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[493] few, about a dozen, that got out of camp at night. Nor did the Indians, during all the trip, ever attack me or try to stampede me.

Major House, according to my instructions, endeavored to surround and keep in the Indians until word could be sent me; but this was an impossibility with his three hundred men, as the encampment was very large, mustering at least one thousand two hundred warriors. This is what the Indians say they had; but I, as well as every body in the command, say over one thousand five hundred. These Indians were partly Santees from Minnesota, Cutheads from the Coteau, Yanktonais and Blackfeet who belong on the other side of the Missouri; and, as I have since learned, Unkapapas, the same party who fought General Sibley, and destroyed the Mackinaw boat. Of this I have unmistakable proof from letters and papers found in camp and on the persons of some of the Indians, besides relics of the late Minnesota massacre; also from the fact that they told Mr. La Framboise, the guide, when he was surrounded by about two hundred of them, that “they had fought General Sibley, and they did not see why the whites wanted to come and fight them, unless they were tired of living and wanted to die.” Mr. La Framboise succeeded in getting away from them after some difficulty, and ran his horse a distance of more than ten miles to give me information-Major House, with his command, still remaining there. He reached me a little after four o'clock. I immediately turned out my command. The horses at the time were out grazing. At the sound of the bugle the men rushed with a cheer, and in a very few minutes saddled up and were in line. I left four companies and all the men who were poorly mounted in the camp, with orders to strike the tents and corral the wagons, and, starting off with the Second Nebraska on the right, the Sixth Iowa on the left, one company of the Seventh Iowa and the battery in the. centre, at a full gallop, we made the distance of over ten miles in much less than an hour.

On reaching near the ground, I found that the enemy were leaving and carrying off what plunder they could. Many lodges, however, were still standing. I ordered Colonel Furnas, Second Nebraska, to push his horses to the utmost, so as to reach the camp and assist Major House in keeping the Indians corraled. This order was obeyed with great alacrity, the regiment going over the plains at a full run. I was close upon the rear of the regiment with the Sixth Iowa. The Second Nebraska took the right of the camp, and was soon lost in a cloud of dust over the hills. I ordered Colonel Wilson, Sixth Iowa, to take the left, while I with the battery, one company of the Seventh Iowa, Captain Millard, and two companies of the Sixth Iowa, Major Ten Broeck commanding, charged through the centre of the encampment. I here found an Indian chief by the name of Little Solder with some few of his people. This Indian has always had the reputation of being a “good Indian” and friendly. I placed them under guard and moved on. Shortly after I met with the notorious chief Big Head and some of his men. They were dressed for a fight, but my men cut them off. These Indians, together with some of their warriors, mustering about thirty, together with squaws, children, ponies and dogs, gave themselves up, numbering over one hundred and twenty human beings. About the same time firing began about half a mile from me ahead, and was kept up, becoming more and more brisk, until it was quite a respectable engagement. A report was brought to me (which proved to be false) that the Indians were driving back some of my command. I immediately took possession of the hillocks near by, forming line and placing the battery in the centre on a high knoll. At this time night had about set in, but still the engagement was briskly kept up, and in the melee it was hard to distinguish my line from that of the enemy. The Indians made a very desperate resistance, but finally broke and fled, pursued in every direction by bodies of my troops. I would here state that the troops though mounted were armed with rifles, and, according to my orders, most of them dismounted and fought afoot, until the enemy broke, when they remounted and went in pursuit. It is to be regretted that I could not have had an hour or two more of daylight, for I feel sure if I had, I could have annihilated the ene my. As it was, I believe I can safely say I gave them one of the most severe punishments that the Indians have ever received. After night set in the engagement was of such a promiscuous nature that it was hard to tell what results would happen; I therefore ordered all the buglers to sound the “rally,” and building large fires, remained under arms during night collecting together my troops.

The next morning early (the fourth) I established my camp on the battle-field, the wagontrain, under charge of Major Pearman, Second Nebraska, having in the night been ordered to join me, and sent out strong scouting parties in different directions to scour the country, to overtake what Indians they could; but in this they were not very successful, though some of them had some little skirmishes. They found the dead and wounded in all directions, some of them miles from the battle-field; also immense quantities of provisions, baggage, etc., where they had apparently cut loose their ponies from “travailles” and got off on them; also numbers of ponies and dogs harnessed to “travailles” running all over the prairie. One party that I sent out went near to the James River, and found there eleven dead Indians. The deserted camp of the Indians, together with the country all round, was covered with their plunder. I devoted this day, together with the following, (the fifth,) to destroying all this property, still scouring the country. I do not think I exaggerate in the least when I say that I burned up four or five hundred thousand pounds of dried buffalo meat as one item, besides three hundred lodges, and a very large quantity of property of great value to the Indians. A very large number of

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