watches, money and other valuables and traded them to Boucher
for guns and ammunition. Boucher has been accused of carrying on a contra-
band trade with the Indians, augmenting their strength for depredations and
war against the whites for the profit there was in this kind of business and Gar-
nett knows that the accusation is true; for the Indians have told him that this
was done and how Boucher instructed them in the matter of collecting these
gruesome trophies for their value in exchange.
Boucher once had a house on Chadron Creek and it was standing there as
late as the autumn of 1876 when Red Cloud and Red Leaf were taken prisoners
with their bands and disarmed and deprived of their horses; for Re This creek
was called Boucher Creek by the Indians until a recent date.162
Garnett tells of a dispute between himself and a half-brother over the num-
ber of children in the family of Standing Bear, an old-time Oglala, who died
some six years ago. The half-brother is Henry Goolay (? Fr.), who at that time
had for a wife a daughter of Standing Bear. They claimed between themselves
—Goolay 16 and Garnett 14. Then they referred the dispute to Goolay’s wife.
She answered that she knew of 36 children of her father, and he said he had
others in other places, of whom she didn’t know. Garnett’s Indian grandfather
had seven wives.
Nicholas Janis, Mr. Garnett says, had a perfect knowledge of the families


 
of the Oglala Indians on the mothers’ sides and he was the highest authority
on the subject. When the government came into more intimate relations with
the Indians, under the treaties, he became indispensable as an auxiliary in the
distribution of rations and annuities, and numbering of the tribe; and it is in-
formation creditable to his generous impulses, for which his memory should
be affectionately cherished by the race to which his wife belonged, that his In-
dian kinsmen by marriage were never pinched or starved or wronged by any act
of his. He had also extensive similar knowledge of the Cheyennes and Arapa-
hos; all of which was obtained as a trader among the natives, assisted by a
phenomenal memory. He was particularly expert in his knowledge of mixed
bloods; trappers, traders, adventurers and army officers who had temporary
relations of pleasure with the native women, were ordinarily changing from
place to place as the caprices or demands of their roving lives impelled them,
and the subject of this sketch with his keen faculties and observation was a rich
repository of this species of information.
When the new era dawned and reservations grew into prominence as the
abodes of the aboriginals, Mr. Wm. Garnett proved to be the highest authority
on like subjects affecting the Oglala Sioux.
[Tablet 1]

Wounded Knee Notes

William Garnett says:
Speaking of the statement of Standing Soldier concerning the bringing in
of the Indians at the time of the battle of Wounded Knee, he says Standing Sol-
dier was in command of the scouts who were out looking for bands of Indians,
and he naturally wants to take the credit for everything, as officers always do.163
But Garnett says that it was Crazy Thunder, one of Standing Soldier’s scouts
who actually induced those Indians to come in to the Agency. Crazy Thun-
der was one of those Indians who escaped from these parts when the Indians
were moving to the Missouri River, and went away north and lived with Sitting
Bull across the line. When the last of the Indians came in and surrendered and
were concentrated at Fort Keogh (?) or Yates (?) R. O. Pugh was sent up there
to bring same to this Agency at Pine Ridge. Among them was Crazy Thunder
who was well known to the northern Indians—to the Standing Rocks—and
when this band was found by Standing Soldier this man Crazy Thunder was
an acquaintance they recognized, and he had no trouble to convince them of


                       
the truth of statements made to them and to prevail on them to come peace-
ably to the Agency. Crazy Thunder should have this credit in the final account.
Another incident that I do not remember that Standing Soldier mentioned:
Last Horse, another of his scouts, in scouting around, whether under orders
of Standing Soldier Garnett does not know, he came to Wounded Knee battle
ground. (Garnett says the aim was to camp on Wounded Knee that night, but
the discovery of Last Horse caused them to avoid proximity to the battlefield.)
He saw the strewn field. It was after dark. He reported to Standing Soldier
that it would never do to let the Indians in his charge (or under his escort) to
see or know of that sanguinary field. Accordingly it was avoided. Last Horse
stated that the country was covered with dead, women and children, equally
with the men, victims of the slaughter. The very air, he said, was redolent (was
filled with the odor) with the smell of powder. To the question what Indians
they were that had been butchered he could only say that owing to the dark-
ness he was not able to identify them.
Slaughter is too dignified a name for this killing. Butchery is a fitter word.
On the soil and under the flag of a great government, with her bedizzened
officers on the spot directing the carnage this crime of crimes was done in
open day in face of all the world. Not Turk, nor Bedouin could have done it
better.The killing of soldiers by one another proves that something was wrong.
There was stupor—mental paralysis over all the proceeding. The story that
the Indians began the slaughter—that they had a lot of guns concealed—that
they killed the soldiers—has been studiously inculcated to bury the truth—to
cover a crime. The Indians killed some soldiers, but the soldiers killed more.
Most of the dead troopers lay where the fatal lines stood in the morning, cross-
firing into and slaying one another. Was somebody drunk? Here is what Philip
Wells tells of an officer who told the men to thrust their guns in the Indians
Following are traders on the Platte about the time of the Civil War, was
given by William Garnett: Dripper was a trader on the Platte River (was called
Old Man Dripper) had a stone trading house about 12 miles above the Sod
Agency, he built the building (the Indians called him Thick Ears); his place
was called Dripper’s Ranch; a man named Casecellor [?] did business also in
same house.165
Chuzon (this was the man’s name) had a trading store 30 miles below Drip-
per’s and at Scott’s Bluff.


 
Bordeaux (Louie’s father) an old time Indian trader, had his ranch abt.
8 miles above Dripper’s and some 10 below Fort Laramie.166
Beauvais (thinks his given name was Ben) was three miles above Bordeaux.
John Tut who was succeeded by a man named Ward and he by Col. Bul-
lock who was bookkeeper for Ward.167
McCormick and Collins ( John S. etc) bought out Bullock.
Nine Mile Ranch (don’t know who kept it, thinks the man Ward had some-
thing to do with it) stone buildings, was situated on the Platte 9 miles above
On the Bitter Cottonwood abt. 20 miles above Laramie was a trading and
mailing place and a stopping place for emigrants; log buildings here; was kept
by a Frenchman whom the Indians called Bare Bad Hair. His wife was an In-
dian. He and his wife and an Indian who was working for him, were killed in
the sixties by the Slade gang. Two or three of his children ran to escape; they
found shelter in the brush and were frozen to death. It was in winter.
Thinks it was the Old Man Reynolds between Laramie and Fort Fetter-
man, abt. midway. This was before Fetterman was built. Laparelle Cr. is where
Fetterman was.
The creeks in order as follows, going up the Platte from Horseshoe are
Laparell, La Bonte, and Deer Creek.
Bissonette was on Deer Creek & a trader.
A few years later—about 1870—marked changes had taken place among
these traders—new ones had taken the place of some and old ones had changed
John Richard Sr. had a bridge and traders store on the Platte.
In the sixties Crazy Horse and Little Big Man were very harassing on the
Platte. They carried on a lively business in horse-stealing and the killing of
white people.

Horse Stealing from Indians

This pursuit was begun by white desperados in 1871, when the Red Cloud
Agency was built on the Platte and it was kept up till about 1883 or 1884.
Among these thieves were Lame Johnnie, Doc Middleton, Lengthy Johnson
(afterwards killed in Custer City) stole from Garnett and some Indians in
This same business of horse stealing was revived during the troubles of


                       
1890. Dick Stirk had his horses stolen, but he got them back. See Stirk’s state-
ment [in Tablet 8].

English and Dakota Names of the Six Sioux Agencies.



Pine Ridge
Cheyenne River
Standing Rock
Lower Brulé

Agency =

Oglala Agency
Brule "
Minneconjou "
Unkpapa "
Lower Brule "

(These split from the Spotted Tails. They are called for short the Lower
Crow Creek Agency = Crow Creek Yanktons
These are in fact Yanktons as they speak the Yankton tongue.
Yankton Agency = Yankton Agency.
These do not belong to the great Sioux Reservation, nor the following:
Santee Sioux
Sisseton "
The Upper Yanktons in North Dakota are Sioux Indians. There are some
Oglalas, Yanktons, some from Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Agencies
and from other agencies scattered and wandering still in Canada so says Gar-
nett. I have a letter from a man think in Fremont who saw some of these there
two or three years ago; some were in Custer battle and afraid to mention it. He
represented them to be in squalid condition.

The Cutoffs

These were separated from the main Sioux nation and had their home down
on the Platte and Republican Rivers away before the treaty of 1851 was made.

School at Laramie

In the summer of 1866 a citizen who [illegible] to the soldiers at Laramie, had
a class of Indian children. Was not a Catholic. Garnett went two days and ran
off to Scotts Bluff where his mother was.
Ask George Colhoff for his name.
Frank Gruard’s Pedigree 169
Garnett and Big Bat were with Gruard once in the house of Louie Bor-

 
deaux, the interpreter at Spotted Tail Agency. David Gallino, a Missouri River
half-breed whose father and family lived at the Whetstone Agency, entered the
house. Gallino accosted Grouard familiarly and called him ‘‘Prazost.’’ Gruard
denied that his name was ‘‘Prazo’’ and said it was Gruard, adding that he was
from the Sandwich Islands.
Gallino rallied him by saying to him not to talk that to him; that he himself
knew Gruard and that his name was ‘‘Prazost’’ (Garnett pronounces it ‘‘Prazo’’)
Garnett thinks from many bits of evidence which he related that Gruard
was an Uncapapa or Sitting Bull Indian whose father was a colored man, or
a man with African blood. Prazost was spoken of to Garnett by his father-in-
law, Nick Janis, as a colored man who had several wives. Janis said all men in
this country at that day, as well as the natives themselves, had more than one
wife. Janis, Garnett says, came here before Frank Salaway. This man Prazost
ascended the Missouri and became an adjunct of this country as a steamboat
cook; and he served as a cook for traders up along the river.
It is important to remember that Fort Pierre antedates Fort Laramie; that the
troops kept in the early time at latter place, and the traders over there, drew their
supplies from Pierre. (See also Salaway’s statement [Tablet 48] and account of
his trip across in three days on business in relation to getting trader’s goods.)
Garnett is confident that Mrs. Goings at Pine Ridge is a sister of Gruard.170
Gruard came to Red Cloud in early spring of 1875 costumed in a G string.
One of the Deeres who were traders at Red Cloud said he knew Gruard as
a mail carrier 4 or 5 years before in the Fort Peck country. He was a strongly
built, muscular man weighing over 200. He was not excessively sociable, and
seemed somewhat shy at first, and it was several months before his nakedness
was covered by the ordinary apparel of civilization, and the first suit of such
garments was provided by the generous purse of Ben Tibbitts, probably as a
gift. He had work around the Agency for a little, and when the Commission
came out later in the season to begin negotiations for the Black Hills Gruard
was one of the men who went as a guide. His familiarity with the country so
recommended him that he had no difficulty in drifting right into the service.

Pawnee Scouts

Nick Janis told Garnett that the Pawnee name got attached to many doings in
which other tribes were associated; they used to combine and go out together
to hunt and fight.
Janis told Garnett says Capt. Frank North came up to Fort Laramie in the

                       
same summer that Capt. Fauts was killed at the mouth of Horse Creek, in com-
mand of 1,000 scouts, called Pawnee scouts but consisting really of Pawnees,
Winnebagos, Osages, Otoes, Omahas, etc. Garnett was a boy but remembers
this well.

Bill Rowland

Garnett says: The first time he ever saw him was on the Chug Water in 1870;
but he had been with the Cheyennes a long time then; had a Cheyenne wife;
Garnett says he was all through the events that Garnett has recounted to me.
Rowland was a courageous man. Once killed a Cheyenne at Red Cloud, not
wantonly but in resisting another, and the Sioux had to be called out to pro-
tect him. He was shut up in the stockade for safety.171
He went into the southern country with Mackenzie campaigning, and after-
wards returned to the north. He was a sign talker without a superior, from [him]
Clark obtained much of his knowledge for his book. He died at Lamedeer
where the Rowlands are allotted, on October 6, 1906. Jones says he was one
of the greatest sign talkers. Garnett says same.

The Minor Sitting Bull

Garnett thinks says he died either in December, 1876, or January, 1877 at Fort
Keogh by the Crow Indians.

Murder of Chief Yellow Bear and Killing of John Richard 172

Garnett who was a boy just seventeen years old was working for Baptiste Pou-
rier. He quit to work for Jules Eccoffey, John Richard and Adolph Cooney.
Pourier was on the Three-Mile Ranch (3 miles above Fort Laramie and on
Laramie River) and was the post guide. The three partners had a department
store at the Three-Mile Ranch and a later adjunct was a billiard hall and a
saloon. Cooney and Garnett started down to Fort Laramie. When they arrived
they [found] Louie Shangrau, John Richard and Peter Janis (a son of Antoine
Janis Sr.) John Richard asked Garnett to go down to Sod Agency. Garnett said
he had just hired to Cooney & could not. Richard spoke to Cooney & Cooney
told him to go with Richard, and when he came back he would have 80 horses
to bring back. Richard started out saying he must go and see the commanding
officer, Gen. C. F. Smith (first man to bring troops to Camp Robinson and first
man to take Red Cloud to Washington, accompanied by Col. Bullock and John


 
Richard when he was pardoned by Grant).173 Cooney and Garnett and Peter
Janis and Louie Shangrau went down to Jules Eccoffey’s house—he lived in
the east end of the Post. Just at this juncture Capt. Egan with his troop of the
2d Cavalry arrived at the fort. The Fort is up on a high table. Eccoffey’s was
down over the bank on a bottom at east end. When the Cavalry arrived, it lined
up between the sutler’s store and the bakery. Richard went to the headquar-
ters of Gen. Smith after having a few words with Egan. Coming back from
Gen. Smith’s he cut across from the south to the east under the bank. Richard
and Shangrau each took their Winchesters at Eccoffey’s. Each also had a six-
shooter on. Peter Janis had two on. They all started down to the river at the
slaughter house half a mile below. Garnett had his bedding and clothes. They
all got into a boat to go down to the Platte. Garnett was put into the prow,
Richard took the stern and Shangrau and Janis took the oars. At the slaughter
house before entering the boat Garnett received his orders. Richard told him
that he had a pair of gray horses and a two-seated buggy on the other side of
the Platte, and he pointed out the rig. Told him to take them on down the river,
on the north side of the Platte to the village of Chief Yellow Bear, six miles
above the Sod Agency (Yellow Bear’s band was called the Melt Band and this
same band is now at the Holy Rosary Mission) and to wait there for him and
the others who would go down in the boat after crossing Garnett over.174 They
went as stated. Garnett could get sight of the boat party once in a while, and
see them sometimes hooting swans. Coming to the Arapaho village, he saw a
gray headed member of the tribe and asked for something to eat, and the old
man took him to his lodge where his wife was frying grease bread, and had cof-
fee and bacon. (This occurred in May, 1872.)
He went 4 or 5 miles farther and came to the large village of Man Afraid
of his Horse. He went some miles farther and arrived at Yellow Bear’s village.
He waited there two hours for the boatmen to arrive. These men in the boat
had a box of bottles containing intoxicating liquors. Garnett says that he knew
that John Richard had quit drinking—had not drank for quite a long time; he
thought John was all right, or would be in this respect.
They got there when the sun was a half-hour high. Garnett went down to
meet them. As Richard jumped out his $250 watch fell into the water. Gar-
nett grabbed to catch it. Richard laughed and told him it was attached to the
chain around his neck, which, when let out at full length would reach to the
ground—was gold—and valued at $800.


                       
When Richard went north from Fetterman where he killed the soldier
(thinks in 1869) he had an Indian wife. While out with the Indians he took an-
other wife—a sister to the first. These two wives were sisters of Yellow Bear.
When Richard came in 1870 to go to Washington with Red Cloud, he was
living with these two women (they had come in to Fetterman). These three
partners were carrying on a business up there on hay and wood contracts.
In the spring of 1871 ( Jan. or Feb.) Nick Janis had come up from the Whet-
stone Agency to which point he had removed in 1868, came back to Fort Lara-
Richard now threw away the two Indian wives—both of whom he had
bought according to Indian law and custom—and he now took Emily Janis,
daughter of Nick Janis (wife of Pugh and Tibbits) and he married her, the nup-
tials being performed by Lieut. Cameron, Gen. Smith’s adjutant general.
When the three men alighted from the boat Garnett noticed that Richard
and the others staggered and that the case of liquors was gone. He spoke to
Richard and remarked that he thought he (Richard) had given up drinking.
Richard said his leg was asleep was what was the matter with him. He told
Garnett to hitch up the team. Also pointed out to him Yellow Bear’s lodge—a
large one—in the east part of the village, and told Garnett to drive over there,
for he was going to take the younger of the two ex-wives who were sisters of
Yellow Bear, with him. Garnett began to talk to Richard and reason with him,
saying that he had discarded the Indian women and had now a fine looking
half-blood wife, and that he ought to let the others alone and keep the one he
had and urged him to drop this scheme and to come and get into the buggy
and go. Dave [Peter?] Janis was ugly in speech, abusing him, and ordered the
boy to go and hitch up the team. When Garnett drove down to Yellow Bear’s
Peter Janis and Louie Shangrau were standing outside the tent. Yellow Bear’s
mother was living in a lodge a little way in rear of her son’s; and the chief was
coming up from her lodge and Richard was following behind with his gun lying
on his arm across his breast. Four men entered the lodge. Garnett stood out-
side with the team. All the time after the four went in Indians kept stringing
into Yellow Bear’s tent until 30 or 40 had got inside. The four men had been
in the lodge ten or fifteen minutes when Peter Janis (son of Antoine Janis Sr.)
came out and asked Garnett to go in. Garnett objected, saying, that it was his
place to stay with the team. Janis said he would watch the team and again told
Garnett to go in. Garnett asked, ‘‘Why don’t you bring him out?’’ He said he


 
could not, and again urged Garnett to go in and bring Richard out. Garnett
replied that he had had a chance to keep him away before when he was trying
to persuade Richard not to go to Yellow Bear’s, and that Janis had then inter-
fered with him and caused him to abandon his persuasions, and ordered him
to go and get the team. He concluded by saying that he could not get him out
now. Garnett ceased his resistance and went in.
The lodge was packed with Indians. It was the ordinary lodge, circular in
form, fully 20 feet in diameter. Yellow Bear had two wives. Flanking the en-
trance on either side were devices for couches, one for each wife; these re-
sembled a tripod supporting a buffalo robe as a head piece while the bed was
made down, foot toward the door. At the farther side and opposite the open-
ing was a long and ample couch, probably where the youthful Yellow Bears
and visitors snoozed off the long nights. When Garnett passed in Louie Shan-
grau was seated on this mammoth bed. Yellow Bear was on the right, opposite
the center of the lodge, leaning comfortably against the robe suspended upon
the tripod. John Richard sat between the Chief and Shangrau, and between
Richard and Yellow Bear were two or three Indians, all seated. The beds were
always piled up during the day by folding the robes and blankets and laying
them down so that they afforded seats. Next [at] the tripod on the left sat Slow
Bear, afterwards a son-in-law of Red Cloud (now living at the mouth of the
White Clay Creek, Pine Ridge Res.) who was to be a notable actor in the scene
soon to follow. Garnett went in and took a seat by this man. Another sat on
Garnett’s right peeling kinni kinnick. (Slow Bear was a scout afterwards on
the Cheyenne expedition.) Two ranks of Indians in close order were ranged
across the entrance preventing egress. A fire burned moderately in the center.
Richard held his Winchester in his lap. He was chatting nonchalantly with
the assembled Indians, detailing some of his exploits and telling how he was
at one time connected with a party of Indians in the killing of some soldiers
in the vicinity of Fort Fetterman, members of this company of Egan’s, 2d Cav-
alry, just arrived at the Fort.175 He broke off the conversation to say to the chief
that he had come to get that youngest wife of his. He wore a fine summer hat
of some kind of vegetable fiber, with a wide black band. Garnett says it was a
very fine one and must have cost $4 or $5.
Yellow Bear answered him that he could have her but that she was not there;
that she was down at the Agency at the scalp dance. There had been a party
out that had had a fight and killed a Ponca Indian and scalped him, and a great


                       
dance was in progress in honor of the event. Several of the Indians had just
come from there and had seen the woman at the dance. They thrust in their
voices declaring that they had just come from there and had seen her down
there. Yellow Bear told the company that he had been telling his brother-in-
law that she was at the dance, but that he would not believe him.
The conversation went on again pretty much as before. After a little while
Richard reverted to the same subject, determined to be put off by no reason-
able explanation. He declared that she was there in the village, but that they
had hid her to keep her from him. Again the Chief assured him that she was not
in the village but at the scalp dance; that she was his according to the law of the
tribe—he had bought her and paid for her—and he could have her by going
after her. All this time Richard was playing with the trigger of his gun. Garnett
felt uneasy. These actions were symptoms of deadly trouble. He wished a hun-
dred times that he was out of there. But the doorway was packed and he was
wedged and hemmed in without possible means of escape. Had not so much
as a knife to rip open the lodge if extremity should make it prudent for him to
get away suddenly. Richard kept returning to the charge every few minutes.
A large number of the Indians had come up from the dance. A lot of their
horses were standing around the lodge. The people of the village had attended
to their horses for the night—the old mares were hobbled; these always by in-
stinct of association held a good many of the younger animals near them during
the night; others had been tethered; these precautions all showing how much
the Indians were at this period on their guard; for the era of organized and
systematic horse-stealing by the whites was fully inaugurated, and these were
now more to be dreaded than the depredations by the Indians to whom horse-
stealing was neither crime nor vice, but sanctioned by universal law and upheld
as a virtue almost martial in merit, which entitled the experts of the practice to
distinguished consideration.
It was now two hours since Yellow Bear and Richard had seated themselves
in the lodge. Night was gathering visible objects into smaller circle. But there
was a good moon.
Now Richard began to taunt this venerable chief, whose name was a sweet
sound to all Indians because of his mild and just character, his peaceable dis-
position, his exemplary behavior, and his love for all members of his race.
He told Yellow Bear that he had given to him those horses that were grazing
around his lodge and that he (Richard) ought to kill them. Yellow Bear replied
that it was true he had given him some stock; that the younger animals were

 
the increase and in these he could not expect to claim interest; that if it was his
wish to kill those that once were his he was free to do so without objection or
(In the part where Yellow Bear describes the horses he has to Richard, it
should be corrected so that he will say in addition that while some of the horses
out in the camp are some that Richard gave him, and that he may do as he wishes
with them; yet there are a lot that Richard did not give him, horses of his own
raising, and some that he had given to his daughter, that these he would not
be justified in touching. Garnett says it was in 1869 that Richard took Yellow
Bear’s daughters as wives, but he did not marry both at the same time.)
Richard toyed with his Winchester. Garnett heard the click when the ham-
mer was raised. The thought rushed to his mind that perhaps Richard would
go out and shoot one or two of the old horses, become satisfied with this species
of revenge, and that then he would go on his journey to the Agency in peace.
How manyof the Indians may have thought the same thing is conjecture.Yellow
Bear certainly realized his own danger and the imminence of it. Above his head
hung some smoking utensils and knives and his revolver. It was noticed that he
glanced upwards several times at these as if measuring the distance. They were
out of reach. It would not do to get up deliberately and take down the revolver.
Such an act would bring instant trouble with all the advantages against him.
The only thing that he could do with any show for safety was to maintain his
equanimity and trust to whatever chances might run in his favor. Richard arose,
gun in hand, and took a step as if he would go out of the lodge; like a flash he
swung toward the chief, presented the Winchester at his breast and fired. Yel-
low Bear settled backwards against the buffalo robe which had been supporting
his back. There was just an effort to raise himself up, and then he was dead.
Swifter retribution for cowardly murder never came. Instantly a dozen Indi-
ans were on him to restrain him from the further deadly madness of killing.
His Winchester was too long for close quarters, but somehow he had got out
his revolver. Many hands held up his arm; this did not arrest his busy fingers,
for he kept discharging the weapon, sending swift balls through the dry skins
overhead. This was like pastime and short as it was futile. The man who had
been on Garnett’s right whittling kinni kinnick buried his knife in Richard’s
breast. Stab after stab in breast and back followed in quick succession. The
men who had him by the arms were unconsciously holding him up and pre-
venting him from falling. He was stabbed to death but perhaps not dead when
Slow Bear sent a bullet crashing into his brain.

                       
Garnett, the boy, saw all this. Who will doubt that he wanted to get away
from this scene of horror, where a large crowd of excited and murderous men
had scant space to turn—where two lay dead, guns were hot with use, knives
were terrible (or dripping) with blood, and the air was suffocating with the
fumes and smoke of powder? He essayed to lift the lower rim of the lodge back
of where he had sat, but it was tied down. Then he sprang for the entrance
and landed on the shoulders of the men who blocked the way. He slid down
among these, and when the mass surged towards the open air he was carried
along. On the outside he saw Shangrau who had forced a way out in the be-
ginning of the melee. He saw Shangrau scuffling with some Indians who were
trying to take his gun.Then there was the gleam of a knife. Shangrau let his gun
go to knock the Indian down who was going to strike with the blade. Then he
grabbed for his gun. Garnett had started to run. A horse lying down in his path
was startled and attempted to rise just as he was bounding over it. This threw
him headlong on his hands and knees. Gaining his feet he stopped to assist
Shangrau who was struggling with an Indian who was holding his gun by the
muzzle to keep Shangrau from shooting him. Garnett commanded the Indian
to let go, telling him that the two wanted to get away. The Indian said Shan-
grau would shoot him. Garnett assured him that he would not and told him
again to release his hold, which he did and went away. The Indians standing
back watching the contest, as soon as the Indian was at a safe distance opened
fire on the two, but without harm to them.
The two started to run.The boy, much more fleet than his companion, soon
noticed that he was outdistancing him, and he turned back. Then they went
down close to the river. The camp was in the form of a bow, the river taking
the place of the string. It enclosed a large area.
They came to the water’s edge. The boy was an excellent swimmer. Shan-
grau hurriedly asked: ‘‘What shall we do?’’ Garnett answered, ‘‘I am going to
swim the river.’’ The stream was then very high and icecold. Shangrau was as-
tonished and expostulated, and begged the boy not to leave him there alone,
as he could not swim.
They knew no time must be lost. Not a man of the party who came with
Richard had one hope of escape if discovered. The village was in a tumult. Red
rage was everywhere on horseback. The boat was thought of by Garnett, but
the other said the Indians, for a certainty, were in possession of that.
The two bent their way cautiously in the direction of the Agency. East of
the village was a patch of ground where there were large and high cottonwood

 
stumps.The road which led to the Agency passed through this piece of ground.
The moon, shining bright, cast heavy shadows. The two men had reached this
place. Flying Indians, coming from below, were drawing nigh. The boy said,
‘‘Let us get in the shade of stumps.’’ They did so and the riders passed between
them. Then came a consultation over the route of escape. Garnett said take to
the sandhills; it would be quite a circuit.
The horsemen passing all the time were Indians in search of the two men
and went toward the Agency. When they got down to the water’s edge they
were under and shielded from view by the river bank. It was down here where
Garnett suggested their trying for the boat. It was while here that Garnett asked
Shangrau why he did not shoot those Indians that were giving trouble, and he
said there were no cartridges in his gun; that when coming down the river in
the boat he was shooting at the wild fowls and spent all his cartridges and the
gun was empty. He went to reloading. Then took place the conversation about
swimming the river. When it was settled that the boy would not go over alone,
they deliberated on the route to be taken. Garnett said that they should bear
off to the north into the hills and make a circuit, coming around to the road
and river below the Agency, and then approach the Agency from the oppo-
site direction. This, he argued, would take them three or four miles from the
river and the road between the Indian village and the Agency where the Indi-
ans would be looking for them. Shangrau assented, saying it would be a good
long way around and take all night, but it was the only safe course. At this
point, another party of Indians was heard thundering along the road toward
the Agency. Shangrau said he was going to open fire on them. Garnett forbade,
saying that must be stopped, or he should plunge into the river and swim for
his life; for to open fire would be to betray their present security and lead to
their destruction; for the Indians were now hunting them. The two began their
journey and had not passed the road more than 150 yards when other Indi-
ans came dashing out of the village, making the third party going toward the
Agency after these men, supposing of course that they had gone down the road
as fast as their powers of endurance would sustain them. The two laid down
flat on the ground and the others went by without observing them. Then they
betook themselves to the hills. It was almost morning when they arrived at the
Agency. They found that Dave Janis had arrived there very early, outrunning a
horse that started about the same time he did. He was a noted runner, but on
this occasion outdid himself.
The boy asked the chief clerk for a bed.The clerk asked if he had seen the af-

                       
fair at the village; he said he had, but would not give any account till he had had
rest, for he was worn out from lack of sleep previous to this exciting night, and
the events he had just passed through had brought him to the point of exhaus-
tion. Declining refreshments, he laid down to slumber. He does not know how
long he slept; but the first he knew he felt someone shaking his feet. Rousing
up, he saw Baptiste Pourier, who was the husband of John Richard’s sister.
Then he told the whole story to his old employer who listened with tears in his
eyes, while the boy himself could not keep back his own tears. The clerk had
stood during the narration and taken copious notes of what Garnett had said.
In closing the relation of this bloody scene it should be said that the Indi-
ans gratified their vengeance by filling Richard’s body with bullets. The mixed
bloods, not at first understanding that Richard was the one to blame, in their
fury, mutilated the body of Yellow Bear and burned it.
Shangrau told Garnett that Dave Janis was urging Richard coming down
the river to take [the] daughter of the chief. It also transpired that when Richard
said at the Fort that he was going to see the commanding officer, Gen. Smith,
that it was only a ruse; that he did not go near him; that when Capt. Egan spoke
to him privately when the company came up, it was only to warn him to get
away, as some of his soldiers either knew him or would find him out and kill
him for killing some of their friends who were their comrades in Egan’s com-
pany; and this is why he came round under the bank to join the other members
of the party.
The Indian village was so distracted by this affair that all the people removed
at once over into the White River country, it is said, in the neighborhood of the
Spotted Tall Agency in the bend of the River a few miles below where Craw-
ford now stands. A year afterwards they returned to the Platte.
Garnett did not leave the Agency enclosure for four days after these events,
not being assured that his life was worth anything when he should get outside.
His mother was living down there, outside of the stockade, but she could not
persuade him to come to her lodge for several days. After this, he went back
to work for Baptiste Pourier.
There has, ever since the 1876 treaty was made, been rivalry between two
factions on Pine Ridge. The young blood of the Sioux procured the Agency.
After this was accomplished the old men who had surrendered have made
claims and acted as though they were entitled to the credit, and upon this as-
sumption have assumed tried to make it appear that they have been and are the


 
best counsellors of the nation and should be so respected, and be allowed to
direct & control. Politics is the same among red men as white men.

McGillicuddy Stops Sun Dancing

In 1878 the sun dance was held close to the village and about thirteen (13) miles
above the forks of White River, and on Little White River. Little Big Man was
the leader. Every sun dance always had a leader. There were always dancers
who did not have to redeem vows, and consequently did not pass through the
sacrificial suffering. It was on this occasion that Little Big Man performed his
vows with incredible suffering. His ‘‘carver’’ got the skewers too deep into the
flesh and muscles, and caused him to endure prolonged and intense agony.
After the Oglalas removed to Pine Ridge there were five annual sun dances—
one in 1879 on Wolf Creek; in 1880 on the White Clay on the extension below
Geo. Nines; in 1881 in same place; in 1882 and 1883 between Patton Creek and
White Clay just east of Geo. Nines store. After this Dr. McGillicudy forbade
the barbarous custom.
In 1880 & 1881 the sun dance was 2½ miles south of the Agency; in 1882
and 1883 between Patton Creek and White Clay, beginning a quarter of a mile
east of the site of George Nines’ store. In 1884 No Flesh, the leader for this year,
came to McGillicudy and told him it was time to go around with the pipe to get
ready for the annual sun dance. He was told there would be none; that the prac-
tice would have to be stopped and they might just as well begin now. No Flesh
asked how he himself would get out of it. McGillicudy told him that the Indi-
ans could go out on the hills and fast and suffer and go into their sweat houses
and have their ‘‘carvers’’ do the usual cutting of flesh as a sacrifice to their God
in the sweat houses—do this as they were used to doing in times of stress or
urgency when they could hold no regular dance. The agent told him that the
dance took the people from their homes & caused them to neglect their gar-
dens, their poultry and pigs and other affairs, and for this reason must be aban-
doned. No Flesh agreed with him but wanted to know who had told him how to
avoid holding the dance, but the agent did not give Garnett away, for he it was
who told him. No Flesh said no white man had told the agent how to suspend
the dance.This was stopped first on Pine Ridge, and the word went speedily to
all other Agencies and this ended the Sun Dance elsewhere and everywhere.176
Nick Janis came up to this country from St. Charles, Missouri when fifteen
years of age; this he told to Garnett, except as to the place he was from.


                       

The Flag Pole Affair

This was in 1874 when Dr. J. J. Seville was Agent.177 The Agent in the begin-
ning, told the chiefs that they had to have rest on Sundays, and that the em-
ployees may have their rest; told them that they, the Indians, were in the habit
of bothering him every day alike, Sundays as much as any other; that white
people were in habit of resting on Sunday, and so that the Indians might know
the exact day of rest to the whites when they did not wish to be disturbed, he
was going to raise a pole and run up the flag only on Sundays, so the Indians
would not come around the Agency for business on those days of rest. The
Waj-ja-ja band of which Red Leaf was chief (this was the band of old Conquer-
ing Bear killed in 1854) was a troublesome band finding fault with every little
thing. These Waj-ja-jas came and objected to Seville about putting up the flag.
Seville told them it did [not] make any difference, that he was going to put it
up. The poles were cut and brought inside the stockade, and were not peeled.
There were 2 or 3 long poles. Some of this band came in and began chopping
them; they made this excuse for their action, namely, that a flag means war—
that nobody has a flag but soldiers; that the Indians did not want war, and so
did not want the flag on the Agency. When they commenced to do the chop-
ping Seville tried to stop them, but they paid no attention to him and kept right
on. Seville then sent an Indian named Racer (and who was an actual footracer)
up to Camp Robinson with a note to the officer (thinks it was Major Jordan).178
(Red Leaf was not there with his men who were doing this.) There were
some races going on at the Agency that day as usual, and there were 200 or 300
Indians collected there. During the summertime there was a horse race there
nearly every day.
First thing those on the inside of the stockade knew, some friendly Indians
began running in from the outside saying that the soldiers were coming and
the Indians after them.
The Agent came forward and ordered the double gates to be thrown open.
Lieut. Crawford dashed in; when all in he ordered his men to dismount & turn
their mounts loose; then Crawford faced his soldiers, some 20 or 25 toward the
still open gate with guns pointing toward the Indians; some of his men were so
excited that they had the butts of their guns toward the Indians until Crawford
struck them across the breast with his sword and told them to change ends of
their pieces. Between these soldiers as they were coming up to the stockade


 
and the pack of Indians behind them were Young Man Afraid, Spider (who
was a brother of Red Cloud)179 and Sword (a chief and brother to Capt. Sword;
he went to Washington first time Red Cloud went); Three Bears with a lot of
backers stood in front of the gate while it was open and held the angry and
hostile Indians back and prevented their following the soldiers into the stock-
ade. The Agent called out to the employees to close the gate. Crawford assured
the Agent that he need not close it—that he could keep the Indians back, but
Seville reiterated the command and the gates swung on their heavy hinges and
were fastened. Now Garnett and Louie Richard passed to the outside through
the side gate adjacent to the big front gate. When they got out they saw that the
sub-chief, Conquering Bear (son of old Conquering Bear who was killed in
1854 & one of Red Leaf ’s sub-chiefs) was clubbed off his horse—saw him fall
to the ground; some Indians dismounted and laid a bow across his throat and
stood on the two ends of it as a punishment for his part as ring leader in the
assault on Racer as he was returning to the Agency after carrying the message
to Robinson; they shouted that he was the one who carried it and pounced on
him and cut and beat him badly with clubs. Conquering Bear was badly beaten.
It must be said that others outside—friendlies and hostiles—were clubbing
and fighting one another also. Further great numbers did not understand what
it all meant; as it was the Waj-ja-jas who were cutting the poles and the other
Indians generally were not in [on] the secret, and did not know the cause of
the presence of soldiers and the rough work going on on the outside.
Garnett and Richard were now standing outside in front of the narrow door,
and Bear Brains, a brother-in-law of Red Cloud was pacing up and down in
front of these men, swinging an old Remington revolver in his hand.This was a
friendly Indian. The friendlies were beginning to arrive and to grasp the situa-
tion. Red Cloud and a lot of the friendly chiefs and other friendly Indians were
on the inside of the stockade.
This Indian, Bear Brains, was haranguing the crowd and saying that this
man who was just beaten up (Conquering Bear) was trying to make trouble just
because his father Conquering Bear was killed a good many years ago. He said
if the Indian had been delivered in that day there would have been no trouble,
just a little inquiry would have taken place that was all; and he reasoned now
that there was no ground at this time for trouble; that the flag would [do] no
harm to any one, and so let it be raised; that this Conquering Bear was a trouble-
some fellow and did not belong here at all but he and his followers were Brules


                       
and belonged at Spotted Tail, and ought not to be allowed to make this dis-
turbance; and much more of the same purport. Moss Apple who now lives in
Rapid City came up to Garnett and Richard at this moment and asked what
was the matter with all those Indians outside clubbing one another. He was a
wood contractor at Camp Robinson. Garnett told him he did not realize his
danger, and ordered the gate tender inside to open the little one, and Garnett
shoved Apple through. Apple told Ben Tibbitts when he got in that he would
[not] be in this place under such threatening circumstances for all he had in
his business. Just then the minor Sitting Bull appeared on the scene with his
big three knives on a sweeping handle. He was knocking men and horses right
and left with the power of a giant and commanding the Indians to scatter and
depart from the Agency. After this, an Indian came on a gray horse, bearing a
Spencer rifle, and hailed Sitting Bull who also had the name Drum Carrier. He
said ‘‘Drum Carrier: I want you to understand that you have bare flesh as well
as we, and that a bullet will enter you go through you just as quick as any other
person.’’ He then brought his gun down to discharge at Drum Carrier, but it
was seized by another Indian named Gray Eyes and held. Drum Carrier was
just then driving off a crowd, and just as he was turning toward the Indian who
was about to shoot, he answered back that he had had several bullets through
him but he was living yet. Other Indians now crowded in between these, and
the friendly Indians swelled rapidly in numbers. They soon had full control
of the situation and the bad blood subsided and the Indians with bad hearts
gradually dispersed and peace at length reigned.
It should not be omitted that the Indians in those times were well armed.
When the uproar was at its height the friendly Indians stationed themselves
around the stockade issuing orders to one another not to let the angry ones
burn the buildings.
It was arranged by the chiefs now on the inside to furnish protection to the
Agency from their several bands. They said they would have done so in this
case if they had known in time. Names of Indians to be used as guards were
taken right down now. These chiefs did not want soldiers stationed there.
Soon afterwards the Agent distributed among the Indians who had been
most conspicuous and daring in defending the Agency and had sustained the
most hardship, some forty California blankets as a reward for their good faith
and invaluable services.Those who rendered service afterwards as guards were
given some little presents as compensation.180


 

Crazy Horse

Garnett heard Crazy Horse in 1868 tell about his ‘‘medicine.’’ It was up in the
vicinity of the Rosebud that it occurred. Whether this appeared to him in a
dream or trance or when he was self-mesmerized Garnett does not know. But
Crazy Horse told the story that he was near a lake. A man on horseback came
out of the lake and talked with him. He told Crazy Horse not to wear a War
Bonnet; not to tie up his horse’s tail (The Indians invariably tie up their horses’
tails in a knot.) This man from the lake told him that a horse needed his tail for
use; when he jumped a stream he used his tail and at other times, and as Crazy
Horse remarked in telling this, he needs his tail in summer time to brush flies.
So Crazy Horse never tied his horse’s tail, never wore a warbonnet. It is said
he did not paint his face like other Indians. The man from the lake told him
he would never be killed by a bullet, but his death would come by being held
and stabbed; as it was actually. Crazy Horse was known and accounted a brave
man before this vision.
Garnett says that the Indians have these presentments in dreams while fast-
ing on the mountains; they have them when they claim they are awake &c; they
claim that they actually see the tangible objects and signs, and in these latter
cases he thinks they are self-hypnotized, as he calls it. In all cases they repre-
sent that, whether the knowledge or advice they receive comes admittedly in
dreams, or not, they talk that they have seen it as though by ordinary sight.
Crazy Horse before going into battle observed this ceremonial, so Garnett
has heard the Indians say: Taking some of the dirt thrown up by the pocket
gophers, he would rub it on his horse in lines and streaks—not painting him,
but passing this dirt over him in this way with his hand; and he would spat a
little of the same on his own hair in a spot or two; and put in his hair also two
or three straws of grass, 2 or 3 inches long. As I understand it the man from
the lake told him to use the straws and the dirt as described.
Crazy Horse was good for nothing but to be a warrior or to be leading the
strenuous life; stealing horses, or something of that kind. On second inquiry
Garnett says that the man from the lake told him to use the dirt and the straws.
He adds that Crazy Horse considered himself cut out for warfare, and he there-
fore would have nothing to do with affairs political or social or otherwise—
like making treaties, scheming lodging [?] places, moving camp, disciplining
the people and soldiers, etc.


                       
He had no ambition to be a chief. Disdained the compliment of being great
—a great leader, or anything of that sort. Spotted Tail told him to go to Wash-
ington—that he was the greatest warrior in the Sioux nation and might easily
be the head chief. He depended simply and solely on himself and cared nothing
for the applause of others. He [was] great in his ability to follow his own ideas
and to resist the allurements of other people and their cheap homage and noise.

Crazy Horse and Custer Battle

Garnett says the Indians tell that when Reno attacked the village the Indians
were almost uncontrollable, so great was their eagerness to press a counter at-
tack, but Crazy Horse rode up and down in front of his men talking calmly to
them and telling them to restrain their ardor till the right time when he should
give the word; that he wanted Reno’s men to get their guns hot so they would
not work so well. When Crazy Horse considered the time opportune he let his
men go with the result known.
Cross Purposes between Red Cloud Agency and the Military Garnett says:
Hastings succeeded Seville as agent about December 1875, and was himself
succeeded about July, 1876 by Eldon, a military officer.181
Major Jordan was in command at Robinson. Hastings never had any use
for Garnett but employed him out of necessity. When he first came into office
he let Garnett out, but was soon compelled to take him back because he had
planned to use Hank Clifford, as he wanted to repay some personal obliga-
tion. Hank could not do the interpreting, and Hastings put him into another
place and reemployed Garnett. Garnett was only a boy and had not learned
the virtue of silence The Indians were all the time coming into the Agency
from distant parts, and all the time going out to distant parts. The military
were gravely concerned as to this, because it meant a great deal on the point of
forces, equipment and subsistence. Major Jordan believed this system of come
and go was in steady operation; but Hastings denied it. So Garnett went to
Jordan and told him that he would keep a brief on what was transpiring at the
Agency and bring the information to him if Jordan would note it down. This
was agreed. So Garnett brought information when certain ones arrived from
the disturbed country. Also when a certain Indian withdrew to the north and
how many lodges went with him.
The beef herd was at this time up above the Fort, on Soldier Creek. The
Indians stole the horses belonging to the herders. Hastings wanted to conceal
this depredation and loss, and did so; but Garnett reported it to Jordan, and

 
the further fact that the herders who had been set on foot had been remounted
by Hastings with ponies furnished by the chiefs around the Agency, who were
also were loath for it to be known that Indians had robbed the men who were
guarding the cattle kept for the Indians themselves.
Finally Major Jordan came down to the Agency one day bringing Eldon
with him to relieve Hastings. He showed the agent a list of charges against him.
Hastings looked them over and asked who had furnished him the information.
As Jordan did not say at once, Garnett who was present told him that he was
the person who had done it. Hastings said to Garnett that he had done more
for Garnett than any other one at the Agency. Garnett answered that he had
done nothing for him because he wanted to do it for Garnett, but that what-
ever he had done was for his own benefit because he could not get any other
to do the work; and Garnett was right. Jordan then said that the charges had
been fully verified by 4 or 5 other persons, and that action had not been taken
on Garnett’s reports unsubstantiated.
The policy of taking the Indians from the War Dept. and placing them
under the control of the Department of Interior was fraught with many evils.
The Interior Department is where politicians batten on taxation in excellency
of corruption. Whether the transference was inspired by the scheme to extend
the list of civil appointments to gratify the politicians by giving them a larger
assortment of places to pay partisan debts, or whether the change was a truly
philanthropic inspiration of impractical minds, need not be examined here;
but that the subdivision of authority was not a wise plan is apparent at a glance.
Actual harmony was something unknown. The corrupt agents of the Interior
Department were pursuing a course which estranged the nations and fostered
their hostile feeling, as well as arming and feeding them after the War Dept.
had been bidden to reduce them to submission and peace by force.

Seville Recants

Before the Hastings episode Garnett had been doing interpreting for the Agent
Seville. Garnett was a boy without practice or training possessing a natural fac-
ulty for interpreting between whites and Indians, and without experience had
not learned the virtue of silence.
At the supper table was a man who was to outside appearances acting as
a sort of master of ceremonies, and in a clownish spirit and manner went the
rounds of the table asking each about what he could report for the day. Gar-
rett was taken in the trap of telling innocently enough some interesting things

                       
which he had gained knowledge of in his capacity of interpreter for Seville.
There was a man always at the table who reported to the Agent. There was an-
other who was understood to be a reporter for an eastern newspaper.
Garnett was called up by the Agent and asked if he had said certain things
and he admitted that he had. He was given a fitting lecture that he had been
divulging the business of the Agency which was not his own knowledge to be
used as he might see fit, and he was given his discharge.
At his next report at the table he was able to say something personal to him-
self, and he remarked that he was now going down to Laramie where he came
from. He had not fully outgrown his inexperience and innocence yet; so in the
course of his talk he said he believed he would tell General Smith when he
reached Laramie, about the great number of cattle scattered all over the coun-
try lying dead and decaying. They were killed by the Indians after issue and
choice parts taken and the remainder left to rot. There was too much issued
and the Indians could not use all of it. Garnett supposed that Gen. Smith,
having military command over that country was the one affected by this waste
and Garnett thought the General ought to be informed of the condition of
things. He added that there were some other things he would mention to the
General. Next morning Seville called him into the office and questioned him
about the dead cattle, what he had said, etc., and then told him that the Gen-
eral had nothing to do with the Agency, etc; and hired Garnett over, giving him
$50 a month instead of the $40 he had been receiving and stated that he was
obligated to hire him again to prevent disclosures.

The Tall Bull Story

Garnett says: The Tall Bull fight 182 occurred about 1869 between the soldiers
under Col. Carr and the Pawnee scouts of whom there were a large number,
and the Sioux and the Cheyennes.183 It was on the South Platte and Garnett has
been on the ground since, but he does not know near what present place it may
be.Therewas an adobe ranch near the placewhen hewas there. It was in a valley
something like Cane Creek. A creek ran through. The Sioux were camped on
one side and the Cheyennes on the other. Little spurs of ravines ran out from the
stream into the flanking plateaus which were five or six feet higher than the bed
of the creek. The soldiers could not have surprised these Indians as they did
had it not been for a fog, for the country was open and the Indians knew of the
presence of the soldiers in the country. Tall Bull had got away safely, but learn-
ing that one of his wives was behind he went back to get her and got killed.184

      .     
There are a number of Indians living on Medicine Root Creek who were
in this battle.
Fight Between the Sioux and Pawnees in 1873
These came together when both were out hunting, and the Sioux, greatly
outnumbering the Pawnees, nearly destroyed them. A lot of the Sioux who
were in this fight are living on Medicine Root Creek. It is my understanding
that this was somewhere on the Republican.185

[Philip Wells’s Interview]

Ricker wrote the following biographical sketch of Philip Wells near
the end of this long interview.

[Tablet 3]
Sketch of Philip Faribault Wells. (Pronounced Faribo, Fr.)186
He was born in Dec. 1850 in Frontenac, Minnesota. His mother was a half-
blood Sioux Indian woman who never could speak spoke English. His father
was James Wells, a white American. The city of Faribault was named for the
famous Alexander Faribault, his uncle.187 The city of Faribault place was at
this date wholly an Indian country, there being not a white settler there. In the
territorial days of Minnesota James Wells was a noted character and once at
least was a member of the legislature. At the age of two years Philip’s father
removed to Faribault with his family When Philip was two years old his father
removed with his family to what is now Faribault, Rice County, Minn., then a
wilderness swarming with Indians. The Wells family was not outranked in im-
portance by any of the pioneers of that period, and this fact can not be better
confirmed than to say that a township and a county in that state are named
in honor and recognition of it. (Alex. Faribault was a half-blood; his wife and
Mr. Wells’ mother were sisters.) Mr. Wells’ five brothers have received honor-
able mention for their services in Civil and Indian wars. (His youngest brother
is not included, as he was too young.)
On the 18th August, 1864, Mr. James Wells who, not liking the narrow re-
straints of civilization and still full of fondness for the free yet perilous life of
the remote frontier with which he had always been identified, accompanied
by Philip, Wallace and Aaron, his sons (all of whom have since been conspicu-
ously identified with the Indian service) and an Indian whom he had raised to
manhood, and the wife of this Indian, were on their way to the Black Hills to
examine the country with a view to settle there, when they ran across a party of

                       
the hostile Sioux (a relic of the recent Minnesota war), and James Wells and the
woman were killed and Philip wounded. This was on a branch of the Big Sioux
river called the Lone Cottonwood, in what is now South Dakota. The terrible
hardships borne by this party in their endeavors to escape out of this hostile
country by night marches, enduring starvation, are yet fresh themes in the rec-
ollections of the early settlers. They finally reached home in pitiable condition,
being mere skeletons and scarcely recognizable. Their horses were taken by
the Indians and they were on foot nearly a month, the oldest brother Wallace
carrying Philip most of the time as he was seriously wounded. Soon after this
hard experience and yet a boy of about 15, Philip left home, and during the
next ten years roamed throughout the west, including Mexico south and the
British possessions north. After this time he was in the Indian service almost
continually; he was interpreter, farmer and acting agent for the Interior Dept.;
in 1877 and 1878 he was a deputy revenue collector officer on the northern
frontier Canadian line, which was merely auxiliary to his business as a fur trader
among the Indians. ‘‘I occupied under the War Dept. the positions of scout,
chief of scouts, and guide and interpreter. In the fall of 1876, was employed by
the Rev. Mr. Fennell, missionary of the Episcopal Church under Bishop Hare,
who was killed, I narrowly escaping with my life.188 A year or two afterwards
I took part in the capture of the notorious outlaw, Brave Bear, and in the kill-
ing of his brother, near Fort Totten.189 In 1881 was employed by the War Dept.
to assist in receiving the surrender of Sitting Bull and was an interpreter for
seven steamboat loads of Indian prisoners of war brought from Fort Buford
to Fort Yates. (This was when the final surrender of Indians took place.)190
Served as scout, interpreter and guide with the Army on various expeditions
against the Indians. Became head farmer at Standing Rock Agency (quit the
War Dept. in 1882) about 1882. In 1883 took charge of Turtle Mountain Reser-
vation as farmer and Acting Agent and remained in those positions 4 years. In
spring of 1887 I was appointed Assistant Clerk at Pine Ridge Reservation, and
in addition was official interpreter. In 1889 was official interpreter for the Sioux
Commission which treated for a portion of the Sioux Reservation. In 1890 was
appointed by Col. Gallagher, farmer in charge of Medicine Root district.
‘‘In the fall of 1890 resigned as farmer to take position as chief of scouts
under War Dept. Was in battle of Wounded Knee and affair at Drexel Mis-
sion.191 After peace was restored, was appointed farmer of White Clay district
by Capt. Brown of 11th Inf., Acting Agent.’’ While in that capacity, the killing
of the 4 cowboys by the band of the notorious Two Sticks took place; he cared

      .     
for the dead and with assistance of friendly Indians saved the living that were
left.192 In 1894 he quit the public service altogether, being unable longer to har-
monize with the class of men who were directing Indian affairs, he feeling that
it was not intelligent supervision that was wanted, but silence and submission
instead. He next established a stock ranch on the Reservation where he has
made selections for allotments to himself and children of whom he has six, five
sons and one daughter. Since 1886 he has been principal interpreter between
the government and the Sioux tribe of Indians in the making of all the treaties
between these parties, and in all the attempts at treaty making which failed.
[Tablet 5]
Interview with Philip F. Wells. His P.O. is Kadoka, S.D.
Interview with Philip F. Wells.
I arrived at his place in the N. E. corner of the Pine Ridge Reservation and
on the White River in South Dakota, at 2:30 .. Tuesday, October 2, 1906.
At Mr.Wells’ home I saw the book written by Mrs. Francis Chamberlain Holley,
copyrighted by her in 1890, and published in 1892 by Donohue & Hennebarry,
Chicago. It is titled, ‘‘Once Their Home or Our Legacy from the Dahkotahs.’’
Mr. Wells says it is truthful and accurate. It has some very slight inaccuracies
not sufficient to detract from its general correctness and value. On the margin
of page 336 he has noted a trifling correction. The author, giving an account of
the arrest of Brave Bear and Isnakiyapi and the attempt of the latter to escape
by springing, leaping and running, states that the soldiers pursued him firing.
‘‘Finally a ball struck him in the ankle, when he turned and faced the Sergeant
with his drawn knife, like a tiger at bay; but the Sergeant instantly fired and
the Indian dropped to the ground, shot through the heart. Such was the hasty
surrender of The Only One?’’ 193 Mr. Wells had made a notation correcting the
above as follows:
‘‘Not in the ankle but in the hip, and fell floundering, and finally gained his feet
and met the Sergeant. The hip wound was shot from a distance of 250 yards;
the death shot was about 20 feet off. (Signed) P. F. Wells, scout at the time and

On Indian Customs—Law, Discipline, Government—Dog Soldiers

Mr. Philip F.Wells states: The Indian Council decrees the laws and regulations
to be enforced for the control of the camp and the government of the tribe. The
Dog Soldiers are the municipal or police force which executes the commands
of the Council and preserves the public discipline and order. A committee ap-

                       
pointed by the Council goes through the camp and selects the Dog Soldiers
by making a black spot or mark on the face, either on cheek or chin, just so it
will be in plain view, without saying a word. Each man so designated under-
stands his duty and promptly gets his pony and makes ready for the service for
which he is thus detailed.
Mr. Wells states a circumstance to illustrate this performance.
A punctilious young man who accompanied Mr. Wells on a buffalo hunt
among the Indians, of spirit and honor, unacquainted with Indian customs, but
full of knowledge of city life, had taken it upon himself to learn of Mr. Wells.
He perceived that were in a part of {6} the camp by themselves but that the
women the Indians were gathering together as if something of interest was at-
tracting them and led by curiosity he went to where they were standing. The
Dog soldiers came along with whips in hand and began lashing and beating
the women them. One of the soldiers instead of dealing a severe blow to this
man, merely laid the lash on him without striking. Another came up and re-
versing the handle of his quirt touched him with the butt of his handle . Prior
to this Mr. W. had instructed him not to resent anything which he might con-
sider an indignity, even to a blow in the face, but to come to him to learn what
he should do. The young man now came to Mr. Wells and told him what had
been done to him and asked what he ought now to do.
(This was a buffalo hunt with the Indians—the last hunt ever had by these
people who had were at that time just been released as prisoners of war at Fort
Yates. It was in the fall of 1881, and Sitting Bull was in the party. Mr. Wells was
sent out in charge of them by Mr. James McLaughlin, Agent. These were Indi-
ans belonging to the Standing Rock Agency.)194
(Fort Yates was on this Reservation.)
Mr. Wells explained to him the significance of what he had seen.
(The particular attraction in this case was some deer on the other side of
the hill.) Every time the camp was pitched the Council house was put up and
at night the Council met and made their orders for the next day including in-
structions for the next camp. The rule was made that nobody should go be-
yond a given line from the camp; this was to prevent scaring and stampeding
the game that the party was hunting. Mr. Wells told the young man who was
his guest what the rule was that had been violated, and that out of respect for
him as a guest who was unfamiliar with Indian government, he had not been
beaten as the others were, but had been treated with leniency. He was further


      .     
told that, to be the object of the law’s notice as he had been, and to receive
punishment for infraction of the law in a manly spirit without complaint, sul-
lenness or resistance was a feature of his behavior which signified possession
of manly qualities, and was an honor to him, and that now to show his ap-
preciation of such honor it would be according to Indian custom if he should
invite the Indians to partake of some little refreshment. This he did. (When he
went out with Mr. W. he said he would resent any insult and resist any invasion
of his rights; but that his intention was to be honorable and respect the forms,
and customs and civilities practiced by the Indians, but being ignorant as to
what they were he would depend on the advice of his friend Mr. W.) The Dog
soldiers may sometimes tear down the offender’s tepee and destroy his effects;
but if the penalty of disobeying the orders of the Council is something differ-
ent but equally severe, and he accepts it in a way showing great self-control and
cheerfulness it is looked upon as the mark of manhood, and the Indian public
take pleasure in contributing to give him another start in life—one will give one
thing, another something else and so on till frequently the law-breaker who has
made cheerful expiation is better off in the things of which he was dispossessed
than before the soldiers dealt with him. His relatives might commonly be ex-
pected to help him in any event. But if he resisted or offered any opposition,
or exhibited anger or sullenness, it was regarded as evidence of lack of man-
hood, and instead of his punishment entitling him to honor, he is disgraced.
The authority of the Dog soldiers is supported by the universal power of
the tribe, and they soldier administer such degree of punishment as they con-
sider adequate, acting in the double capacity of judge and executioner. The
Indian ordinance is as sacred as was the Greek law whose majesty was hero-
ically affirmed by the judge when his own son was arraigned before him for an
offense which called for the putting out of both eyes, he suffered the loss of one
of his own instead of one of his son’s, and thus the law was fulfilled requiring
two eyes. No matter if it be the chief of the tribe or a member of the Council
who disobeys the ordinance, the Dog soldier does his duty in vindicating the
law, without abatement of the penalty or the severity of it. The law commands
impartial respect and must be satisfied by corporal punishment.

On the Battle of the Little Big Horn

Mr. Wells has heard Indians variously state the time when the battle was begun
by Reno at a little after sunrise, when the sun was up at about nine o’clock or


                       
a little more, and still others at about noon, but the great majority (and these
were older men) agreed that it was about the middle of the forenoon.195 He
thinks there were 4,000 warriors in the battle on the Indian side.
Major Reno whom he knew quite well, was a brutal, graceless person who
had no respect for a brave man.
While Mr. Wells [was] not on the Little Big Horn, he has been so much
among the Indians who were in the battle and has interpreted for army officers
and officers of the government, for newspaper correspondents and members
of the Indian Rights Association that he knows the Indian side of the conflict
by heart. There was always great conflict of statement among them except that
here was unanimity that the Indians were surprised.
It is his opinion that Major Reno could not have reached Custer and that
he did well to save his command.
Mr. Wells says that it is his understanding that Rain-in-the-Face was not in
the Custer battle.196 Old Rain made money out of the white man’s raving over
what was believed to be his inhuman killing of Custer. He sold photos in great
numbers. Tenderfeet bought anything with ardor that they were told that he
carried on his person in the battle when he killed Custer(!)
Mr.Wells says Faribault, Minn., is named for his uncle Alexander Faribault.
Mr. Wells says his father, James Wells, commonly known all over the country
as ‘‘Bully’’ Wells, [was] a noted character and typical frontiersman. Never met
his match in muscle or daring. The family lived at Faribault until 1864 when
the father becoming tired of the contact of civilization started to remove to the
Black Hills. Conditions in Minnesota and northern Iowa were not safe owing
to marauding bands of Indians who were remnants of the hostile forces of 1862
and 1863, and were moving across the state line forward and backward with
evil intentions. Mr. Wells’ father was killed on Floyd River near the line by a
party of these Indians, and he himself was wounded.197
Sioux Indians in Minnesota were distinct from the Sioux which inhabited
the country round Fort Laramie.

On the Feud between Gen. Miles and Colonel Forsythe

There was no concord of feeling between Forsythe and Miles. There were two
sides among the officers on the Reservation, some favoring General Miles, and
some shielding Col. Forsythe. A court of inquiry had been ordered to investi-
gate Forsythe’s conduct at Wounded Knee; but General Miles, exceeding his
authority, put Forsythe under arrest.198

      .     
A young Second Lieutenant recently graduated from West Point and as-
signed to the 1st U.S. Infy. at San Francisco, on arrival at Pine Ridge Agency
with his command a day or two after the battle of Wounded Knee was detailed
by General Miles to go to Wounded Knee and examine the field and make a
report.199 A singular striking circumstance was that none of the old and compe-
tent scouts was sent out with this officer but only young Indian scouts who had
no experience or knowledge.The officer himself might not be suspected of any
surplus qualification. Mr.Wells does not know what kind of a report was made.
A little later Mr. Wells was in a tent where there were some officers. One of
them held in his hands a paper consisting of sheets put together in the legal
form.200 An officer asked him what he thought of the report, and a paragraph
was read to him in which it was averred that the soldiers were so stationed that
they fired into one another. Mr. Wells denounced the statement as false. An-
other officer then asked if he knew whose report it was that he was criticizing.
He replied that he did not; neither did he care. He was asked if he would make
oath to the statement he had made, and he replied that he would not for the rea-
son that he had used expletives which he would not repeat, but in answer to an-
other question he said he would be qualified to such statement when couched
in diplomatic language. He afterwards furnished a sworn account of the battle.
He was informed soon afterwards by some officer that there was liable to
be an overhauling of what he had at first impulsively remarked; and acting on
this suggestion he went among the wounded Indians and took a number of
statements, from among them having with him to listen to what was said and
to verify what was done, Rev. Charles Smith Cook; and Mr. Cook also made a
sworn statement.201 When certain of the officers learned of what Mr. Cook had
done they desired to get these documents and Mr. Cook let them take them. He
thinks it was these which caused General Miles to receive from the War Depart-
ment a sharp reprimand. The more pointed testimonies were never recovered
by him, but several he got back through General Kent either the originals or
copies. I transcribe these in his possession. The first is that of Mr. Wells him-
P.O. Kadoka, S.D.
‘‘A half-breed, P. F. Wells, being duly sworn testified as follows:
I was interpreter interpreting for Colonel Forsyth at the time of [the] battle
on Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890. Colonel Forsyth spoke to Big Foot
through me as follows: ‘‘You tell Big Foot that he tells me that his Indians had
no arms, when yesterday at time of surrender they were all well armed.203 I am

                       
sure that he is deceiving me. Tell him, Big Foot, that he need have no fear in
giving up his arms, as I wish to treat you with nothing but kindness.
Have I not done enough for you to convince you that I intend nothing but
kindness? Did I not put you into an ambulance and treat you kindly, and put
you into a good tent, and put a stove into it to keep you warm and comfort-
able, and I have sent off to get provisions for your people which I expect here
before long so that I can feed you well, and I have had my doctors taking care
of you.’’ Then Big Foot answered: ‘‘They have no guns only such as you have
found. (Which I, the interpreter, saw was about a dozen old rifles, tied up with
strings, different old-fashioned rifles, not a decent one in the lot.) I gathered
up all my guns at the Cheyenne River Agency and turned them in and they
were all burned up.’’ Then General Forsyth answered: ‘‘You are lying to me in
return for all my kindness to you.’’ Big Foot answered in substance as before.
At this time the soldiers were searching again. During this time a medicine
man all painted up and fantastically dressed, was going on with a silent ghost
dance, or rather the maneuvers of the ghost dance worship, throwing up his
hands and occasionally picking up dust and throwing it towards the soldiers
who were standing in ranks around; then he turned toward the young bucks
who were squatted together, and said ‘‘do not be afraid and let your hearts be
strong to meet what is before you; we are all well aware that there are lots of
soldiers about us and that they have lots of bullets; but I have received assur-
ance that their bullets cannot penetrate us. The prairie is large and the bullet
will not go toward you but over the large prairies and if they do go towards you
they will not penetrate you.’’ (To go in Mr. Wells’ Statement: This should be
added to the medicine man’s words after the final ones ‘‘they (the bullets) will
not penetrate you:’’ ‘‘As you saw me throw up the dust and it floated away, so
will the bullets float away harmlessly over the prairies.’’)204
Then all these young bucks answered ‘‘How’’ with great earnestness; this
meaning that they were with him or would stand by him. I then turned to Major
Whiteside and said that man is making mischief and repeated to him what he
had said.205
He said go direct to General Forsyth and tell him about it, which I did. So
he came along with me to the edge of the Indian circle of bucks and told me to
tell that man to sit down and keep quiet, the man then being engaged again in
silent maneuvers or incantations. But he kept on and paid no attention to the
order; when General Forsyth repeated the order; and when I translated it in In-
dian, Big Foot’s brother-in-law said, ‘‘He will sit down when he gets around the

      .     
circle,’’ and when he reached the end he squatted down. At the end of General
Forsyth’s conversation through me to Big Foot, the brother-in-law asked that
they be allowed to take their chief, Big Foot, ‘‘who is dying,’’ and go amongst
our people, meaning to continue on the journey they had been making before
the arrest. The General answered: ‘‘I can take better care of him than you can
anywhere, as I have my doctor tending to him.’’ Then General Forsyth went
to one side giving instructions elsewhere. This was after I had told him that
the medicine man was inciting trouble. After the medicine man sat down some
sergeant of cavalry said to General Forsyth, ‘‘There goes one with a gun under
his blanket.’’ The Indian was walking around the circle. The general ordered
the sergeant to take it away from the Indian and he went up and snatched the
rifle away from him. Then Major Whiteside said to me, ‘‘Tell the Indians that it
is necessary that they should be searched one at a time;’’ this while he stood to
one side with five or six soldiers. The Indians, or rather the old ones assented
willingly by answering ‘‘How’’ and the search began. Whilst the young bucks
paid no attention at all, the old ones that were sitting next to us passed through
(some five or six of them), and submitted to the search. Whilst this was going
on I kept a watch on the medicine man for fear of a row; and then I heard some
one to my left call out, ‘‘Look out!’’ ‘‘look out!’’ and that instant, as I turned my
head, I brought my arms to a ‘‘port’’ and then saw five or six young bucks throw
off their blankets and pull out their arms from under them, brandish them in
the air, and immediately the older Indians that were sitting between us and
the younger ones rose up so that the farther end of [the] circle, some forty feet
away, was hidden from my view. I heard a shot fired from midst of them, and as
I started to cock my rifle, throwing my eyes to the right to see the treacherous
fellow whom I suspected; he had, or some one like him from that lot, come to
within 3 or 4 feet of me with a long cheese knife ground to a sharp point raised
to stab me. Then the fight between him and me prevented me from seeing any-
thing else at the time, he stabbing me by cutting off the end of my nose, and I
keeping him off till I could swing my rifle to hit him, which I finally succeeded
in doing, and I then shot and killed him as soon as I had room to aim my rifle.
By this time the fight between the Indians and soldiers had become general.
Up to that time the women and children in and around the tepees were not
fired at until some five or six of the bucks ran amongst the women and children
and began firing from there, and the fire of the soldiers was directed towards
them. This was all that I saw positively, and I was bleeding profusely and was
led off, my senses having almost left me. After the heavy fight was over I came

                       
back to where the dead and wounded were lying motionless, and called out:
‘‘These white people came to save you and you have brought death on your-
selves. Still white people are merciful to save the wounded enemy when he is
harmless; so, if some of you are alive, raise your heads; I am a man of your own
blood who is talking to you.’’ At this about a dozen heads were raised from
among those that were seemingly dead; one man especially raised himself on
his elbow and said: ‘‘Are you the man they call Fox?’’ (my Indian name). I told
him I was. He says: ‘‘I want you to favor me by coming to me.’’ I suspected him,
however, and raising my gun went towards him. He says: ‘‘Who is that man
lying burned there?’’ meaning an Indian who had run into a scout’s tent, and
who had from there killed three or four soldiers, until they—the soldiers—had
fired a volley into the same and had finally set the tent on fire to get him out.
(Mr. Wells makes this addition to his statement about the volley fired into
the tent and its destruction by fire. ‘‘After the soldiers had poured the volley
into it they were ordered away and the Hotchkiss cannon trained on it and a
shell thrown into it. It and the hay within caught fire and it was burned.’’)
I supposed he was one of the two medicine men and replied accordingly. He
raised himself a little higher, raised his closed fist pointing it towards the dead
Indian, shot out his fingers, which is amongst Indians a deadly insult, mean-
ing, ‘‘I could kill you and be satisfied doing it; am sorry I could do no more
to you;’’ and then used words trembling, but which I could not all catch, but
he said this which I did hear, speaking as though to the dead man ‘‘if I could
be taken to you I would stab you!’’ then turning to me said, ‘‘He is our mur-
derer! Only for him inciting our other young men we would have been alive
and happy!’’ Another old woman, whom I was conducting to a safe place, told
me ‘‘the treacherous ones are of Big Foot’s band; these two medicine men have
been trying constantly to incite the others to trouble since we of Hump’s band
have been with them; some of us honestly meant peace when we raised the
white flag. But in spite of that trouble has been made.’’ Some of the women that
were wounded said about the same thing. Before this, while some of the sol-
diers were still firing, I heard Gen. Forsyth yelling, ‘‘Quit shooting at them!’’
this in efforts to save women and children, and the firing towards them ceased.
Some soldier replied: ‘‘That fellow,’’ alluding to a wounded buck among the
women, ‘‘is raising a gun to shoot.’’ An instant or two before I heard a similar
order given; but I heard General Forsyth’s order distinctly, and the soldier’s
reply as though in excuse for his action in disobedience of the first orders.
A true copy.

      .     
J. Ford Kent
Lt. Col. 18th Inf.
Charles Smith Cook and P. F. Wells’ Statement of the [blank] Statement of He-
ha-ka-wan-ya-ka-pi (Elks Saw Him)
Age 38, of Hump’s band. A ghost dancer. I came along with Big Foot’s band
as by an accident, namely: We heard that Big Foot and people were invited to
come and live here with the Oglalas. I joined them, being myself an Oglala.
Fifth day out we met the soldiers. We were just coming down the hills beyond
Porcupine Tail Creek when we were met by four scouts. I saw only one, High-
backbone, the others riding back rapidly to tell the soldiers of our coming. I
asked the scout the object of his coming to us. He answered: ‘‘We heard you
were coming and so have come to meet you. Everything will be all right.’’ We
got into Porcupine Tail Creek and made coffee there. Then we came on, pre-
ceded by our horsemen. Presently it was said: ‘‘Soldiers are coming’’ I looked
and saw them coming, making much dust. They came on and finally halted
at a given place not far from us. We still came on toward them, preceded by
our horsemen. On a little rise they placed two cannon covering us, having
their other guns in readiness for firing. We came right on towards them and
finally reached them, our people saying, ‘‘They are only fooling us.’’ We finally
mingled together with them, and came on with them, some of the soldiers pre-
ceding us and the rest coming on behind. We reached the Wounded Knee; we
camped right by their side. Of course we were guarded. It was a lovely evening.
Rations were soon given us and everything seemed friendly. There being no
bad intentions on our part we didn’t entertain any sense of fear. There was no
suspicion on our part towards the soldiers. We were simply coming this way
because of the invitation from Red Cloud, Young-Man-Afraid-of-his-Horses,
and other chiefs.We did not ask for the usual passes because we knew we would
be refused. At the Wounded Knee the men were not allowed to take the horses
to water. The boys had charge of that. Even then I did not think that we were
under suspicion. After breakfast that morning I went out and learned that all
the men were wanted at a given place. I went to it, near Big Foot’s tent which
was near the soldiers. It was then said that all our guns were wanted. Many of
the soldiers (cavalry) were arranging themselves into positions; and the infan-
try came on between us and the women and children. All the men were thus
separated from the women. I heard an officer saying something. He must have
given orders, because the soldiers began loading their guns and holding them

                       
in readiness for firing. I called out and said, ‘‘Let us give up every gun.’’ I said
this because I thought it was best to do so. Many were brought. Can not say
exactly how many, but thought all had been gathered up. Every man in the In-
dian party did not have a gun. I gave up my Winchester which was all that I had.
A man by name Hose-Yanka (a rascally fellow) was at this juncture ‘‘making
medicine’’ but I did not hear what he was saying. Also about this time a more
rigid searching of the Indians was instituted. When they came to me I gave up
my cartridge belt. A soldier took it and began taking off the cartridges, appar-
ently to return to me the belt, so I stood by him waiting for it. Just then I heard
the report of a gun and saw a man throwing off his sheet covering; then fol-
lowed firing from all sides. I threw myself on the ground. I then jumped up to
run towards the Indian camp but was then and there shot down, being hit on
my right leg, and soon after was shot again on the other leg.
When the general firing ceased I heard an interpreter calling out, saying the
wounded would be kindly treated. I opened my eyes and looked about and saw
the dead and wounded all around me. Five men and Mrs. Big Foot were near
me alive. My wife and younger child, I hear, were not killed, but my older girl
is missing. Alec. Adams, government herder here, is my brother. The young
man who fired the first gun is, the one who brought all this trouble upon us.
(Signed) Charles Smith Cook
P. F. Wells
Copied from Mr. Cook’s paper by his wife.
Pine Ridge Agency, S.D. Jan. 7th [18]91;
Statement of Frog of Big Foot’s Band.
I am a brother of Big Foot.We left Cheyenne River where we had been living, as
Big Foot was tired of the bad treatment he had been getting at the hands of both
Indians and white people; and besides, Big Foot and his band had been asked
at different times during the summer by Red Cloud, Little Wound, Afraid-of-
his-Horses and No Water to come to Pine Ridge Agency and join them.
(At this point Mr. Wells says that it is a matter of no little importance to
know what was the secret motive of these chiefs in inviting and urging Big Foot
to come to Pine Ridge and stay. Did they secretly believe that the time had
come for it, and the necessity was extreme enough to require a demonstration
to convince the government that to avoid serious consequences it should now
put an end to the wrongs afflicting the Indians as the result of its failure to keep
its treaty obligations and other promises? The leading chiefs and statesmen
of the time were Red Cloud, Little Wound, Young-Man-Afraid-of-his Horses

      .     
and American Horse. The latter cannot be better described than to say he was
a politician. He was shrewd and sagacious, and endowed with the advantage
of eloquent oratory, yet slippery in character, being wise enough to know that
resistance to the government was hopeless so far as independence was con-
cerned—that the Indians were practically a conquered race, and that if hos-
tility was nourished into actual war this meant destruction to the last hope of
the Indians to preserve even a semblance of their identity as a distinct people.
American Horse won the reputation of being the friend of the white man and
of the government. His course brought him consideration and favors from the
conqueror. But we cannot suppress an active admiration for those truly loyal
and patriotic men like Red Cloud who stood out with resolution and endur-
ance for their people, and were ready to die with them if need be to redress and
end their wrongs and promote their good, as far as there was any possibility
of doing so for this despised and outraged native class. Little Wound, with
perfect sincerity, had bowed his proud spirit to what he knew were inevitable
conditions when the results of the fighting of 1876 were realized. He accepted
as an upright man the terms of advancing civilization. He was willing that his
followers should adopt the new order as taught by the white conqueror. Upon
this point his heart was unmistakeably good. He placed reliance upon the good
intentions of the Great Father as glowingly and emphatically pictured to him.
In submitting, he acted upon the promises as though they were sacred and had
been made to be kept.
Let it be pointedly stated that they were not kept, be the fault grave or other-
wise without attempt specifically to locate the responsibility. How natural and
politic, then, that having acquiesced in the demands of the stronger power, he
should persuade those around him to act in good faith toward the conqueror,
believing that his word of promise would be fulfilled. Imagine what must have
been his disappointment when his people were deceived and victimized and
subjected to wrongs which, from their long continuance, could not be excused
or accounted for as accidental. As a dernier resort these first men whose high-
est duty was to secure the rights of the Indians to whom they belonged, may
have planned to assemble a threatening force so that notice, and action based
thereon, would be given to their demands for justice. In the interview with
Mr. Wells I was informed that during the troublous situation before the tragedy
occurred at Wounded Knee, he had heard leading Indians and warriors (but
not any of the chiefs mentioned) say that if war should come it would not last
in confidential conversations that there were good white men who wanted just

                       
treatment for the Indians but they were far away in the east and not conversant
with the true state of affairs, and that if a war was to come it should be con-
fined to the immediate regions affected by the grievances in question, and that
it would acquire no great extent but be local and limited; but that it would have
the effect to attract the attention of the wise and good men of the country to
the abuses which were perpetrated, so that a remedy would be found and ap-
plied to satisfy the complaints of their tribe. Secret talk of this character is an
index of the sentiment which generally prevailed; and it would be erroneous
to say that the natives contemplated war, or even desired it except as a remote
possibility to accomplish righteous ends which were impossible of attainment
as an answer to appeals, earnest and supplicating as they had been.) (See ac-
count of the Rosebud Indians coming and joining the hostiles at Pine Ridge
Agency; obtained from Mr. Wells.)
(Frog’s Statement Continued.)
From the time we left home till we came to Pine Ridge Reservation we had
not been interfered with by soldiers or any one else. When we were taken by
the soldiers the day before the battle fight, they treated us with nothing but
kindness and brought [us] to camp. The following morning the soldiers began
blowing their bugles and they began standing around in ranks, but I thought
nothing of it, as it was their natural custom to do so; and then we were told
(all of us) to come out and sit down at a place near the door of Big Foot’s tent,
which we did. Then a lot of soldiers got in between us (men) and our camp,
separating us (men) from the women and children. An officer told us then he
wanted our guns and as soon as we gave them up he would give us provisions
and we can go on our way. We, the older men, consented willingly and began
giving them up. We had all given them up, as I thought, when I saw an Indian
with a gun under his blanket, and the soldiers saw it at the same time, and they
took it away from him. They (soldiers) commenced searching the Indians one
at a time. The medicine man was going through the incantations of the ghost
dance, stopped and began speaking to the young men. But I paid no attention
to what he said, as I had not the least fear of any trouble; so I pulled my blanket
over my head and didn’t see anything till I heard much talking in loud voices.
I uncovered my head and I saw every one had arisen on his feet; and I heard a
shot coming from where the young Indians stood. Shortly after that I was shot
down, and I laid there as I fell. The firing was so fast and the smoke and dust
so thick I did not see much more of the fight until it was over. I heard some


      .     
one saying, ‘‘Indians, all of you who are yet alive raise your heads; the white
men do not wish to kill you.’’ I raised my head and saw a man standing among
the dead, and I asked him if he was the man they called Fox; and he said he
was. And I said, ‘‘Will you come to me?’’ and he came to my side. I then asked
him who is that man lying there half burnt and he said, ‘‘I understand it is the
medicine man,’’ and I threw at him (the medicine man) my bitterest hatred and
contempt. I then said to Fox, ‘‘He has caused the death of all of our people.’’
(I copied Frog’s Statement from the original in P. F. Wells’ handwriting.
Among Mr. Wells’ papers was a typewritten copy of it, at the end of which were
the following signatures:
(Signed) Charles Smith Cook, missionary of the Episcopal Church.
(Signed) P. F. Wells, A True copy
(Signed) J. Ford Kent, Lt. Col. 18th Inf. A. I. G.
Pine Ridge Agency, S.D., Jan. 7, ’91

The Statement of Help Them, son of Heart Man, living on Wounded Knee

I am an Oglala. I went on a visit to Big Foot’s camp on Cheyenne River, and
as I was on my way home I came along with Big Foot’s people.
When we were taken by the soldiers we were treated kindly by them and we
were given provision to eat. The only thing that did not look friendly on the
part of the soldiers was, they kept their guns in readiness for action, and when
we came into camp they placed two cannons on a hill covering our camp. The
men were not allowed to take the horses to water, so the watering of the horses
was done by the little boys. To the best of my knowledge the Indians had no
intention of fighting.
The disarming of the Indians had begun peaceably by some of the men. I
had given up my gun and had left the circle and was going towards our camp
where all of the women and children were.
For sometime before that the medicine man had been going through the ma-
neuvers of the ghost dance. He stopped and turned around facing a crowd of
young men who were standing together with their guns concealed under their
blankets, and spoke to them. I could not hear what he said, though I heard all
he spoke to answer, ‘‘How!’’
Shortly after I heard a white man say something in excited tones, which
I could not understand; and I looked around and I saw some of the Indians
throw off their blankets and raise their guns, and one of the Indians fired a shot.


                       
I did not recognize him. As I turned to run I heard a few shots following the
first. Then the firing became so fast I could not tell what happened after that.
The medicine man had been telling the other Indians all the way that the
soldiers’ bullets could not reach them (the Indians), no matter how the soldiers
would shoot at them.
(I copied the foregoing statement of Help Them from the original in the
handwriting of P. F. Wells. This had been in the hands of General J. Ford Kent,
and among the papers was a typewritten copy which ended with the following
(Signed) Charles Smith Cook, Missionary of the Episcopal Church
(Signed) P. F. Wells
A True Copy
(Signed) J. Ford Kent, Lt. Col. 18th Inf. A. I. G.
Headquarters Department of Dakota., Inspector General’s Office.
St. Paul, Minn. 9th Jany., 1892.
Mr. P. F. Wells, Pine Ridge Agency,
Dear Sir:
I enclose you true copies of your own testimony & of the two Indians, all of
which I made use of in the investigation of the Battle of the Wounded Knee.
That of the Rev. Mr. Cook I took no copy of but appended the original state-
ment, so cannot furnish it.
Truly yours,
J. Ford Kent
United States Indian Service.
Office of Indian Agent,
Pine Ridge Agency, South Dakota,
October 6th, 1890.
To Whom It May Concern.
This is to certify that Philip F. Wells has several years past acted as Official
Sioux Interpreter at this Agency. During this time he has proved himself reli-
able and efficient in the highest degree and I have no hesitation in recommend-
ing him as deserving of the confidence of any person in whose service he may
H. D. Gallagher
U. S. Indian Agent.

      .     
United States Indian Service,
Standing Rock Agency, Fort Yates, N.D.
January 6, 1892.
P. F. Wells, Esq.
Pine Ridge Agency, S.D.
Dear Sir:
I am in receipt of your communication relative to your application for the posi-
tion of Farmer at Pine Ridge Agency, and desire to state that I have known
you since 1864 when you were a small boy living on your father’s farm in Rice
County, Minnesota, and that I have been acquainted with you since that time.
It affords me pleasure to testify to your good morals and general charac-
ter as coming within my knowledge, and to your having grown to manhood
on a farm, with an experience of many years amongst Indians. You were Head
Farmer at this agency in 1882 and 1883 and subsequently as Farmer in charge of
the Turtle Mountain Sub-Agency under ex-Agent Cramsie of Devil’s Lake.206
I regard you as well qualified for the position of Farmer at any Indian Agency
and particularly so among the Sioux whose language you have so thorough a
knowledge of.
You are at liberty to use this letter if it will be of any use to you in applying
for the position you seek.
With kind regards,
I am yours very respectfully,
(Signed) James McLaughlin
U. S. Indian Agent.
United States Indian Service
Devil’s Lake Agency
December 18th, 1886.
To Whom It May Concern:
This is to certify, that Philip Wells has been in my employ as farmer in charge on
the Turtle Mountain Reservation during the last four years. He has performed
his duties faithfully & honestly, and has given entire satisfaction. Mr. Wells re-
signed in consequence of notice received from the Dept. that the position of
farmer would be filled by a person selected by the Indian office, in pursuance
of a policy adopted by the Dept. I take pleasure in recommending Mr. Wells
to any one desirous of securing the services of an honest and capable man.
(Signed) John W. Cramsie
U. S. Indian Agent.

                       
Headquarters 7th Cavalry 207
Fort Riley, Kans. March 5, 1891.
The Adjutant General U. S. A.
Washington, D. C.
(Through Head Quarters Dept. of the Missouri)
I have the honor to invite special attention to the conduct of Interpreter, Philip
Wells, at the battle of Wounded Knee, S.D., December 29, 1890, and the en-
gagement near Drexel Mission, S.D., December 30, 1890.
Mr. Wells accompanied Lieut. Taylor’s troop of Scouts to which [he] was at-
tached as interpreter, to Wounded Knee with my command on the evening of
December 28, 1890.208 During the council the next morning he rendered every
assistance in his power to overcome the disinclination of the Indians to turn in
their arms. He was within the circle of Indians when the break took place and
was at once stunned by a blow from an Indian from behind. He quickly recov-
ered himself, and turning saw the Indian in the act of striking him with a large
knife. This blow he partially avoided by raising his arm, as it struck him in the
face and nearly severed his nose, leaving only a small portion of flesh by which
it was held to his face. Clubbing the Indian with the barrel of his gun to gain
the necessary [time] to step back, he took deliberate aim and killed the buck.
Hastening to the surgeon he waited only long enough to have his face partially
covered with cotton to stop the flow of blood, and then returning with his gun,
took an active part in the remainder of the fight—in fact, he could have ren-
dered no better service if he had not received the wound.
He rode with the column on its return that night to the Agency, ready for
any duty. Early the next morning, while waiting in the Divisional Hospital to
have his wound attended to, the alarm regarding the Drexel Mission was re-
ceived and the 7th Cavalry ordered out. Mr. Wells without waiting for surgical
treatment attention, ran out of the hospital and jumped on the first pony he
could find and accompanied the regiment during the entire day.
I consider interpreter Wells’ conduct during the two days as remarkably
fine and gallant, and urgently recommend him for the most substantial reward
that can be given him.
Very respectfully
(Signed) James W. Forsyth
Colonel 7th Cavalry
(Briefs on the files)

      .     

Little Wound

(The following paper [See ‘‘Sketch of Little Wound’’ below] was written by a
lady in Washington in March, 1896 when Little Wound and Philip F. Wells and
Kicking Bear and George Fire Thunder—Thunder Bear went to represent the
police only in police matters—were in that City as a delegation sent by the Og-
la-la Indians to search for records and treaties and documents in relation to the
sale of the Black Hills and which affect these Indians in any other way, as the
Indians were in great confusion respecting these affairs, because of conflicting
claims of the opposing parties. This lady wrote from the dictation of Mr. Wells
who was familiar with the history of the chief, and the manuscript was submit-
ted to Little Wound himself who approved it. Before I proceed to transcribe
the MS it will be useful to add that this delegation, of which Little Wound was
chairman, succeeded in finding much important information, among which
was the extraordinary fact that the Commission which treated for the Black
Hills made oral promise to the Indians which was not inserted in the written
treaty, that the southern boundary should embrace a strip of country lying in
Nebraska which would include the line of the Northwestern railroad with the
towns of Chadron, Hay Springs, Rushville and Gordon, the real limits of which
beyond those places cannot at this moment be specified. This delegation went
to Washington by way of St. Paul, Minn., and at that place they obtained from
General Sanborn who was one of the commissioners that negotiated the treaty,
a statement in writing addressed to Little Wound as chairman, affirming this
fact of the oral promise of the commissioners to the Indians. Mr. Wells gave
this letter to Chief Little Wound chairman of the delegation, for preservation.
At this writing (Oct. 6, 1906) Little Wound is dead, having died about 1902
or 1903, and it is not exactly known where this important document is, but it
is supposed to be in the custody of some representative of the dead chief. We
aim to prosecute inquiry to ascertain its whereabouts.209
It is fitting that in describing the make-up of this delegation I should re-
mark that Mr. Wells stood second to Little Wound, and that Kicking Bear and
George Fire Thunder ranked below him. This was a proper order of prefer-
ence, as Mr. Wells had had a wider range of experience and knowledge, was
a fair English scholar, a fluent conversationalist with a well-known and justly-
high reputation as a Sioux interpreter, and possessed a knowledge also of the
Chippewa and Crow tongues. One little circumstance regarding his creden-
tials may well be related in this connection as showing the spirit which Agent

                       
Clapp exhibited and how unwilling he was to do right by acting according to
the facts of the case and the wishes of the Indians in this legitimate and com-
mendable undertaking, after they had in council elected these delegates, and
were supplying the funds for their expenses.
When Mr. Wells applied to Agent Clapp for his credentials the agent in-
serted the word ‘‘interpreter,’’ so as to present him in that sole capacity without
authority and prestige as a delegate to be heard and respected; and the agent
would not alter it when Mr. Wells protested, and the delegation informed him
what was Mr. Wells’ true status, and requested that his letter of rank and au-
thority be corrected. I cite this as an instance illustrative of the littleness of the
men who as favorites of some with influence creatures of influence who held
positions of great responsibility requiring ability to be just and therefore effi-
cient, rather than the weakness which renders an officer arbitrary and offen-
sive. In official intercourse with these natives men of broad views and large
capacity were in demand, but the government by virtue of the vicious system
of appointment, and the Indians by reason of their inferior status, and want of
power and audience were not blessed with such officers except in rare cases.
When the delegation reached Washington the subject was brought to the notice
[of ] Mr. Browning the Commissioner of Indian Affairs who heard the state-
ments of the delegation and accorded Mr. Wells his rights.)210
Following is the Sketch of Little Wound:
Little Wound, an Ogallala Sioux Chief, is now (March, 1896) 68 years of
age. In 1844, when at the age of 16, his father took him on the war path gainst
the Shoshone Indians.211 He killed his man in a singlehanded fight and was
badly wounded himself. As it was customary among the Indians, when a war-
rior done (sic) any deeds of bravery in battle to give him a new name. He was
named ‘‘Little Wound,’’ from the fact he was small and doing such a deed of
bravery. His former name being ‘‘Good Singer’’ when a boy.
He was engaged in numberless battles and skirmishes (with Indians) who
were at war with the Sioux, and in many instances killed enemies, from which
he became distinguished.
Sometime in 1860 some white people were trying to induce the Indians to
live in peace with one another, and Little Wound agreed to live in peace if the
other tribes would not molest him. That he would only fight in self-defense.
The Omaha warriors attacked his people, and he, with his warriors, chased
them home and killed about 100 of them. He then sent word around to the
neighboring tribes that he did not want to fight any more, and asked them not

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to force him into any more fights. But the Pawnees took advantage of his band
when all the men folks were out on a buffalo chase, and took the camp where
only women and children were. They killed something over 100 of his band,
women, children and old men who were in camp. Shortly after that occurred,
the head chief of the Pawnee Indians sent him a ‘‘Pipe of Peace.’’ He rejected the
‘‘Pipe of Peace’’ and said ‘‘No, my wounds are too sore yet: the wounds that you
gave me are not healed up.’’ In reply the Pawnee chief insisted on peace, and
offered to pay damages in horses. Little Wound also rejected that and in reply
sent to the Pawnee chief arrows, returning the ‘‘Pipe of Peace,’’ meaning a dec-
laration of war, and also said, ‘‘You took advantage of me when all the men folks
were away, and killed our women and children. I now notify you to make ready,
and make as many arrows as you can and have them all ready, for I am coming to
punish fight, for I will not sneak on and take advantage of you as you did me.’’
When the appointed time came he went with his warriors and attacked
the Pawnee tribe, and as his were the bravest and most dreaded warriors of
the Sioux tribe, after meeting in battle, they in a very short time defeated the
Pawnees and killed over 200 of their number and chased the others away. He
also captured from the camp a number of women and children.
It was a known practice among the Indians that Indian prisoners of war ex-
pected no mercy from their captors, but on the contrary immediate death or
other inhuman treatment. Little Wound gathered all the women and children
prisoners together. ‘‘I will not do as my women and children were done by
your husbands: they beat my women and children and made slaves of them;
but in return for that I am going to paint your faces red (a work of kindness
and respect), dress you in my women’s clothes, and will furnish you with good
horses so that you can [go] back to your cowardly husbands,’’ and he did as
he said he would, sending Antoine Janis, a well known character in charge of
them to the Pawnee tribe.212
The following year the Pawnees, with some of the head chiefs, came to the
Ogallala camp and demanded damages, when Little Wound replied to them:
‘‘After I asked you people to let me alone, and let me live in peace, you came
to my camp and murdered my women and children while my men folks were
on a buffalo chase, and I never cried, or begged any one to help me get pay;
but I came and punished you, captured your women and children, and when
I heard them cry I took mercy on them, painted their faces red, put them on
good horses and sent them back to you. So, if you want pay, get your warriors
together, your bows and arrows, and take pay out of me.’’ Nothing further was

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said about it. This was his last fight, and from that day to this he has lived at
peace with the Indian tribes and the whites.213

White Flag at Wounded Knee

Mr. Wells says that Colonel Forsyth left the Agency about sundown on Dec. 28
and arrived at Wounded Knee about 11 .. He [Wells] was with Capt. Taylor’s
scouts; these did not go quite to the camp of the troops on the creek, but halted
about a mile back on the hill and went into camp for the night. Next morning
when he arose he noticed a white flag flying from a pole close to the ravine.
This is all that he knows about it except that the battle was fought under it.
No. of Hotchkiss Cannon at Wounded Knee
Mr. Wells says there were 2 or 3 of these.
Provision Train which came to Wounded Knee Dec. 29
It arrived from the Agency in the afternoon. The sound of the battle, dis-
charges of cannon, were heard by the Indians at the Agency and they made
a hurried march to W. K., approaching the battlefield from the west over the
hills overlooking the field from that direction. Some cavalry was dispatched
to this quarter to receive them with a fire delivered over the summit by the
men shielded behind the ridge. The Indians got up within range and a Pine
Ridge Indian named Flyinghorse was killed, and two Rosebud Indians were
wounded. The hostiles then retired.214
During the preparations the sacks of grain which had been brought by the
wagons that afternoon were thrown into breastworks for defense against this
threatened danger, but no necessity came for their use.
What Would Have Been the Result if There Had Been No Attempt to Dis-
arm the Indians?
Mr. Wells says that it was due to conditions at the Agency that Big Foot’s
band had to be disarmed.
The Indians who had collected in the Bad Lands, north & east of the
Agency, were the hostiles. Father Jutz (pronounced Utes, who was the priest
who built the Drexel Mission) and Jack Red Cloud were sent out to the hostiles
to persuade them to surrender. The priest made a second trip before an under-
standing was arranged with them, and then they came in with him and pitched
their camp on the ridge north of Wolf Creek and the Agency, and they were in
this position when the fight at W. K. took place.215 The military uthorities were
endeavoring to obtain the arms from the hostiles, and if Big Foot’s band had
been allowed to come into the Agency armed the effect on the hostiles would

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have been most unfavorable, especially as the general in command made it a
condition of entry into the Agency that they should first deliver over their guns.
Address Father Superior, Holy Rosary Mission, Pine Ridge for the address
of Father Jutz (pronounced Uts).

The Messiah Craze

(Interview of Philip F. Wells) October 6, 1906.
This rank, religious delusion gained its foothold among the Indians early in
the year 1890. In the previous year Short Bull, of the Brule band of the Sioux,
a Rosebud Indian, and Kicking Bear, formerly of the Minneconjou band of the
Sioux of the Cheyenne River Reservation, a renegade and vagrant Indian who
wandered from reservation to reservation, (a vagrant Indian) and a Pine Ridge
Indian bearing the nickname of ‘‘Sells-the-Pistol’’ (Red Star, Dr. Walker has it)
hearing of the so-called Messiah who was said to be living near Walker Lake,
Utah (?) went there for the purpose of seeing him and bringing back word to
the people of his remarkable revelations and powers.216 They returned early in
1890. (In 1896 when the Little Wound delegation was elected to visit Washing-
ton Short Bull had some ambition to be chosen as one of the delegates, and in
the council a speaker taunted him by telling him that he was the man who once
went away and returned with news which had brought direful results. Short
Bull replied by saying, ‘‘Why taunt me with speak to me of that? what you all
know Didn’t we talk of that secretly, and you chose me to go? Whatever has
come of it, you are as much to blame as I.’’ Mr. Wells was in the council and
heard this and he says no refutation of Short Bull’s statement was offered. It
is therefore admitted by the council that these three men went with the secret
approval of the Indians.)
On the return of these men in March Short Bull went to the Rosebud Reser-
vation and set about organizing the ghost-dance among the Indians there, and
Kicking Bear and ‘‘Sells-the-Pistol’’ began the same work on Pine Ridge Reser-
They brought back word that the Messiah spoke miraculously the languages
of all Indians who came to him. They had to approach him with certain elabo-
rate ceremonies. He fed all his visitors. Many different versions of his teachings
were given, but the one most generally circulated was that a heavy cloud would
appear in the west and pass to the east, and all white men would be destroyed
by it, and all Indians who did not believe and participate in the ghost dance
would be destroyed along with the whites. But all Indians who believed and

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wore the ghost shirt and took part in the ghost dance would rise above the cloud
and escape destruction. Following this cloud there would be a new earth, with
all their dead relatives restored to life, and the buffalo and the game would also
return. The Messiah had exhibited to the three men all who saw him all who
went to see him, the nail-prints in his hands and feet and the spear wound in
his side, of the crucified Savior, inflicted by the white man; and because the
white men had crucified the Savior they would be destroyed and because the
Indians had had no part in the crucifixion they would be shown mercy and be
saved. The Messiah prescribed the pattern of a shirt which was called ghost
shirt, which all believers should wear in the dance; and he also prescribed a
song which was to be sung in the dance.
(Out of Place . The Messiah disappeared on the approach of unbelievers.
Visitors to the Messiah brought him presents.)

The Ghost Dance

The converts assembled and went into camp. Prior to the dance each one per-
formed the act of purification necessary to make himself fit for the sacred per-
formance by passing through the sweat bath. The first step in the dance was
to clasp hands and circle to the left, each jerking one another’s hands forward
and backward, and singing and dancing, with eyes averted to the skies.217 The
dance would proceed for hours—five or six hours—until nearly all had fallen
in trance.They would begin falling within half an hour from the beginning, and
by the time an hour and a half had elapsed the ground would be strewn with
the prostrate forms of dancers. This was kept up until the few remaining ones
who were nearly exhausted but not conquered by their frantic exertions would
give up from sheer exhaustion. During the performance the dancers became
wrought up to a high pitch of excitement and went through various indescrib-
able contortions, singing meanwhile the song prescribed by the Messiah, and
when going into trance uttered unearthly screams, screeches and yells moans
and groans and all manner of utterance and noise, the most inconceivable dis-
cord and tumult smiting the ear, while they clawed the air and flung froth
from their mouths, the numerous performers in the stygian concert creating a
veritable pandemonium keeping the regular cadence of step and motion to the
music, the trancers only breaking into these accents which baffle description.
Some who Such as succumbed would lie apparently unconscious from ten
minutes to three-quarters of an hour when they would rise without help. After
the dance was over the leaders would call the trancers together and hold a sort

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of class-meeting when each would describe his vision. Some realized nothing.
Others would relate how they had seen departed relatives, or buffaloes, and
various game animals, or had heard or seen buffaloes or other animals passing
in the air, or a buffalo or a grizzly bear had conversed with them—in short each
trancer had a vision distinctly his own and unlike any others. Men, women and
children engaged in the dance, and were affected without disparity on account
of age or sex.

Ghost Shirts Impervious to Bullets

It should be stated in the proper place that the leaders in the ghost dance incul-
cated the delusion that the shirts would be impervious to bullets of the white
enemy. These leaders were Short Bull, Kicking Bear and Sells-the-Pistol. They
installed others to spread the work; but these were the apostles of the craze on
the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The Ghost dance was inaugurated on Pine Ridge Reservation. It was done
by Kicking Bear and Sells-the-Pistol. Short Bull who belonged on Rosebud
Reservation went there at once and addressed himself to the planting of it
there, and he stayed on his reservation till the time when the Rosebud Indians
(Brules) made the break for the Bad Lands on Pine Ridge Res. and swept the
Pass Creek Indians along with them.
Kicking Bear left the ghost dance work on Pine Ridge locally to Sells-the-
Pistol, while he established the propaganda on Standing Rock and Cheyenne
River Reservations. He it was who carried it to Sitting Bull’s camp and en-
listed Sitting Bull, though this wily malcontent (or chieftain) could not have
required much urging. As soon as Mr.Wells learned that Kicking Bear had gone
to Standing Rock he wrote to Agent McLaughlin warning him of the insidious
discontent that this apostle of mischief was sure to excite, and advising him
to take prompt measures to prevent or counteract his influence. Kicking Bear
had the advantage of arriving in time to get his work well started and organized
before Agent McLaughlin had come into possession of this information. The
craze caught like a spontaneous fire on the northern reservations; it took more
effort and time to make the beginnings on Pine Ridge and Rosebud; but when
once the conflagration was established it swept with fury into the material that
was seasoned to feed it.
The effect of this strange, weird and grotesque, not to say pathetic worship
spread with rapidity and produced immediate and marked results. It affected
the attendance at the Day Schools, scholars dropping out more and more as

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the dance progressed. The sun dance had been abolished, and the rule had
become established for the Omaha and the women’s society dances to be held
on Friday of each week.218 The advent of the ghost dance now so demoralized
the discipline which was being enforced on the Reservation and so interfered
with the new habit of dancing, that the Indians, now disregarding former re-
straints, plunged into the dances which were not prohibited in a manner cor-
responding to the excitement which possessed them. Meanwhile the agent,
through his farmers and the police force, by arresting and putting in the guard-
house some of the leaders, tried to stop it. Late in July About the middle of
July 1890, Colonel Gallagher, the agent, called a council of began seriously to
discuss with some of the farmers and other employees at the agency to obtain
their views on the situation and the best methods to adopt in dealing with it.
Excepting Mr. Wells, all present advised the use of stern measures and even
force to put a stop to the dancing. He argued that to send the police in suffi-
cient numbers to break it up would be unwise and only aggravate the trouble.219
The farmers were sure that they could suppress the disturbance in their sev-
eral districts with force. This gathering of advisors dispersed without coming
to any settled conclusion.
Some two weeks afterwards the police had nearly all collected at the agency,
and one Sunday morning, after the Indians who had been gathering from all
parts of the Reservation on the White Clay ten miles below the Agency and in
the neighborhood of Young-Man-Afraid’s place and had been dancing several
days, the Agent called a council of the agency employees to decide how to deal
with the dancers so assembled. Mr. Wells advised that the agent and himself
and one of the principal chiefs go alone, unarmed, as a first attempt and talk
to the Indians in a friendly way, giving good counsel and trying to persuade
them to abandon the mischievous practice. He was unanimously overruled by
all present. It was their plan to take the police, between 20 and 30, well armed,
and go with this show of force to meet the Indians, and this was what the Agent
did. Mr. Wells being of the positive opinion that this was a mistaken step, was
taking notice on the way down of everything that was significant in appearance.
He noticed that the women and children were at the houses, but no men were
in sight. As these were participants in the ghost dance equally with the men,
here was something which set him to thinking. It was a sign of some extreme
resolution on the part of the warriors. The Indians had had two or three days
for notice of this descent by the agent and his police, which had been assem-
bling, as it was thought, for some decisive purpose.

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Arriving at the scene of the dance the dancing ground was found to be va-
cant. Two or three houses stood near, and as this body approached one Indian
with gun in hand ran out of one of the houses to the brow of a bank above the
creek bottom and dropped on one knee in position to shoot. Immediately the
agent He was joined by another who emerged from a thicket of brush adjacent
to the dancing ground.Without a moment’s delay the Agent ordered the police
to dismount and arrest the first man. Mr. Wells was the interpreter. He gave the
order in the Indian speech. The first lieutenant, Fast Horse, repeated the order
and they all dismounted. Mr. Wells instantly directed the lieutenant to halt the
men, but before the lieutenant did so he turned inquiringly as if he wished to
know the reason, when Mr. Wells told him that he was doing this on his own
responsibility and suggestion and would be responsible adding that the colonel
did not know, whereupon the lieutenant catching the half-expressed meaning
told his men to wait. The agent seeing the police hesitating, started toward the
Indians himself, and Mr. Wells accompanying him a little ahead and crowd-
ing in front of him, he presently stopped, as though the danger of the situation
was at that moment apprehended. By this time several Indian heads were dis-
covered peering above the bank behind the two who had advanced to the level
bottom toward the party. Gallagher said: ‘‘What do you mean when I come as
your agent to talk to you and you draw guns on me?’’ Mr. Wells added to this
to make it thoroughly affective: ‘‘Father I want you to obey me; put that gun
down and come here.’’ The son of this Indian had been especially friendly to
Mr. Wells and according to Indian custom, Mr. W. addressed him as ‘‘father.’’
It was the same custom for the Indian to answer by calling Mr. Wells ‘‘son’’; and
so he answered, at the same time laying down his gun and advancing. ‘‘Yes my
son, I will obey you.’’ Addressing the agent he said: ‘‘If you have come to me
to talk as my father, why bring so many with guns?’’ The agent explained that
it was the duty of the police to carry their arms wherever they went, and told
him not to take offence. The situation was becoming satisfactory when an In-
dian came up from behind the bank with gun in hand and called out: ‘‘Where
is Thunder Bear; why don’t he stand in sight?’’ This was equivalent to a chal-
lenge. Thunder Bear was a Sergeant of the police against whom the Indian
bore some grudge. Thunder Bear stepped out into view replying: ‘‘Here I am
in sight; if you cannot see me I will come closer to you;’’ this being an accep-
tance of the other’s challenge. At that instant several other Indians came up
into view above the bank with their guns threateningly poised, and the police
drew their own arms in readiness for use. At this juncture Chief Young-Man-

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Afraid of His Horses arrived on the scene and set about to restore an amicable
understanding and prevent bloodshed. This was soon done and the party re-
turned to the agency.220
The writer inquired of Mr. Wells generally concerning Col. Gallagher as an
agent. His reply was that he regarded Colonel Gallagher as a fearless man, a per-
fect gentleman, having good capacity for his position, was a useful and honest
agent, and, had he not been handicapped by the appointing power would have
become notable in the service. His subordinates, were of such inferior whom
be did not select and whom he could not remove, were of such inferior quality
as to thwart much of his good purpose. During the summer settlers living near
the Reservation on the south and west were several times seized with alarm at
false reports, given out of an Indian uprising and collected in assemblies for
flight or protection and Col. Gallagher and Mr. Wells went out to assure them
that their fears were groundless and to advise them to remain at their homes.
That part of the prophecy of the Messiah which the Indians believed, to the
effect that when the great cloud, which was to traverse the firmament from west
to east should sweep athwart the heavens the white race would be destroyed,
was not understood by the settlers who heard of it and interpreted it as mean-
ing that the Indians would take to the warpath to accomplish the destruction;
and this kept them in a state of nervous excitement and later making demands
for military protection and afterwards led to appeals (or urgency or demands)
for military protection.
Going back now to the reign of Agent V. T. McGillicuddy it is necessary to
follow the mutations of political power and ambition and of religious bigotry
in control of the reservation to understand the causes which led to the difficul-
ties and disasters of 1890–1.221
When the Democratic party assumed the reins of government under Mr.
Cleveland in 1885, McGillicudy, a courageous man but rank partisan whose
native disposition was to rule arbitrarily and vigorously, was the agent. The
Democratic press could not say enough against him as being corrupt, dishon-
est and tyrannical, and the Republican press was just as alert and devoted to
his praise and defense as the other was strenuous and unscrupulous in efforts
for his removal. He was a man, as I am told by Mr. Wells who has kindly stated
his opinion in answer to my direct inquiry, who accomplished a great amount
of good by having the Indians well started at making homes and engaging in
stock raising, although he had taken them in their native and wild condition
fresh from war, defeated, discontented, untrained, intractable and sullenly hos-

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tile, while thousands of their friends were beyond the line in Canada, unsub-
dued and full of hatred for the United States. Mr. Wells was not here during
any part of McGillicuddy’s administration; for he was at Turtle Mountain in
charge of that Reservation when McGillicudy was removed and succeeded by
Capt. Charles G. Penny Captain Bell of the 7th U.S. Cavalry; and what he says
of McGillicuddy’s work is his conclusion from the results which he subse-
quently had good opportunity to view and consider. Like the majority of In-
dian Agents, he was accused of being dishonest and making his own personal
interests paramount to all other objects, notwithstanding it was confessed that
he was achieving great success in benefits for the Indians. He was strong and
independent and too firmly poised to become the weak tool of the army of ras-
cals, scoundrels and thieves who infested the frontier service and had powerful
friends entrenched in high places to care for their private and perhaps mutual
interests. If McGillicuddy was a rascal, his gains were his exclusive profit never
subjected to division with accomplices. He was the man who left the frame-
work of whatever progress the Indians have made from the beginning of his
labors on Pine Ridge Reservation. Replying to another question from me on
the subject covered by his answer, Mr. Wells estimates that his was the only
constructive work that has ever been done for these Indians; that he cleared
the ground blazed the way through a maze of dangers and difficulties, made
the opening and cleared the ground, laid at enduring depth the foundations of
security and advancement and reared the framework of that fabric which civili-
zation compels. Major Bell’s service was of brief duration, so that he could not
leave distinctive marks of a like or differing individuality. Colonel Gallagher’s
personal excellence was beyond dispute; but he was so hampered by those
above him in authority that the best he could do was to hold together and
maintain what had been built up before him. His term of four years was nearly
equally divided between the administrations of Cleveland and Harrison. Not
until about the end of Cleveland’s term was the agent given any choice in the
selection of his subordinates. So Gallagher found no great occasion to intro-
duce reforms, to elevate the service and extend improvements. McGillicudy
had been removed for recalcitrancy when the Bureau had appointed a chief
clerk to take the place of the one he had
[Donald] Brown (?) and he
refused to accept him. Under Harrison, Gallagher found himself meanly as-
sailed for two artificial defects—his politics and his religion. Commissioner
Morgan was a narrow partisan and still narrower sectarian.222 He was Republi-
can and Protestant. Gallagher was Democrat and Catholic. This ought to have

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caused no friction and would not if the Commissioner had been capable of
statesmanlike views. Gallagher being of an opposite political faith, Morgan had
no desire to allow him to make a noticeable much reputation, and he being a
Catholic, Morgan was careful not to encourage that church in its aspirations, if
he was not hopeful to thwart them altogether. Therefore the agent was remark-
ably successful when he was able to hold his own. Captain Charles G. Penny
came after Agent Dr. Royer (of Woonsocket, S.D.) came after him
The Commissioner cut down the rations and the allowance of beef which
had been promised by the Commissioners who negotiated the treaty of 1889,
should be continued as under the earlier treaty.These arbitrary and demoraliz-
ing acts fomented the disturbances which harassed Gallagher’s closing months
of duty, for the reason that it put the Indians on a starvation basis. Suffering
from hunger created wide spread discontent.223 This state of unavoidable feel-
ing was the soil in which the Messiah Craze took root. It enabled the leaders
with designs and wrongs urging them, to harangue and influence the others
and to work up a formidable cohesion and organization, and finally to upset
all order and bring civil government to an end. Dr. Royer (of Woonsocket,
S.D.) came after him, and with him a change of policy also; this latter, how-
ever, wrought no effect in the mental attitude of the Indians, or gave hope of a
solution of the
Philip F. Wells interview continued from Tablet No. [5].
[Tablet 4]
grave problem which the government began to feel that its shortsighted policy
had engendered.224 The Indians were not to be appeased with tardy justice
coming in the form of beefsteaks; for now they were beginning to satisfy the
cravings of hunger by slaughtering the cattle found at large on the Reservation,
and the new remedy was wanting in efficacy. The evil had been put in motion
by faithless administrative orders, creating a whirlwind now beyond control,
and it was growing apparent that the sower must reap what he had sown. It is
not denied that the Commissioner could find some justification for his course
based on the reports of farmers on the Reservation who gave glowing accounts
of successful Indian husbandry. The changing of farmers frequently was dele-
terious; few of these had any qualifications or could boast of so much as com-
mon interest in thewelfare of the helpless natives on whose behalf they were em-
ployed. Every succeeding one realized the urgency and helpfulness to himself
of making it appear in his showing that the improvement he had made over his
predecessor was considerable; and so it was in the aggregate that the Commis-

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sioner discovered no little encouragement to do the unwise things which pre-
cipitated disaffection tumult and war. When Mr. Wells was appointed farmer
at Medicine Root district, by Agent Gallagher, in August, 1890, he found not
more than half of the agricultural progress which the reports pretended to de-
scribe. Truck patches and gardens varying in area from one-fourth of an acre to
a full acre were about the extent of what had been accomplished. These were
often on high ground where no crop would grow productively. The larger part
of all that had been done was only evidence that these farmers were such only
in official designation; that both knowledge and inclination were wanting to
make them fit for the places to which they had been assigned.
The unsettled division between the Pine Ridge and the Rosebud Reserva-
tions requires some notice before proceeding farther. These two reservations
were established at the time of the return from the Missouri River in 1878. The
divisional line was in a general way recognized accepted as along Bear Creek
somewhere between Bear Creek and Eagle Nest Butte. In 1888 Capt. Pratt of
the Carlisle school headed a commission which came out for the purpose of
obtaining a treaty ceding the country between the Big White River and the
Missouri River. In the bill passed by Congress creating this commission it was
provided that the boundary between the two reservations should be on Pass
Creek, some 12 miles east of the Bear Creek division. The Pratt commission
failed to obtain the consent of the Indians to the proposed treaty.225 In the fall
of the same year a delegation consisting of the Agents of Pine Ridge, Rosebud,
Crow Creek, Cheyenne Agency and Standing Rock and their interpreters and
a lot of Indian delegates, including Mr. Wells, all comprising about 80 per-
sons, went to Washington and held conferences with the Secretary of the In-
terior.226 On the application of Mr. Wells and Fast Thunder it was agreed that
the line between Pine Ridge and Rosebud should be moved still farther east
along the Black Pipe Creek where it was established by the next bill passed by
Congress for the appointment of the Sioux Commission of 1889. The treaty
was accepted by the Sioux and ratified by the government.227 While the com-
mission was at the Rosebud Agency the Pass Creek Indians refused to sign the
treaty for fear they would be obliged to give up their homes and move east-
wardly to establish themselves within the limits of the Rosebud Reservation, as
they were enrolled therein. The commission promised them that if they would
consent to the treaty they should be transferred to the rolls of the Pine Ridge
Reservation and with this understanding they gave their signatures. The treaty
was ratified in March, and soon after, the Indians began to ask to be enrolled

                       
at Pine Ridge. The Agent assured them that they would be transferred, while
the Agent at Rosebud as positively affirmed that they would not; and thus
they were kept in unrest by these diverse statements alternately acting on their
fears for their homes.228 This continued during the summer and fall, and along
about the forepart of December they decided to go in a body to Pine Ridge
Agency in the hope that they might now secure their enrollment there, think-
ing that the Agent would do this for them as an inducement to hold them at
that place through the disturbed turbulence which was at its height. (Mr. Wells
says this was the scheme of the Indians.) Information had gone out that the
U.S. troops were going to concentrate at Pine Ridge Agency. Agent Royer had
called for military assistance, and the forces were arriving.229 This acted as a
spur to drive the Indians into [a] defensive attitude. When the Indians on the
Rosebud reservation learned what these Pass Creek Indians were about to do,
they gathered the ghost-dancing element gathered together and marched over
to Pine Ridge Reservation and took these, as Dog Soldiers would have done,
along with them, and sending couriers in advance to announce their coming
to the various settlements of Indians on Pine Ridge, a general movement took
place as they moved away all together when these from Rosebud came among
them.The Indians in the western part of Pine Ridge Reservation moved toward
those advancing, and a meeting took place in the Wounded Knee region. The
united bodies agreed to take up a position in the bad lands [called The Strong-
hold] and they at once moved to it. It was upon a mesa an elevation difficult of
access, which in the southwest would be called a mesa. The main part of this
table was some 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, and it could be ascended only
at the eastern and western extremities; at the latter the passage-way was much
broader in extent and easier grade, while the other was of trifling width and
more difficult ascent. This place occupied by the Indians is sometimes erro-
neously called Sheep Mountain. Sheep Mountain is a tall peak near the mesa.
On the north side and near the east end there was a spur of this mesa contain-
ing about 1,000 acres, and at the point where it connected with the main table
it narrowed to a small neck, 5 or 6 rods across. From the elevated position they
had taken they kept a vigilant watch to guard against approach and surprise.
They had taken their families with them, and also a herd of cattle for their sub-
sistence. They climbed up the east passage-way. This mesa was surrounded by
a perpendicular wall of Bad Land rock, except at the points mentioned. When
Gen. Brooke arrived at the Agency he began to send out Indian messengers to
these Indians to establish communication with them in the interest of peace,

      .     
but these were driven off by threats and refusal to receive them, until Father Jutz
(pronounced Uts) (He was a Jesuit priest at Holy Rosary Mission) and Jack Red
Cloud, son of the noted chief Red Cloud, were sent out by General Brooke.230
The Indians received Father Jutz kindly and agreed to surrender if the terms
proposed should be satisfactory, and it is understood that they proposed some
conditions which they would insist on. Father Jutz returned to the Agency and
later made another trip into the Bad Lands, and obtained their surrender.They
returned with him and went into camp on White Clay below the Mission. (It
was now that Prof. Bailey called at the Mission and was hospitably entertained
by Father Jutz overnight and given every information in his power to assist him
in his writings, and granted his request to go out next day with Father Jutz to
the Indian camp and ride by his side at the head of the column while coming
into the Agency; and afterwards he assailed the Catholics and Father Jutz and
accused them with responsibility for the war, and falsely told how the priests
received the confessions of the Indians and made charges and took payment
in furs and bead work for forgiveness of their sins, etc.)231 (Get Father Jutz’s
address from the Father Superior, Holy Rosary Mission, Pine Ridge.)
The next morning they moved in and pitched camp on the ridge north of
Wolf Creek and the Agency. Provisions had been sent out to them from the
Agency to their camp below the Mission. Sitting Bull had been killed on or
about December 15 and the authorities were desirous to secure the surrender
of the hostiles and get their arms before the latter could be informed by couriers
that fighting had begun and the old chief was dead.232 After Sitting Bull’s death
a party consisting of about 100 Indians left Standing Rock Agency. These were
relatives and followers of Sitting Bull. An Indian scout named Standing Sol-
dier, belonging to Capt.Taylor’s Scouts, was sent out with a squad by Mr. Wells
who was the chief of scouts with instructions to go near the head of Medicine
Root Creek and get on the east divide and follow north thereon to the BigWhite
River, thence back to the Agency, for the purpose of ascertaining the where-
abouts of Big Foot and his band. This band of 100 from Standing Rock, it is
understood, were seeking to join the hostiles in the Bad Lands, and having dis-
covered the U.S. soldiers stationed by General Carr, they made a wide detour
to the east expecting to pass around their flank and rear and affect a junction
with their friends in spite of the obstacle they had found in their way.233
Standing Soldier met these Indians on the divide and persuaded them to
believe that the soldiers had surrounded the hostile position in the Bad Lands,
and that the best thing for them to do would be to go into the Agency where

                       
all the friendly Indians were camped. He sent a courier forward to advise
General Brooke inform Captain Taylor that he was coming with this party,
when the latter came in sight of the battle of Wounded Knee, but swiftly re-
turned to let Standing Bear Soldier know of what had occurred directly in his
path. Standing Soldier was obliged to deceive the Indians by telling them that
there were troops in their way and that it would be necessary to move into the
sand hills south toward in a wide circuit and come into the Agency from the
south. Standing Soldier arrived with his prisoners at the Agency sometime in
the night of the 30th. These Indians had slipped away from Standing Rock un-
known to the Agent, James McLaughlin, or to General Sumner. They camped
south of the Agency with the friendly Indians.
There were a few Indians who were acting as neutrals who were camped
on the ridge north of Wolf Creek before the hostiles were brought there. The
very friendly Indians were south of the Agency and near the military.
(I omit an account of Carr’s and Sumner’s forces over north, as Mr. Wells
knows about these only from hearsay. See Gus Craven who was a scout for
Big Foot slipped away from Standing Rock Cheyenne River Reservation
and from General Carr Sumner. He came down through the Bad Lands, de-
scending into the White River valley through the Big Foot pass which took its
name from him, and crossed the White River a little above Interior, S.D. and
near the mouth of Medicine Root Creek, and moved southward to Porcupine
Butte, from which place he was proceeding northwest when he was intercepted
by the scouts.
(Capt. Taylor had two troops of scouts; Mr. W. thinks there were 100 of the
Sioux Troop, and 50 of the Troop of Cheyennes. The Northern Cheyennes
were settled at Pine Ridge Agency as a part of the Pine Ridge Indians; but
after the troubles of the year they were at their request allowed to remove to
and settle on Tongue River. There were two other troops of scouts consisting
of young Indians and boys who were enlisted organized after the battle in the
hope of enlisting them in the U.S. service, but the plan failed, and they never
did anything. There were also a body of headquarters scouts—7 or 8 in num-
ber, among whom were Big Bat, Little Bat, Frank Gruard, Louis Shangrau,
John Shangrau, No Neck, Woman’s Dress.)
On the 28th the scouts located Big Foot at Porcupine Butte. A courier was
sent to Major Whiteside at Wounded Knee, who had been out there two or
three days. Whiteside marched with the cavalry to Big Foot and found his men

      .     
drawn up in line, but after a parley it was agreed that they should come in with
the soldiers and camp at W.K.

The Battle

Mr. Wells spent the night before the battle about half a mile down the road
leading to the Agency, with a troop of Capt. Taylor’s scouts. These came out
the night before with Col. Forsyth and arrived about 11 .. In the morning
after taking breakfast where they had camped that night, he could see that the
soldiers were drawn up between the Indians and the Wounded Knee Creek.
The positions were about as follows. [Figure 1]
(The fragments following are intended to supplement in detail the written
statement made by Mr. Wells and copied in Tablet [5].)
Mr. Wells adds to his written statement at this place the following details:
Colonel Forsyth turned away while Mr. Wells was watching and listening to
the medicine man on the west side of the circle, who was facing to the west and
holding up his hands and praying for protection. The Colonel asked Mr. W.
what the man was saying. ‘‘It is nothing but a harmless prayer that he is say-
ing, Colonel; but don’t disturb me, for I must pay very close attention to catch
all he means; however, I will let you know just as soon as he says anything you
should know.’’ ‘‘All right,’’ answered the Colonel, and he walked away.Then the
medicine man stopped praying, and stooping down took some dirt and rose
up facing the west, raised his two hands, and still facing the west cast the dirt
with a circular motion of his hand toward the soldiers in rear. Then he walked
round the circle, and when he got back to the starting point on the west side he
stopped and uttered exclamations which in Sioux signify regret, and that he
has decided on a desperate course; for instance if he has submitted to abuse, in-
sult or wrong with patience and fortitude but has made up his mind to retaliate
or take revenge upon the offender, he exclaims: ‘‘Haha! Haha! I have lived long
enough’’ (which means in Sioux that he is ready to give his life for this purpose).
Now Continue with the written statement from the top of page 30. 7th line from
the bottom on page 30, viz. ‘‘then he turned toward the young bucks etc’’
Then he turned toward the young bucks men who were standing together
and said: ‘‘Do not be afraid and let your hearts be strong to meet what is be-
fore you; we are all well aware that there are lots of soldiers about us and that
they have lots of bullets; but I have received assurance that their bullets cannot
penetrate us. The prairie is large and the bullet will not go toward you but over
the large prairies, and if they do go towards you they will not penetrate you. As

                       
you saw me throw up the dust and it floated away, so will the bullets float away
harmlessly over the prairies.’’ (Mr. W. does not want the word ‘‘buck’’ used.
He did not and never does use it.)
Mr. Wells then stepped to Big Foot’s brother-in-law to talk with him and
get him to try to quiet and pacify the Indians. This brother-in-law impressed
Mr. Wells by his better dress and his generally intelligent appearance as a man
of more than average parts—as a rather superior Indian. Just then Colonel
Forsyth called out to him saying that he better get out of there, for it was begin-
ning to look dangerous. Mr. Wells answered, ‘‘In a minute, Colonel; I want to
see if I cannot get this fellow to quiet them.’’ Then he addressed the Indian and
said: ‘‘Friend, go in among the young men and quiet them, and talk to them as
a man of your age should.’’ This was said to him in a low whisper tone so that
the others should not hear. He replied, very loud so that all the Indians could
hear his words: ‘‘Why, friend, your heart seems to beat. Why, who is talking of
trouble or fighting?’’ ‘‘Yes, friend, my heart beats when I see so many helpless
women and children if anything should happen,’’ replied Mr. Wells. ‘‘Friend,
it is unnecessary that your heart should beat,’’ again said in a loud voice by
the Indian. After the Indian’s first reply to Wells a young and powerfully built
young man stepped out of the circle and came around to where these two were
standing and talking. He kept taking steps slowly as though he intended to
get behind Mr. Wells without his observing what he was doing. But Mr. Wells
suspected his purpose and was watching him, and as the young Indian moved
around, he himself kept turning his own body so that he did not get in rear
of him; at the same time, seeing that he could not persuade the older Indian,
he was talking continued to talk attempting to change the subject. He held his
rifle with both hands at the muzzle, the butt resting on the ground. The young
Indian had no gun under his blanket, but Mr. Wells could not tell but he had a
revolver or a knife concealed, and he was reflecting on the different modes of
attack which this Indian might be contemplating—whether he would grapple
him and try to overpower him—whether he would strike him with a club or
knife—whether he would shoot with a revolver—or whatever else he would at-
tempt to do to dispose of Mr. Wells and get his gun; for one of his main objects
was to obtain that, as Mr. Wells saw from the way he was eyeing it. He dared
not turn his back on the Indian, but began to move backwards with the inten-
tion that when he got far enough from him to walk away with safety he would
walk get out of the circle. By this time Mr. Wells was convinced that a clash
was coming. On that instant he heard the cry to his rear and left, coming from

      .     
the direction of the soldiers, ‘‘Look out! Look out!’’ Wells threw his gun into
position of ‘‘port’’ and turned his head quickly to the left and rear for a look at
the Indians standing in a circle; one Indian near the center of the circle stood
facing the soldiers with his gun pointing at an upward angle—in the last posi-
tion in which a hunter holds his piece before placing it to his shoulder to fire;
still holding his gun so, it was discharged, the contents going into the air, over
the soldiers’ heads, as the smoke indicated. At that instant 5 or 6 young war-
riors behind him threw off their blankets and drew their guns. Mr. Wells says
that when this first shot was fired and the Indians dropped their blankets and
drew their guns, he heard the command which sounded like Colonel Forsyth’s
voice: ‘‘Fire! Fire on them!’’ Mr. Wells states that the soldiers were the next to
fire after the first gun went off. Mr. Wells having the Indian near him in his
thought, turned toward him, both movements occupying but only an instant
of time; the Indian was already upon him with an upraised long butcher knife
ground to a sharp point, in the act of dealing a deadly blow. A man of surpris-
ing agility, Mr. Wells dropped on one knee, at the same time throwing up his
gun with both hands as a guard, and ducking his head to avoid a blow in his
face, the Indian’s wrist struck the gun, but the knife was long enough to reach
his nose which was nearly severed, and hung down over his mouth, held by
the skin. Before Mr. Wells could rise, the Indian renewed the attack, standing
over him with the savage knife uplifted and trying to grasp his gun with his left
hand. It was a desperate play between life and death and lasted but a moment.
Mr. Wells, holding the gun above his head kept it in swift motion as a guard
against the knife; the Indian now summoned all his strength to break down the
guard with a furious blow and the weight of his body, and raising his blade
higher in the air for the mighty stroke he opened his own guard and Wells gave
him a blow on the ear with the muzzle of his gun which staggered stunned him.
This gave Wells time to regain his feet. The Indian staggered back a step or
two. Wells sprang backwards. Now they are three paces apart. Wells leveled his
piece at his breast; the Indian was glaring into his eyes; to escape the shot that
he thought could not be withheld he turned a quarter round and dropped on
his hands and knees; Wells had saved his fire; like a flash the muzzle of the gun
went down and the bullet entered the Indian’s side below the arm; he pitched
forward on his face dead. Then a corporal rushed up to the prostrate body,
placed the muzzle of his own gun between the shoulders and fired. About the
same instant a bullet struck him inflicting a mortal wound from which he died
in a day or two in the hospital at the Agency. Having vanquished his foe Wells

                       
started for shelter behind the wagon close by in which some of the guns taken
from the Indians had been placed. While running he slipped on the grass and
nearly fell; a young brave who it was afterwards learned, was following him,
dealt a blow with his knife from behind, intending to stab between neck and
shoulder, overreached and left a cut in the front of Wells’ coat.
(This wagon is the one of which McFarland speaks as being almost over-
turned by the mules swinging round. Mr. Wells describes the incident. As he
was running towards it a bullet hit one of the leaders and the animals plunged
and swung round, upset the wagon, and mules and wagon were tangled up.
Some of the men disengaged them.)
Mr. Wells remained in the action until the main part was over; when he was
taking aim with his gun the piece of his nose suspended by the skin was in the
way and once he tried to pull it off but could not, and it is well that for him
that it would not yield, for it was replaced by the surgeon and he has had many
years’ use of it since and it has performed its offices functions, including that
of good appearance, down to the present time. Lieut. Preston saw him in the
fight covered with blood, and came up and asked if he was badly hurt, and
seeing his condition led him away to the surgeon. Preston was the second in
command of the Taylor scouts.

Killing of Capt. Wallace

Capt.Wallace was killed in rear of his troop K.235 He was struck by a bullet in the
upper part of his forehead and it tore through the top of his skull. Mr.Wells saw
him carried on a stretcher and saw his wound and was told by good authority
that he bore no other wound. Mr. Wells confirms what McFarland has said
about the Indians falling back up the ravine and whenever the place where one
was concealed hidden was discovered, a Hotchkiss shell was thrown there, etc.
The first dispatch from the battlefield to the Agency announcing what had
taken place was borne by Lieut. Guy Preston accompanied by a soldier of the
7th Cavalry.
I asked Mr. Wells his opinion as to the intention of Big Foot as to giving the
whites battle, and he said:
‘‘I do not believe they had any intention of fighting, and for these reasons,
first: when Major Whiteside met Big Foot at Porcupine Butte Big Foot was
drawn up in battle array and was perhaps equal to Whiteside in numbers, or
nearly so.
‘‘Second, the ground was in his favor, being adapted to the Indian style of

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fighting; whereas, the soldiers would have had, for awhile at least, to operate
on the open plain.
‘‘Third, after the Indians knew they were discovered and the troops were
coming, the Indians had ample time for defensive preparations and did not im-
prove the opportunity to make themselves more impregnable. ‘‘When White-
side met them he formed his troops in line of battle. While in these positions a
long parley took place. If the Indians had not been willing to yield they could
have retreated safely with the landscape favoring their movements and their
rear guard fighting.
‘‘Fourth, but the Indians surrendered. This was where the actual surrender
was. When they came to Wounded Knee they were prisoners in possession
of their arms. The battle there was over the question of giving up the guns.
Big Foot admitted the principle which Forsyth contended for, namely, that the
Indians should surrender their weapons, but used evasion to avoid doing so.
The Indians had delivered before the action only some inferior pieces.’’ See
Mr. W.’s written statement.
Mr. Wells believes the Indians put up a bluff, but it got away from their con-
trol, it was carried too far, till the young warriors plunged over the danger line
and precipitated the tragedy. He relates the following circumstance:
After the action he stood by the dead body of Big Foot’s brother-in-law,
and after Indian custom addressed the dead man ‘‘Haha!’’ the Indian excla-
mation of regret. ‘‘Friend, I tried to save you but you would not obey me, and
now you have destroyed yourself.’’ At that the wounded Indians lying within
hearing uttered their approval of what he said, by the usual ‘‘How.’’ They had
heard him in conversation with this man before the battle and knew from the
Indian’s answers that Wells was pleading with him to pacify the people.
Correction . Mr. Wells wishes to correct his statement about what occurred
in the Club room at the Agency. He does not intend to intimate that certain
officers were for or against either Miles or Forsyth. But he has been informed
on what he considers good authority that he offended General Miles by his
statements at the time bearing on the action at W. K. After the battle his pay
was raised from $75 to $100 a month and he was informed through the regular
channel that as long as he continued in the service he would receive the latter
compensation; this was in consideration of former valuable services as well as
for present worth. But he was kept in the field till all the positions were filled
and no place remained for him. General Miles was in command of this Dept.
The fact is Wells was frozen out. He wants the Club room incident dropped.

                       
In the battle Father Francis M. J. Croft was wounded. Read the account on
the back of the picture lent me by Mr. Wells. The latter says the Rev. Father
Croft was the bravest of the brave, most earnest, enthusiastic and sincere in his
I like to hold up examples of heroism. The Catholic missionaries stood
their ground to a man. The sisters or nuns did likewise, while the Protestant
missionaries removed with their families to the railroad.
Mr. Wells says that when the main part of the action was over at W. K. he
sent a scout to the by Lieut. Preston, who went with his dispatch from Forsyth
to the Agency about 9 .., for protection to be furnished for his wife and
children. Preston found that they were safe. A little later Wells sent an Indian
scout, one of Taylor’s named White Deer, and on his way to the Agency he
met some Indian friends relatives who told him that the Indian women had re-
moved them to the Mission, and he returned to W. K.

Engagement Near Drexel Mission
(properly Holy Rosary Mission) Dec. , 

When Mr. Wells reached the Agency the night of the battle about 10 or 11
o’clock .. he went to the hospital inside the Agency enclosure, in hospital
tents and saw 30 or 40 wounded soldiers and the surgeons were very busy. He
stepped in and was shown by a doctor a place in another tent where he could
lie down, there being plenty of robes. He rested there till daylight. Word came
that the Holy Rosary Mission was on fire, all its occupants having been killed.
His wife was teaching a Day School on the hill south of the Mission and on
the south side of the big ravine just south of the Mission. She had two young
children which she kept with her.This Day Sch. had been built before the Mis-
sion. The latter was begun to be built in the summer of 1887, the same season
Mr. Wells came from the north.
Mr.Wells heard the report and alarm given outside; he jumped up and buck-
led on his revolver and grabbed his rifle. The first thought in his mind was that
his family was killed, and as he came out he saw several cavalry horses saddled
and cow ponies with cowboy saddles; from these not knowing to whom any of
them belonged, he selected what looked to be the best cow pony and mounted
and started for the Mission. He flew half-crazed and heedlessly for a mile.
Then, recovering his equilibrium, he began to reason. Until now, contemplat-
ing revenge for the death of his family, he asked himself, ‘‘Am I likely to get
revenge by this wild chase when I may dash into an ambush and be killed?’’ A

      .     
second thought was quickly in his mind, and that was to exonerate the Indians
and to wreak his vengeance on the authors of these horrible scenes and be-
reavements; and these were instantly depicted in his mind, standing out as the
responsible monsters who should pay swift penalty for this crime. He seized
the instant resolve to take their lives upon sight, and if the consequences be
to close to follow his murdered family, that he would do so as his free choice
and cheerfully. He would first make affectionate disposition of their remains.
He dashed onward now taking precautions against surprise and ambuscade.
Smoke was rising in dense volume in the direction of the Mission. He was now
convinced that the news was correct and that the worst could be expected.
Riding a mile and a half farther, to his great joy he discovered that the confla-
gration was at the Day School where he had been living; a little farther on he
saw the spire of the Mission church standing unharmed; and then his thoughts
and feelings were changed to thanksgiving and gratitude, and the war within
himself was over. Mrs. Wells was at the Day School in the forenoon on the 29th
of Dec., 1890. About 11 .. she noticed that there was commotion among
the young Indians, at first the children, and then it spread to older ones, the
parents gathering at the school and talking to the children, the meaning not
being apprehended by Mrs. Wells; about noon or a little after she noticed that
the young men were stripping to a war footing; that is, were naked except the
breech clout, and they were bestirring themselves and getting their ponies. An
Indian woman came and asked Mrs. Wells, who guessed from her signs, to go
to the Mission; Mrs. W. tried to put her off for a little while till she could fin-
ish clearing away her dinner table; but the woman was persistent, and as Mrs.
Wells seemed in no hurry to go, she caught the younger child, Alma, in her
arms and started off on the run with her in her arms (the child was nearly 3 years
old) to the Mission. Mrs. Wells did not understand what it all meant, but she
had a secret fear that the woman was kidnapping the little girl; so she grasped
the boy Tommy who was between 5 and 6 years old, and ran after her as hard
as she could. They reached the Mission nearly together; but when Mrs. Wells
saw the woman directing her course to the Mission she felt relieved, though but
she could not conjecture what the trouble was all about, though she realized
that some danger was impending. Mrs. Wells went to Father Jutz, the Father
Superior, and inquired the cause of so much commotion, but he did not know.
He said he was just starting to the Agency to learn the cause. He was not gone
more than half an hour when he returned and said that he had been stopped by
the Indians who would not let him pass, but they told him that there was fight-

                       
ing going on and to go back and stay at the Mission. He advised Mrs. Wells to
remain there also, and she stayed. That night afternoon and night people kept
coming and going, and about 20 persons from the neighborhood were there all
the time. Some sat up and spent the slow hours of suspense in conversation;
others retired, but there was no sleep at the Holy Rosary Mission that night.
It should be observed that from the beginning of the difficulties the Indi-
ans had told Father Jutz to keep within the enclosure around the Mission and
he would be safe; that those precincts would be treated as sacred, and that all
that was therein would receive protection and be exempt from danger. When
it became apparent to the hostile Indians that there was probability of fighting,
the full bloods had quietly notified their half-blood relations that, if it came,
they had better go to the Mission, for they would be safe in that place, as it was
agreed among all of them that the enclosed premises of the institution should
not be invaded. Father Jutz had been specified as the only friend the Indians
had among the whites on the Reservation.
(I should have stated farther back that when Mrs. Wells went to the Mission
she found it practically emptied; there were not more than a dozen children
remaining; the others had run away; and the Father Superior was in the dark
as to what was causing the exodus.)
Mrs. Wells states that on the morning of the 30th many straggling Indians
who were passing the Mission from the direction of the Agency towards their
rendezvous north of there, stopped at the gate and were fed by the Sisters of
St. Francis, Mrs. Wells herself assisting. Later the soldiers came along, as they
had been ordered out in that direction to reconnoiter and extend succor to any
who were in peril. These, hearing that the Mission was on fire, left the Agency
without breakfast, and as they passed along were also fed as the Indians had
been. Mrs. Wells says that the Indians had been refreshed in the same manner
on the 29th. This was done by carving bread and meat and carrying these out
on trays and large vessels.
Returning to Mr. Wells, he states that he reached the Mission and found
everything all right. The 7th Cavalry followed down
On the 29th these Indians about the Mission and north of the Agency gath-
ered, apart on the ridge north of Wolf Creek and fired into the Agency. See
other accounts for description of this. A part of these hostiles moved to W. K.
and were driven off by the cavalry as elsewhere stated by Mr. Wells. On the
night of the 29th the fighting Indians at the Agency fell back to a position about
12 miles north of the Agency and about 4 miles east of the White Clay, in the

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hills, a good position, well protected, a very broken, hilly country. The Indi-
ans who had marched to Wounded Knee retired from there and joined these
in the new position in the hills.
On the morning of the 30th, about daylight, the 7th Cavalry was ordered
out and moved down past the Mission, and were regaled there with a piece of
bread and meat which each took from the baskets of the donors as he passed.
They went about two miles below the Mission, where they were fired on from
the hill tops near the rear of the column. The firing came from one side. The
troops formed, facing the danger, though no Indians could be seen.Then came
a hostile volley from the opposite side of the column. A disposition of some
of the soldiers was made to meet the fire from this quarter. Then a fresh fire
came into the column from the front. Then some more troops were wheeled
into position to repel this attack. It looked as though the enemy had closed
in on all sides, and the concern was that they had established themselves in
the rear as well as elsewhere. This situation lasted an hour or more until the
9th Cavalry appeared. The situation was felt to be critical because the Indians
kept out of sight and it was impossible to tell whether they were all around the
troops, nor could their numbers be conjectured. Not more than three or four
could be seen at any one time. Lieut. Mann of the 7th Cavalry was wounded
and afterwards died.237 A soldier of the 7th Cavalry was killed. Three Indians
were wounded. One of these died afterwards.
As was afterwards learned these shots came from 30 or 40 young Indi-
ans who were without experience, some of whom had returned from eastern
schools. They fired from one side, then ran to another place and fired, then re-
peated this in another place. The 9th Cavalry made one charge, the boys scat-
tered and hid, and the affair was done. Mr. Wells considered at the time that
the troops were in a dangerous situation and that was the universal feeling.
About a month after this affair Mr. Wells was ordered to investigate this,
and he did so. He found that this force of young men had been directed by the
Indians at the rendezvous not to engage the troops that might come in sight,
but to get what information they could and retire before them and report, so
that the main body might be put in readiness for battle. End of Wounded Knee
Battle and the affair at the mission.

Various Topics on Which Mr. Wells Gives Views

He has done more or less interpreting in court for 20 years, and he says not a
case has come within his knowledge which was between a white man and an

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Indian in which the latter did not lose. Mr. Wells was satisfied of the impar-
tiality of the judge. Juries, he thinks, are taken from the inferior intelligence of
the community. They are often packed. There is prejudice against the Indian
also. And then prosecuting attorneys and other attorneys who are reputed to
be working for the Indian are not always reliable.
Question: ‘‘Mr. Wells, will you state why, after holding important positions
in the Indian service, and being one of the best of interpreters, and having by a
variety of employments by having an extensive acquaintance with Indian char-
acter and habits, and qualified yourself by a variety of employments, that you
are not holding a position in the government service?’’
Answer: ‘‘The qualifications of which you speak are such a personal det-
riment to one who aspires to serve in government employ that he is barred
therefrom. I always loved to work among the Indians; and at a time when I saw
some men holding positions because of merit, I had beautiful dreams of what
I would do in the future when I should have qualified myself for usefulness;
but when I had fitted myself to be of benefit to my people I discovered that
qualifications are not required wanted but that something else is; that instead
of these being a recommendation they are a drawback. Those dreams of prom-
ise have turned to realities which are revelations. If I had known then what I
now know as the result of experience, I should not have spent the better part
of my life for acquisitions a special knowledge which is of little financial bene-
fit to me and cannot be put to service for my unhappy kindred who need their
practical it for their improvement. I therefore yield to the inevitable, feeling at
the same time that a man may have an honorable ambition to do good to his fel-
lows, and thus have a source of large personal happiness apart from all merely
sordid considerations.’’
Question: ‘‘Have you no expectation of employment in the Indian service?’’
Answer: ‘‘None at all, unless the Indians shall first be emancipated from the
evils of our partisan system which places them under the immediate supervi-
sion of men who are in most cases inferior in acquirements and incompetent
to instruct, assist and civilize the Indian.’’
Question: ‘‘In your opinion would it have been more beneficial for the Indi-
ans to be under the War Department than under the Interior Department?’’
Answer: ‘‘Yes. The War Dept would have Under the War department the
Indians would have escaped the ravages of politics to a great extent.’’
Question: ‘‘Did not the appointment of army officers as agents since the


      .     
Indians passed under the control of the Interior department obviate your ob-
Answer: ‘‘No. I can speak only concerning Pine Ridge Reservation with
which I have been familiar since the year 1887. The detail of army officers as
agents began at Pine Ridge in 1891. I think the system a mistaken one. It brings
from the army the class of men least desirable in character. Those who are
‘good riddances’ are most likely to be selected for this special duty. If the Indi-
ans were in charge of the War department which would be responsible before
the country for their successful treatment the better class of officers would be
placed over them, and a higher rate of progress would be the result.’’
Question: ‘‘Have you had acquaintance with the service when the Indians
were under the War Dept?’’
Answer: ‘‘No. But I have seen the Indians held as prisoners of war by the
army at different times. My observation was that the officers in charge were in-
variably men of high character, scrupulous as to the truth, and as painstaking
in treatment of the lowliest Indian, and as regardful careful to tell him the truth
as they would be with any other man.They regarded the Indian as a man. It was
not always so when the agents on reservations were detailed from the army.’’
Question: ‘‘Mr. Wells, you have allowed me to interview you at your house
on the subject of the Indians for ten consecutive days. May I ask you if you
have ever before given an interview for publication either wholly or partly?’’
Answer: ‘‘At different times I have consented to be interviewed for publi-
cation. Before I went far I discovered the object was a special or sensational
one; and then I cut them short, because I am opposed to such things object to
making a statement for either purpose.’’
Question: ‘‘Mr. Wells, can you state any facts which illustrate the degree of
efficiency in the service on any of the reservations?’’
Answer: ‘‘I refer only to Pine Ridge Reservation on which I live. I have
made a study of 20 years certain methods pursued during a residence here of
20 years. I have noticed that a given policy adopted to attain a desirable end de-
feats its own intention by producing an opposite result, and in the face of this
effect the policy is adhered to without change. I will speak first of the denial
of privileges. Take as a specimen illustration of how the business is generally
done, the case of wood on the reservation timber, wood, and hay. There is a
large quantity of timber in many parts; a great deal of this falls annually and
enters into decay and becomes waste. Reason would Common sense ought to


                       
teach that this waste it would be better if this waste was prevented and turned to
the little profit which could be derived from the wood when it is cut and sold.
The effect of allowing, and more, encouraging the Indians to work up and save
such fuel and get a little income would be educative and improving, by invit-
ing industry, teaching economy and helping the natives to understand more of
their ability to provide for themselves, and to give more practice in buying and
selling. Settlers living off the reservation would like to buy the wood and pay
good prices. Perhaps only a few of the Indians would give much attention to
this kind of work. But these would become an example to others who could see
how much labor properly directed was doing for the few. If not many were by
these attracted to the same kind of work, they would to some extent be stimu-
lated to labor in other ways. The object of helping them to think and devise
would lead them gradually into higher attempts along the white man’s way. In-
stead of such an intelligent policy, when an Indian wants a permit to save wood
that is wasting and to earn something from his labor, he is forbidden to exercise
the privilege and thus to exercise develop his powers. One source of good is
cut off and a source of evil opened. This restriction, when multiplied by other
equally indefensible ones, produces a situation which is discouraging and re-
pressive. The road for him which should be a thoroughfare of opportunities
is unwisely narrowed and hedged in until he is driven to day labor for others.
Day labor is the first pleasing condition in the gamut of resources above starva-
tion. The government, with benign intent, has reluctantly undertaken to instill
enlightenment into darkened minds, as they have been called, and to civilize
for their own and the nation’s good, our native population. Would it not be
well to turn all means for improvement to practical account in the course of
the instruction proposed? Why not make the instruction active and real rather
than passive and stagnant? So long as there is the pretense of making out of
the Indian a new creature, a citizen and useful member of society, and making
generous expenditure to realize this purpose, should there not be faithful en-
deavor along the whole line and at every point upon it? Else of what use to the
country is the keeping of such an enormous establishment as the Indian Bu-
reau and the pay of salaries to thousands of employees? Is the service mainly
for the doling out of bread and butter to these? Intelligent thinkers should pon-
der this question.
‘‘On Pine Ridge thousands of dollars have been paid for the making of roads
and of irrigating ditches. It is not a delightful task to speak against such popular
and generally useful improvements.They look admirable upon paper and stun-

      .     
ningly plausible in reports—and are irresistible in public prints. But it cannot
be gainsaid that money may be wondrously lavished upon works of beneficial
character and at the same time partially and even totally wasted. Some have
been irreverent enough to venture the sacrilegious hint that possibly something
like this has been the result at Pine Ridge. Indians do the work. It is a school
for day labor. It has not stirred a creative or resourceful thought in one Indian.
It is affirmed that the road making has been carried much beyond any need of
it, and that the ditching has not made a single Indian family one cent better off
in Pass Creek district.
‘‘Another feature of the evil mentioned is that legitimate avenues are closed
to the Indian who aspires. Still another feature is that the Indian whose aspira-
tions run about an even race with indifference, sees an opening for gain by cut-
ting the valuable cedars growing on the hills and in the valleys and marketing
these making them into fence posts and marketing them to stockmen. It may be
said that this is unlawful. But then, by denying a legitimate income, the Indian
is pinched till he resorts to the less legitimate and the openly dishonest and
lawless. His education has tendency downward, not upward. Swelling preten-
sions impress him unfavorably. Civilization has its farcical sides. The Indian
laughs while he is idle under its banners and its deceptions and its platitudes.
Farming, notwithstanding all the ditching for irrigation uses, has actually retro-
graded. Where once farms and homes were fairly thriving, now only patches of
weeds, and the decaying evidences of a tolerable Indian agriculture and pros-
perity mark the locations.’’
At this point Eagle Elk entered and I asked him to tell me how the man-
agement had affected the Indians in Pass Creek district. [Eagle Elk’s interview
appears in Chapter 3.]
Returning now to Mr. Wells’ statement and continuing it, he says that when
an Indian asked permission to cut hay and sell it off the Reservation he was for-
bidden to do so; neither was he permitted to take live stock to his premises to
feed, though a vast abundance and surplus of grass was wasting all round him,
and he was lacking in stock of his own to consume it. Nevertheless unscrupu-
lous Indians and other residents violated these unreasonable restrictions with
impunity and without penalty; and thus was a premium put on disobedience
which was natural and could hardly be called wrongful.
‘‘Objections can be urged against what is here advocated, and it may be
asked what might be the effect if these permits were granted.
‘‘These permits, and others besides, should be allowed if the primary object

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of reservations is not subjected the elevation of the aboriginals—is not sub-
verted. If the Indian is ever to have a chance to develop into the white man’s
status, he should be advanced toward freedom, be made answerable before the
law as a man, and conducted in such a way as to establish his habits and his
intercourse with all men upon the firm foundation of self-reliance. The hand
of power must be relaxed. The props need not all be taken away; for the red
man will have to be steadied a while longer till he can fence a little better against
the cunning and the fraud and the falsehood which are the artful weapons of
his paleface Christianizer. But if the Indians are to be hand-tied and kept at a
standstill, continue this infant-control; if you are determined that he shall never
walk take care that he shall never stand upon his feet; do all these things and
there will be an eternity of the Indian Bureau—there will be scheming and ap-
plauding employees forever—and a train of expectants waiting for the doors
of the Civil Service Commission to swing in exciting harmony on their worn
hinges to let in those whose hearts flutter for salaries.
‘‘To show how much improvement has come since school employees have
been chosen from Civil Service examinations, I will say that those who occu-
pied positions in the Boarding School and were appointed by political influ-
ence were not comparable to those who have come into the service through the
Commission. Among those teachers who owed their places to politics there was
drunkenness, and loose morals, and as a specimen of impropriety in speech
which was not rare, I once heard a lady teacher tell the superintendent to go to a
place which I hope to avoid hereafter. She was entrenched because I was some-
times sent by the Agent to the school as a mediator to calm differences which
arose, and had good occasion to observe conditions and make comparisons.
The schools upon Pine Ridge Reservation since Civil Service examinations
have been served by a competent and valuable corps of teachers and managers.
I wish I could give like testimony of the farmers. There are farmers without any
farming. These are commonly called ‘Boss Farmers,’ but officially ‘additional
farmers.’ Qualifications of the ordinary white farmer do not fit a man for this
responsible position. The first requirement is that he shall have a good knowl-
edge of Indian character. He should, after that is ascertained, be able to prove
that he is a competent natural mechanic. He should not be lacking in force or
decision. He should be patient and industrious. If he has the tactful quality
combined with executive talent he will be all the more successful. He ought to
be a farmer and should be a practical farmer and stock raiser. actually raised


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to the business Last of all he should be crowned with have sympathy for the
Indians—a love for the work to which he is appointed; and sufficient integrity
to prevent him from making merchandise of his office.
‘‘It is doubtful whether the Civil Service examiners are, themselves quali-
fied to make selection of these farmers.’’
Question: ‘‘Have you met in actual experience men who had practical
knowledge and held official position in the Indian service as a result of their
personal merit?’’
Answer: ‘‘Yes; I have known two cases, namely, Colonel James McLaugh-
lin, now U.S. Indian Inspector, and John W. Cramsie of St. Paul, Minnesota.
I have been intimately acquainted with McLaughlin from my childhood. In
about 1868 he was appointed blacksmith at Devil’s Lake, N.D., under Major
Wm. Forbes, Agent. Be it said to Major Forbes’ credit that he saw and ac-
knowledged McLaughlin’s great worth. The Minnesota Massacre was fresh in
the memory of the Indians and it was as much as a man’s life was worth to go
among them at that date for they were a bad lot that time. Major Forbes put
McLaughlin right into the harness with full discretion to organize and man-
age them and this while he was only the Agency blacksmith. He displayed at
once great practical talent and a familiarity with details, and it was not long
before his wards were prosperous and self-supporting, and they had schools
well established. About three years after the schools were started Major Forbes
died. At that early day the Indians had not become prey of a system the legiti-
mate (!) prey of partisanship. So McLaughlin was appointed to succeed Major
Forbes. He continued to improve the condition of the Indians until 1881.238
‘‘For several years prior to 1881 the Standing Rock Agency had been in
almost constant turmoil strife with Fort Yates adjoining, each fighting for su-
premacy, one representing the War and the other the Interior department, and
both ambitious to control the Indians. The situation was more tense than ever
before, owing to the fact that Sitting Bull had surrendered that summer and was
already there, so that Standing Rock was on a powder magazine, so to speak;
and the department was under the necessity of finding and appointing an able
man, and as McLaughlin answered the several requirements the position was
tendered him. He accepted with the understanding that he should select his
successor at Devil’s Lake. His choice fell upon John W. Cramsie, of St. Paul,
Minn., who had had wide experience on the frontier and in Indian warfare, and
had been blacksmith at Fort Totten adjoining Devil’s Lake Agency.239 Major


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Cramsie continued the creditable work which McLaughlin had begun and
greatly advanced. Cramsie was not the diplomat that McLaughlin was, but was
bold, fearless, and honest, and he struck at everything which was crooked or
showed signs of becoming so. The local and opposition press assailed him
fearlessly fiercely, charging him with despotic rule, but some papers defended
him. from motives of honesty.
‘‘I was never an employee under either one of the agents McLaughlin or
Cramsie, on Devil’s Lake Agency. I was a scout stationed at Fort Totten adjoin-
ing Devil’s Lake Agency, and I had opportunity to observe closely the work of
both these men.
‘‘Since the time of Gallagher on the P. Ridge Reservation the government
has been undoing the good work which had been accomplished.’’

Death of Lieutenant Casey

This took place while the Indians were in their strong position about 12 miles
north of the agency.240 Lieutenant Casey had command of the Cheyenne Scouts
and was posted on White River between the mouth of the White Clay and
the west line of the Reservation.241 He started from his camp accompanied by
some of his scouts to go to the hostile camp. The scouts advised him to refrain
from the attempt, but he was determined. He crossed White Clay when he was
met by Jack Red Cloud, Broken Arm, Sleeping Bear and Peter Reichart (pro-
nounced Reshaw).
(Mr. Wells was the interpreter on the trial of Plenty Horses who was tried
at Sioux Falls.)
Jack Red Cloud et al. urged him to go back, advising that there was high feel-
ing among the young hostiles, because they had lost relatives killed at W. K. and
had others who were lying wounded at the agency, and they were hot headed
and it would be hard work to do anything with them, and no one could tell
what they would do. He held out that he would go, and while they were argu-
ing about it, Plenty Horses, who was a Carlisle graduate, rode up, and as Casey
turned to go back, having decided to give up his rash purpose, Plenty Horses
placed his gun to the back of his head and shot him. Mr. Wells translated the
testimony on the trial and he is good authority. On the first trial 11 jurors stood
for a life sentence in the penitentiary, and one for the death penalty, and as the
jury disagreed there was [a] second trial. On this the army officers testified that
a state of war existed; it was so held by the court who instructed the jury to

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Owls and Eagles

Mr. Wells says that people sometimes suppose that the Indians worship owls
and eagles, but it is a misconception. Owls are more easily imitated by the
human voice than anything else in animated nature, unless it be the wolf. So the
Indians have resorted to the cry of the owl to communicate with their fellows
when they wish to conceal themselves and give to their enemies the impres-
sion that it is in fact an owl instead of a person that is hooting. They use the
simple, familiar sound made by the owl when they have discovered the camp,
or village of the enemy to impart intelligence of the fact to their companions
or friends or to give notice to companions where they are, etc. The number of
hoots have a meaning, and a given number of hoots and a number of pauses
have a certain meaning, etc. etc., and these signals vary in a great many ways,
and the system or code may very correctly be compared to the system of teleg-
raphy as marked by sounds or dashes.
The eagle is to the Indian as it is to the American people, an emblem, be-
cause it is the king of birds. He is the emblem of war. In the days of war an
Indian, to be entitled to wear an eagle feather with respect, must have done a
deed of prowess. There was no law preventing him from donning the feather
without such act, but if he had been so mean or silly as to do it he was ridi-
culed and scoffed at. When he had fairly earned the right to wear it without
exciting contempt, he was always invested with it at a council or society of war-
riors, and so there was no occasion for him to put it on himself. He might wear
more than one feather according to the degree of his merit as determined by
his deeds, and the council or society would decide that and decorate him. The
way in which these feathers leaned had a signification.

Society of Warriors

What is called the Omaha dance was this society. Only those who had been on
the warpath were entitled to take part in that and be a member of the society.
A very little boy had the right to dance in the society dance if his father had
invested him with a feather. The squaws did not usually dance in this dance,
but if her husband, father or brother who had the right to wear a feather had
adorned her with a feather she could go into the dance.
I forgot to say that an eagle’s feathers to be of value to the Indian should be
young; while they are white with black color on the tips; after about two years
old they become wholly black and are worthless.

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The Coup

An Indian who shoots and kills an enemy gets no credit unless he touches him
in some way. The reason for this is that he may kill him at a distance and this
would be no sign of bravery; but if he is near enough to touch his body it is
evident that he was in proximity to exposure and danger, and so this is honor-
able and confers a warrior’s prestige, and he is rewarded accordingly. So the
Indian who did not shoot at him at all, but was the first to touch him, says ‘‘I
killed him first;’’ the one who did not shoot at all but can truthfully say, ‘‘I killed
him second,’’ comes next in rank of honor, and this preference is carried to the
third person or warrior. If this last be the man who actually shot him, he will
be obliged to say, ‘‘I killed him third,’’ and take the last degree.

The Owl Again

The habit of imitating the owl has produced marked characteristics. The In-
dian was so used to pause with caution and circumspection in the old days
when he heard the voice of this bird, and listen to determine if he could whether
it was indeed an owl or an imitation of an enemy signaling. The sound would
instantly cause a pause among the Indians to listen. Just lately—last winter—
Mr. W. and Eagle Elk were walking out towards the stable at night, and an owl
hooted. Eagle Elk stopped and said: ‘‘There is an owl; I don’t like to go there.’’
Wells said: ‘‘You know that won’t hurt you.’’ ‘‘I know it,’’ he replied but I am
afraid.’’ This was force of habit—his old training—education. It is not now so
with the younger generation.
Copy of Parts of a Letter by Philip F. Wells to Commissioner of Indian Af-
fairs, Francis E. Leupp. (Not yet—Oct. 1906—finished and sent.)243
It has always been a mystery to me what is meant by the common saying,
Indian Problem. The only problem I have been able to find is, How can the
Indian be emancipated from the evil practice of ‘‘to the victor belongs the
spoils’’ in politics, and how can the merit system be applied to the Indian ser-
vice. The following are my reasons for so believing. The tendency has been,
though very strongly denied by interested parties, to place a penalty on the
honest endeavor to uplift the Indian from his degraded condition. I use the
words ‘‘degraded condition’’. Twelve or fifteen years ago the Indians of Pass
Creek settlements were industrious and prosperous, having well established
homes, cultivating patches of ground varying in size from one to four or five
acres, well cultivated, that enabled them to live through the winter very com-

      .     
fortably on their own industry; each family had chickens and hogs, so that one
could buy eggs or chickens; but now the conditions are all changed; the fields
have all gone back to sod; the homes all destroyed, and neither pigs nor chick-
ens to be found, and all that made home attractive gone, while very few, if any,
have increased their cattle, and the majority have less now than they had then,
and the very men that worked faithfully to establish the aforesaid conditions
were dismissed from the service to be replaced by men who recognize the fact,
though they speak of it in a whimpering way, ‘‘It does not pay to be any ways
fresh about solving the Indian problem.’’ These men were appointed to office
through political influence only and not because of any previous knowledge or
fitness to fill the position to which they were appointed.
Now, I will speak of my own personal experience, though I can cite many
other cases similar to my own. These show there is a penalty on the honest en-
deavor to aid the Indian in progress, and at the same time showing there is no
Indian problem, and how readily the Indians can adapt themselves to condi-
tions that they have come face to face with, if they were only aided by faithful
and competent employees. In 1889 I was assistant clerk at Pine Ridge Agency,
and at the same time acting in the capacity of interpreter. On days of issuing
rations, which were drawn by the women only, it was done in the most dis-
graceful inhuman manner imaginable. There would be hundreds of women
crowding into the issue house like sardines packed in a can, trampling over
one another and very frequently you could see some woman dragged out who
had fainted and policemen would go in there and beat them over their heads
with their clubs like so many cattle in a beef pen and blood would be stream-
ing from the blows.
When I drew the Agent’s attention to it he asked me if I knew of any man
that could remedy that evil. I told him yes, I could do it. And he said you take
hold and do it and I will back you, which he did as an honest, conscientious
man. In less than two weeks I succeeded in establishing perfect order, so that
such disgraceful scenes were never seen afterwards.
I will quote your words: ‘‘Whatever you do for him in the line of improve-
ment, you have as a rule to press upon him by endless patience and tact and
by a multitude of persuasive devices.’’ That is just what I did by taking the In-
dian as I know him and putting to good use his characteristics.
In 1890 I was Farmer in charge of Medicine Root District when the never-
to-be-forgotten ghost dance craze among the Indians was in full progress. Here
again, by putting in practice the methods you recommend for dealing with the

                       
Indians, gathering together all the Indians I had strong control over, and with
the aid of the Rev. Mr. Ross, an Episcopal clergyman, who is a mixed blood
Indian, and his following, I succeeded in freeing my district of the disturbing
ghost dance. I was the only farmer in Pine Ridge Reservation who kept the
Indians of his district under full control and kept them from participating in
the dance. I could tell many other similar instances of the acts of others, but as
these two particular cases I could prove by the whole Pine Ridge Reservation,
if need be; so I will let this suffice. Don’t understand me to mean that my fellow
employees were not good men; on the contrary, I believe them to be faithful
to do their duty as they understood it. But what I do mean is that they were
inexperienced and incompetent to get the best out of the Indian. that was in
him. Here let me draw your attention to the evil effects of appointment to the
Indian service through political influence and not by any previous experience
of Indian character.
Of the four different farmers, each in charge of a district, I was the only one
appointed on my own merits, and not by any political influence; while the three
others were appointed through such influence.They had never probably never
seen an Indian till they came to Pine Ridge. I am perfectly satisfied, had my
fellow employees had any previous experience of Indian character they could
have controled the Indians of their own district as well as I controled mine.
And the frightful loss of life at Wounded Knee and Drexel Mission in 1890–1
would never have occurred.
The Civil Service Commission, like all other bodies of men, has its limits
of efficiency. The good and practical work they are doing is confined to the
school service, as through their determination of fitness of its employees, in
my opinion, there could be no more efficient and commendable department
than the teachers of this Reservation as compared with those of the past when
they were appointed merely through political influence.
Though I seem to condemn the present agent and his farmers and the ad-
ministration of this Reservation generally, let me draw your attention to the
following facts:
It would be worse than folly to expect the subordinates to be more efficient
than the influence to which they owe their choice. Look through the Indian
service as I will, from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the humblest em-
ployee on the Reservation, I cannot pick out any particular official that I could
charge with responsibility for the very inferior class of work being done among


      .     
these Indians. As the Commissioner of Indian Affairs had to rely on the con-
gressmen for the recommendation of employees, they in turn had to rely on po-
litical friends who probably never saw an Indian at the Indian’s own home, and
knew nothing of his characteristics. And the board of examination determining
fitness of the applicant had no previous knowledge of him, nor the particular
Indians amongst whom he is to labor, when it is to be understood that the dif-
ferent tribes vary widely in different stages of progress to civilization than the
American people generally. Then the board of examination can only do their
work in the manner of a lottery; so the agent and his farmers have been in the
habit of considering the only duty they have to perform is to keep their papers
straight, and attend strictly to their political pull. Under these conditions could
an Indian Agent and his farmers be blamed for the insufficient work they do.
In my opinion another mistake, let the blame rest on whom it may, is the
placing [of ] such a small force in the field to allot lands to the Indians, as ex-
perience shows us that some of these will have to wait 8 or 10 years for their
allotment.This delay, after the Indian has become animated over a roseate pros-
pect of doing something for himself, chills his enthusiasm with disappointment
discouragement and he settles back into his old ways.
[Tablet 3]
Mr. Philip F. Wells tells me that Og-la-la is the correct form of the word,
representing, as it does, the correct sounds.
Mr.Wells says: Theword ‘‘Enemy’’ (toka) has two significations in the Sioux
language, namely;
1. An actually hostile person or body.
2. Any person or body whose relation or identity is that of a stranger or
member of another tribe of Indians. The Sioux do not speak of the whites as
enemies, and therefore do not scalp them, as a rule, for the reason that it is no
honor, and a white man’s scalp is never exhibited at a council of warriors, or
Omaha dance. In old Indian times only warriors could participate with free-
dom in the Omaha, but since there are no longer any warriors any Indian is
now admitted without distinction. Formerly, if an impostor or person who had
made no reputation by killing an enemy (man or woman), he was not excluded
but went into the dance; however, if he attempted to speak and declaim about
his exploits of courage, immediately a confusion followed of beating the drums
and renewal of the dance, no one listening to him and no respect being shown
him. Allowing that he has killed an enemy, if he was known to be untruthful


                       
and devoid of respect he would be treated to this form of disrespect and insult
which announced the purpose of the warriors not to hear him.
They did not speak of a white man as an enemy; he was regarded as embrac-
ing all men besides the Indians. The white race was not presented to them or
to their contemplation in the same way that the Indians were, in divisions into
nations, tribes, and bands. To them the whites all formed one grand division;
whereas, the Indians comprised many nations and subdivisions, and therefore
an Indian or a tribe could have many enemies. Indians would kill whites for
personal spite or on account of the aggression or oppression of many of them
or of their government.

Final Round-Up of Buffaloes

(Interview of Philip F. Wells)
This took place in the summer of 1882. Mr. Wells was at this time employed
out of the employment of the War Dept. and was a civilian employee of the In-
terior Dept. and was chief of Indian police under James McLaughlin.244
After the campaigning of 1876 had broken the power of the Indians and
thousands of them with Sitting Bull and other chiefs had crossed the inter-
national boundary on the north, white people rushed into the great territory
now practically freed of the Indians’ presence, and the slaughter of wild game,
and especially the buffaloes, assumed wholesale proportions. The government
through the Interior Dept. was patroling parts of this vast domain but could
not cover the whole. Mr. Wells was on duty at Standing Rock Agency. Begin-
ning at the mouth of the Cannon Ball above Fort Yates on the Mo. River and
following south to what was then called in Indian ‘‘Pretty Stone Buttes,’’ thence
east to the headwaters of Grand River, thence nearly to the mouth of it, thence
west back to Standing Rock.245 This was the general route of Mr. Wells and his
force. Patroling parties also went out from Cheyenne River Agency and up to
Grand River and circled around and arrested trespassing white men, confis-
cated their animals and wagons, and arms and outfits & carried the captured
men back for trial or rather to allow them to escape to get rid of a troublesome
matter. to be turned over to the U.S. Marshal. Mr. Wells took his prisoners to
Fargo and Bismarck. The offenders recovered their horses which were taken
from them. In some cases light fines were awarded them.
In the summer of 1882 Mr. Wells with 2,800 men under his orders rounded
up between the Grand and Cannon Ball Rivers the last of the buffaloes and


      .     
slaughtered about 3,500. He had every robe counted. This was the hunt when
Mr. W’s guest accompanied him and the Dog Soldiers punished him.
(The following pages relate to the Black Hills)
Mr. Wells went out as guide for different parties entering the Black Hills in
1875, starting from Covington opposite Sioux City. The last trip he made that
year the whole party was arrested and taken back to Fort Randall where they
were allowed nearly full liberty, and they all scattered except the leaders who
were put into the guardhouse.246 Nothing was ever done with any of the men.
When Mr. W. got ready he went his way as a free man. He corrects his state-
ment by adding that before this last trip for 1875 he had piloted two parties.
He was not employed by the last party; that started out from Covington ahead
of himself and a small party he was with, but he & his party overtook the ad-
vance party & were proceeding with them when the whole were arrested. He
was not locked up at all.
In the early spring of 1877, Mr. Wells states, it was reported among the
people on the frontier that the president had given permission for miners to
enter the Hills upon their own responsibility, taking their own chances as to
their lives and property, and after this no more persons were apprehended or
interfered with.247
(See Vol. of Treaties; also Executive Orders of President Grant and Pres.
Hays to find out whether any such orders can be found.)
If the Executive did such a thing what other meaning can be attached to
it than this: That proceedings having been commenced in 1875 on Chadron
Creek for a cession of the Black Hills, and the attempt having failed to ob-
tain the consent of the Indians, were the Indians to have an object lesson to
discourage them so that they would decide to yield to the pressure of the gov-
ernment and give up this coveted ground? Such a thing may have been a part
of a plan to get the Hills. The treaty for cession was made in the fall of 1876.
The treaty of 1868 (?) guaranteed to the Indians that the land secured to them
by it should not be taken from them unless ¾ of the Indians consented. Only
some 200 Indians signed in 1876. To show what a glaring fraud was perpe-
trated Mr. Wells suggests that the remotest and the latest census statistics be
obtained from Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Ponca, Santee, Flandreau, Crow Creek
(S.D. just above Chamberlain) Lower Brule, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock
Agencies, and from the Northern Cheyenne Agency on Tongue River, Mon-
tana, so as to show how many thousands there were entitled to a voice in the


                       
surrendering of the lands, and after all how few were whose consent was ob-
tained. No treaty, only a pretext for injustice and war, was secured. Indians 18
years old had a right to be heard and to sign or refuse.

Further Interview with Mr. Wells

In relation to the Sioux Indians of Minnesota and the Sioux farther West.
The Santee (E-san, meaning knife; ah-tee meaning, ‘‘live at’’) the whole
meaning being ‘‘Live at the knife.’’ Santee is formed by a part of each Indian
word. The first white men that the Sioux Indians came in contact with were
American soldiers, and because they carried sabres which the Indians call ‘‘big
knives,’’ they named the American white men ‘‘Big Knives.’’248 But they called
the white race as a whole Wah-she-tschun (nasal n) which is God in the char-
acter of intercessor (not in the character of Father or of Holy Ghost). Later
Indians—this generation—have lost sight of the original meaning of Wah-she-
tschun and apply the word to any white man. The statement here given of
this word is of the original signification. The reason why the white man was
honored with this appellation of an intercessory God was because of the mar-
velous weapons he bore, giving him such wonderful power and command over
opposition and obstacles, and other implements equally marvelous in their use;
they therefore looked upon the whole race as supernatural. They called the
French Wah she tschunik cha, adding ik-cha (meaning common) to wah-she-
tschun, making the full signification, ‘‘Common Intercessory God.’’ They had
first made the acquaintance of the French who came in a more common char-
acter as voyageurs (not superior in power by reason of superior implements);
so they had to re-name the French after becoming acquainted with the Ameri-
cans, and this was done by adding to the word which designated the whole
white race, the word ik-cha, making it mean the common white man.
Now returning to the Santee Sioux.They got this name from the other Indi-
ans (not from the whites at all) by reason of their location bringing them in con-
tact with the ‘‘Big Knives.’’ They formed the name by combining a part from
the name they had given the whites, ‘‘Knife,’’ and a part of the name they had
given those particular Indians in contact with such whites, ‘‘Live at;’’ hence
these western Indians applied to these eastern Indians ‘‘Santee.’’ This account
is wholly Indian history; it is not derived from any white. From this same his-
tory it is known there were three distinct bands of the Sioux tribe. The Santee,
we will for convenience, call the first band. The second would be the Teton
band which comprises by reservations Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Lower Brule,

      .     
Cheyenne River Agency, and Standing Rock Agency. The word ‘‘teton’’ is ab-
breviated from the words Ten-tah (nasal n) and Ahtunwan (both nasal n’s).
Ten-tah means ‘‘prairie,’’ and Ah-tunwan means ‘‘dwellers at;’’ the derivation
‘‘teton’’ meaning ‘‘the dwellers of the prairie;’’ hence the Indians western Indi-
ans who dwelled on the prairie, received this name. From whom did they get it;
that is, by whom was it applied? By the Santees.The third band were the Yank-
tons and Yanktonnais, comprising Yanktons of South Dakota and the Crow
Creek of South Dakota, and the Yanktonnais of the Poplar River Reservation
of Montana, and scattering ones on other reservations before mentioned.
The word ‘‘Yankton’’ is formed as follows: Ehanka-ah-tunwan. Ehanka
means ‘‘the end;’’ Ah-tunwan, ‘‘dwellers at’’ means ‘‘to live in a big camp or
community or settlement in form of a village.’’ In the word Yankton the Y
is an English prefix or addition or corruption. Auk-tun, is a derivation from
Ehanka-Ah-tunwan. The reason for the Yanktons having this name applied to
themselves by both of the two other bands was that their range of country lay
between that occupied by the Santees and that occupied by the Tetons; that
is, they were ‘‘the dwellers of the end’’ because they were on the end (at the
west) of the Santee, and were on the end of the Tetons (at the east). In each
band both mentioned them by the same name.
Each of these three bands was subdivided into small bands too numerous
for description, and these also have been subdivided until there seems to be no
end to division; but we will portray some of the most prominent and interesting.
Taking Santees first Take first for purpose of elucidation, the relationship
of marriage. A mother-in-law and a son-in-law were not, as a mark of respect
and honor, to speak to the other. This rule applied with some relaxation to the
father-in-law and the daughter-in-law, but the relaxation was in favor of the
father-in-law only. If these parties wished to communicate together it was done
through their intermediary, that is, the mother-in-law and the son-in-law com-
municated through the wife of the latter, and the father-in-law and daughter-
in-law through the husband of the latter. In the case of the father-in-law and the
son-in-law they can address each other but this must be done in the strictest
reserve and respect. In the case of the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law,
these too, may address each other, but it must be with the same reserve and re-
spect. As to brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law there was no restriction; on the
contrary, it seemed as though they had uncommon license to nag, tease, joke
with and annoy one another, a liberty which was enjoyed to the utmost; and,
in a general way this was regarded as a good way to try a brother-in-law’s heart.

                       
Of the Santees . There was one principal band called Wahpa-kuta which
means ‘‘Shoot the leaf.’’ Out of this spirit of nagging grew this name. Upon a
time some brothers-in-law (and for the sake of this sport described, the cousins
of the one tormented were allowed to be considered in the relation of brothers-
in-law to help on the revelry) having in mind to ‘‘April-fool’’ a certain brother-
in-law, made a figure of a man out of leaves, etc., and set it up to lead him to
suppose it was an enemy. The instant he saw it he seized his bow and arrow
and shot this dummy. Those who were watching got their fun and dubbed him
and his brothers and cousins ‘‘Shoot-the-Leaf.’’
Wahpa-tunwan. This band obtained its name because they inhabited the
thick timber of the forests of Minnesota. Wahpa means ‘‘leaf,’’ tunwan means
dwellers—hence ‘‘dwellers under the leaf.’’ The city of Wahpeton got its name
from this band, as they lived near where it stands. (It should be noted here that
the word ah-tee—ah is a word meaning ‘‘at’’ and tee is another word meaning
live—and ah-tee is more properly applied to an individual ‘‘dweller,’’ whereas
tunwan is more properly applied to a community of dwellers in form of a vil-
Hay-minne-choka-ha, meaning ‘‘the bluff standing in the midst of water’’
(Hay means bluff,’’ minne means ‘‘water,’’ choka means ‘‘in the midst,’’ and ha
means ‘‘stand’’ and it is applied to inanimate form—something in inanimate
form). This is a bluff standing in Lake Pippin on whose shores now stands the
city of Redwing. The band of Indians took its name from that bluff, and the
city was named for a chief of the band who was called Redwing.
Of the Tetons: Og-la-la means for a person to pour something that he is
connected with and which is in pulverized form—pour it in to that which is
his own or he is connected with.
The origin was as follows: Two brothers in council fell to disputing. For
brothers to dispute or quarrel is disgraceful. So one asked the other if he was
strong and the latter replied that he was. The first then caught up a handful of
ashes from the fire and threw them into the other’s face and exclaimed: ‘‘Take
that if you are strong of heart.’’ It was taken without dodging or anger. Then
this one rose and taking a handful of ashes threw them back into the other
brother’s face saying, ‘‘Take that if you are strong!’’ This one was not angry at
this but calm like the other, and they both ended their disputation in peace,
having shown their hearts were strong. From this circumstance these brothers
and their kindred were called Og-la-las. These names are generally first given
as nicknames, but they stick, and those so denominated increase in numbers

      .     
until they have the importance and rank of a tribe. This is the Og-la-la history
of the origin of this tribe.
Og-la-la comprises all the Indians on Pine Ridge Reservation. The Og-la-
las are subdivided into numerous small bands.
Key-yah-k’csar means ‘‘bites in two.’’ The band got this name from a young
warrior chief of considerable following at the time, who had violated a pledge.
He was sentenced by his followers to bite a live snake in two, which he did,
and they all went by this name, growing into a prominent band.249 This was
the band of which Little Wound was a noted chief in his day. This is the most
prominent among the Og-la-las. The Red Cloud band was equally prominent.
Among the other bands there may be mentioned the

Don’t Eat the Badger band
Soreback "
Flatfoot "
Flatbottle "

This last is of recent origin, after the members of it came into frequent con-
tact with white men. These bands like all others of small beginning and few in
number are offshoots which live in separate settlements and are properly called
clans. Mr. Wells now thinks of the Loafer band which got this designation be-
cause they were the first to settle and live around agencies and in proximity
to soldiers, and those Indians who kept out on the warpath and followed the
chase gave them this to express the contempt which they felt for them.250 The
Loafers were not a vagabond class, but they were the first friendly Indians.
They were one of the three distinct bands of the Og-la-las. These three distinct
bands of ‘‘Red Cloud’s Band,’’ the ‘‘Key-yah-k’csar Band’’ and the ‘‘Loafer
Band,’’ together with a number of clans, each of which is generally composed
of members who are relations, compose the Og-la-la tribe.
The Extravagance band is a clan.
On Rosebud Reservation is the ‘‘Brulé Band’’ comprising all on this Reser-
vation. The Brulé band of the Sioux have in the Sioux tongue this name:
Sechan-gu, meaning ‘‘burnt thigh’’ which, being translated into French by
their early French visitors, they were called On ofés brulé and the English ab-
breviated it to Brulé. Mr. W. says ofes means ‘‘thigh’’ in French, and brulé is
‘‘burnt’’—burnt thigh. This name originated in another brother-in-law esca-
pade but Mr. W. has forgotten the details.
This band also has its sub-bands, and these have numerous clans.

                       
On the Cheyenne River Agency we have mainly the Minneconjou Band of
the Sioux. This word is formed an abbreviation of Minne (water) kanyala—
(close by)—wojou (plant) = ‘‘Plant close by the water.’’
On this same agency are three distinct bands, viz., the ‘‘Minneconjous,’’ the
‘‘Sans Arcs’’ and the ‘‘Two Kettle Band’’ as officially known.
Sans Arc (Fr.) in Sioux is Etahzepah-cho which is abbreviated from
Etahzepah-Choka-la, meaning ‘‘without a bow.The French translated this into
Sans (without) Arc (bow ?).
Two Kettle Band obtained its name from this circumstance. These Indians
were starving, and a woman came up to where the cooking was going on, and
said, ‘‘Give me the two cookings,’’ meaning a certain part of the buffalo which
was called among them ‘‘the two cookings’’ for the reason that it was a piece of
the animal which ordinarily made two meals for a lodge. This is the product
of the nagging spirit again; for a man took up what she said in jollity and said,
‘‘What a selfish woman! She wants two cookings of that meat when any of us
are glad to get a mouthful.’’ The [illegible] word was ‘‘two cookings;’’ through
poor interpreters it got translated into ‘‘two kettles,’’ and by this name the band
became prominent and known. All foregoing have sub-bands and they have
their clans.
On Standing Rock Agency the principal band is Uncpapa or Unkpapa,
[which] is abbreviated from Ho-inkpa-payah-tee, meaning ‘‘Lives towards the
end of the circle’’ of the camp. Ho-inkpa means such a circle as is formed by
a wagon corral such as freighters on the plains made when at one end of the
oblong circle they left an opening; there were then two ends of the circle. Ho-
inkpa means these two ends. Payah means ‘‘towards;’’ tee means ‘‘to live.’’ An
old band; tradition of the origin of name is lost.
In what Mr. Wells says about the language terms following is the product
of his study—his own deduction. There are words which are in use by both
whites and Sioux Indians under misconception. The Sioux Indians use them
believing that they are English words, while the white man uses the same words
believing that they are Indian Sioux words; for instance the words, Pappoose
for a child. Pocachee for to go, to leave, to depart; (This is both noun and verb.)
A command to go or depart; or that he is going, or has gone; expresses also
departure, as an Indian says he is going, or another says one has gone.
Swop—trade or traffic
Neppo Nepo meaning dead, death, etc., used as a noun and a verb in all

      .     
Squaw for woman. The Sioux understand this to be an English word, while
the English suppose the word is of Indian origin. The Indians are dropping its
use now that they are coming to understand that it is a term of degradation. Its
use should be avoided by the whites. The Indians innocently used this word
thinking the white person would understand what was meant, as he supposed
it was a white man’s word. Self-respect of white people should forbid them to
use this word and its counterpart (which Mr. Wells says is of quite recent ori-
gin) buck. They are low terms. The Indians should be addressed with equa1
civility with white persons, should be treated without rudeness and with re-
spect, for this is not only a sign of the gentleman and the lady, but it has a certain
civilizing or uplifting effect. It must be known sooner or later that the Indian
in the truest sense a man and that the Indian woman is in the noblest sense a
If the origin of ‘‘buck’’ as applied to the Indian was innocent in compar-
ing him to the deer as being wild of untamed nature, fleet of foot and tireless,
alert and daring and whose instincts were of freedom, it was unobjectionable
in past days when the Indian was roaming the mountains and plains; but now
the deer is passing and the old Indian is passed, and the occasion for the use
of the word is no more, and common sense and self-respect demand a discon-
tinuance of its use.
Mr. Wells says so far as he can discover from his experience, the Platte
River is the dividing line between the Spanish and French influences on In-
dian speech. All tribes that he has come in contact with north of this river clear
to the British Northwest Territory, and including that, have the same name for
‘‘hog.’’ It is Ku-ku-cha, pronounced Koo-Koo-shay. This, he says, is corrupted
from French word which he sounds Koshon (nasal n). He explains that this
is Kanuck or Canadian French and may not be Parisian French, since I may
have trouble to find the word.
Potato is Potack in Canadian French; in Parisian French it is Pum de terre
(apple of the ground). Mr. Wells says that while the several tribes he has met
vary the sound of the word in use among them for ‘‘potato’’ in all of them one
can recognize the sound of the last word ‘‘potack.’’ This shows that these Indi-
ans took the name for this vegetable which is indigenous to America—which
was first learned of from the Indians themselves—from the French who swept
up the St. Lawrence and across the lakes and bore the term spreading it among
all the northern tribes.
The ‘‘hog’’ is known among the southern Indians as ‘‘Long Nosed dog,’’

                       
the ‘‘Rooter’’ and ‘‘Ground Rooter,’’ and the ‘‘Sharp-back.’’ He does not know
the Indian words, but has given their meaning.

Turtle Mountain Country Again

The Red River half-breeds of the north and the band of the Chippeway tribe of
Indians, known as the Little Shell Band, claimed the portion of country lying
about 15 or 20 miles west of Devil’s Lake, extending to the Pembina River on
the north, which is the Canadian boundary line, taking in the Turtle Mountains
on the west, which these Indians and half-breeds had been contending for be-
fore settlement began in that country. About the beginning of 1880 the govern-
ment set off a number of townships from this territory as a reservation for these
Indians, including that portion of the half-breeds recognized as U.S. Indians.
These Indians and half-breeds began settling on this reservation, when it
was cut down to two townships while settlers came also, but owing to the
uncertainty of and white settlers came on to it also as invaders, and as the atti-
tude of the government was hesitating and vacillating—spiritless and indiffer-
ent—and the Indians did not dig up the tomahawk but suffered the outrage,
conditions ripened into almost open disturbance. Finally the government took
away all of the reservation from the Indians and half-breeds except two town-
Mr. Wells says he is confused as to this history, and asks me to write to
John W. Cramsie, St. Paul, Minn., [for] full history, as he was agent at Devil’s
Lake at the time. Mr. W. was farmer under him and in charge on Turtle Moun-
tain Reservation.
Now comes in the Riel Rebellion.251 The Chippeway Indians and the Red
River half-breeds were each divided by the international boundary line, some
being British Indians and others under the U.S. Many of Riel’s emissaries were
crossing to this side to get arms and munitions and to secure personal assis-
tance from the Indians, inviting them to cross and bear arms. Mr. Wells was
directed to keep close watch and to prevent fillibustering. He replied that his
force was not sufficient to do this effectually, and the government sent Troop I,
7th Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Nolan; and with this aid he captured the
Riel emissaries and prevented international complications.252
After the Riel rebellion was suppressed trouble arose with the Turtle Moun-
tain Indians. These Indians had been promised by Col. Gardner, U.S. Indian
Inspector, immediately following the Riel Rebellion, that for 25 years they
should he exempt from taxation. This was but the repetition of former prom-

      .     
ises. The Indians did not suspect that they would be called on for personal
taxes. Privately Wells asked the Colonel if they would not have to pay taxes on
personality, and he assured Wells that they would not. Just as soon as all fears
of the Indians had been removed by the ending of the Rebellion, the County
Comrs. of Roulette [Rolette] Co., Minn., [North Dakota] gave notice to all
delinquents, including the Indians and half-breeds to pay taxes on personal
property, including the improvements on untaxable lands. It appears that these
Indians and half-breeds had been assessed, though in some way which had
not attracted attention or excited opposition. The Indians refused to pay, and
the sheriff began seizures, and even took live stock issued to them by the gov-
ernment through Mr. W. The leading Indians and mixed bloods held a secret
council to determine on action & it was decided not to let Mr. W. know what
they were going to do, but that they would make a rush on the county seat which
was St. John. Next day after the council they gathered at a remote place in the
mountains to make the attack the following morning. St. John was 3 miles south
of the Canadian line and at the immediate foot of the Turtle Mountains. The
line cuts off about one-third of these mountains which is in Canada. It was ten
miles south of St. John to the reservation.The angry men assembled four or five
miles from St. John. Some of the wiser ones came to Wells and informed him.
He went out and arrived at their rendezvous early on the morning that the raid
was to be made. They asked to know who had told him, but he refused to let
them know. He exacted a promise from them that on submission of the ques-
tion to the Federal government, if the decision should be against them, they
would pay the taxes. (Insert N. 1) They readily assented to this. They had be-
fore expressed willingness to do so. Wells went to St. John and met the Comrs.
No. 1. He further told them that if they would promise to do as he requested,
he would go to the town and
At this time there was a contest between the present Co. seat (St. John)
which was near the northeast corner of the mountains, and Dunseitte which
was at the southwest corner.
One of the Comrs. was a St. John citizen and two were Dunseitte men.
Mr. Wells notified these Comrs. of the anger and plans of the Inds. and half
breeds. But they had had notice, for the town was in commotion and some were
preparing to leave, on his arrival. He proposed to the Comrs. to have seizures
by the sheriff stopped for 3 or 4 days, till he could ride to Devil’s Lake, 100
miles off, and telegraph the facts and situation to Washington and get advice,
promising that he would restrain the Indians meantime. The St. John Comr.

                       
consented but the Dunseitte members refused. Then Wells went into the town
and put his proposition in writing and asked some leading citizens who had
been present with him at the board meeting to certify that this paper contained
the proposition which he had orally made to the Comrs. They so certified, and
then all of them went together to the Comrs., and in their presence he reviewed
his former proposition now in writing, and it was again refused. The St. John
member of the board added his own certificate to the paper to authenticate it
to that further extent.
Now he rode back to the assembled Indians, and told them that he had
failed to make terms with the Comrs., and that now he should not interpose
between them and the town any longer; but that he wanted from them 20 men;
and after they had demanded to know why he asked for them, he told them
he wanted 10 men to guard the 3 saloons, and 10 men to guard the women
and children and innocent men from fright and any excesses they might at-
tempt. The Indians promptly gave him the men; he hurried with them to the
town and told the saloon-keepers to close up and go to their homes and he
would guarantee that their property should not be harmed, all of which they
cheerfully did. Next he told the citizens to gather at three houses so that they
could be guarded; this being done he posted his guards. Then he sent a man
back to the Indians to tell them to come and gather their property which the
sheriff had billeted over the town. The Indians had moved up near the town
and were quickly notified, and then they came with a rush and the smashing
of doors and windows followed, the Indians gathering up their chairs, stoves,
bedsteads, wagons, plows, horses and cows wherever they could find them.
Having finished their search and recovered their effects, Wells ordered them
to return to the reservation which they quietly did. In a day or two the sheriff
came out to the reservation to arrest Wells, of course having no right there, but
Wells did not go with him. Wells now went to Devil’s Lake and telegraphed
the facts to Washington and in a few days received word from and reported to
Agent Cramsie. Wells’ course was approved at Washington. The decision of
the authorities there was that the Indians must pay the taxes, and they did so.
(Write to Cramsie for information and copy what Wells had said about him
and this account given by Wells, so he will see the importance of his giving me
data. Also write what Wells said of McLaughlin.)
A noticeable service of Cramsie to his wards was the labors he performed
for them in restoring their rights to lands which had been taken from them by
the settlers.

      .     
Wells removed settlers from the 2-township reservation; some left on ser-
vice of notice, others he had to eject.

On Totems

The Indians worship a Supreme Being, but this worship is filtered through an
intermediary which white writers call the totem, a sacred medium (apostle or
prophet). To call this ‘‘medicine’’ is a gross error. Each male person usually
(not always) has a totem. The medical doctors and the spiritual doctors and
also warrior chiefs and chiefs of bands have the totem. Those who aspire to
become leaders go up into some mountain to fast and pray and they repeat this
till they have seen the vision and obtained a totem. Other totems are heredi-
tary, as where the father confers his on his son or on his favorite choice. Women
sometimes do, but very rarely have a totem; this is when they are doctors.
There are chiefs of bands and War chiefs. The war chief is sometimes a
band chief also; as a rule these war chiefs become chief of his band in the end.
They are called war chiefs because they obtain this distinction before they at-
tain to band chieftaincy.
The Indian father and mother-in-law must not speak the name of their son-
or daughter-in-law.
On the Cannon Ball River are rocks
The Sun dance was a religious worship observed by the Teton and the
Yankton Sioux. The Santees had what they called the Holy dance, which was
a secret order. The white man has improperly called it the Medicine dance. It
was a public worship but the instructions in it were given secretly and were to
be so kept. These were the only orders in the Sioux nation.
The spiritual and the medical doctors have little distinction, both employ
incantations and medicines. Sometimes one relies more on his incantations;
sometimes more on medicines. But the spiritual element generally has prefer-
ence. It is unnecessary to distinguish them as spiritual and medical.

Minnesota War

Mr. Wells says: That the Indians always refer to the Sioux war in Minnesota
as the ‘‘war over the chicken,’’ and sometimes when they wish to minimize the
cause and make it seem still more ridiculous, they call it the ‘‘war over the egg.’’
According to their version it started in this wise: It was the product of the nag-
ging practice. Several young men of the tribe came to a house and one asked the
woman for something to eat and she refused them anything. It is understood

                       
that her manner was decided and such as to nettle them all. There were two
brothers-in-law in the party, who had been nagging each other in the usual cus-
tom. One of them said to the other: ‘‘If you’re so brave and resourceful shoot
that chicken so that I may have something to eat.’’ And the challenged party,
rather than take the ‘‘dare,’’ shot it. Then said he: ‘‘If you are so brave and re-
sourceful, shoot that cow so that I may have something to eat.’’ And then the
cow was shot also. The farmer who was away returned about this time, and in
[an] angry mood attempted to drive the Indians away with a pitchfork. This
was resented by them and they killed the family. Realizing the gravity of what
had been done they went at once to Little Crow and reached him after he had
gone to bed. He got up and went to organizing his followers. He called out his
Dog soldiers first. He raided the mixed bloods and forced them to take a hand.
Quite a good many Indians had cut their hair and built brick houses and were
imitating the white man’s life. These Indians were raided, as well and com-
pelled to imbrue their hands also in blood.
Mr. Wells says that he never knew Little Crow to be called by that name,
but they always speak of him using a word signifying ‘‘His Red Nation.’’ 253
He tells me to ask Rev. Mr. Ross and Mr. and Mrs. William Robertson both
of Allen, about all the points herein recited, as they know better than he, all
three were prisoners at the time.
Little Crow had killed his own brother, or had him killed, so he could in-
herit the chieftainship of the tribe. Mr. Wells says he bore no good name.254
(End of Philip Wells’ narrative.)



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