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[232] on the field. Some of the scouts did good service in this charge.

One wounded Indian tried to escape by seizing his horse's tail, but, unfortunately for him, the pony got a shot in the shoulder. John Platt, of Company L, dashed up to finish the Indian with his revolver, but it didn't go off, and before he could check his horse he was upon the Indian, who had reserved a shot in his gun, which he fired into the thigh and bowels of poor Platt, giving him his death wound. Joe Campbell, one of the scouts, tried to save Platt, but it was too late. Campbell's shot, fired at the same instant that the Indian fired the fatal shot at Platt, went through the vitals of the savage and finished him. Platt's comrades, exasperated at his mortal wound, tore the Indian's scalp from his head before he was dead.

A part of the Sixth regiment, under Major McLaren, had returned to camp, and was on their color line, on the side where the Indians made the dash. They promptly advanced to the support of the cavalry, and took a hand in. Thus the Sixth, among the infantry regiments, on this day did the fighting. The cavalry and artillery in this, as in the previous and subsequent engagement, had always their full share of work. The Indians appeared on the south side of the camp, out of range, but made no further attack.

The battle of Stony Lake.

The march was resumed on the twenty-seventh, and the trail, still marked by robes and other articles, was followed towards the Missouri River.

We camped, after a march of nearly twenty miles, on a small lake half a mile long and twenty rods wide.

On the morning of the twenty-eighth, just as the rear of the train was filing around the south end of the lake, the advance being nearly to the top of a long hill that we were ascending, the Indians suddenly made their appearance in front and on the flanks, rapidly circling around to the rear. They were in immense numbers, seemingly all mounted.

Major Jo. Brown, guide, and some of the scouts, who were in advance, narrowly escaped being gobbled up. The Tenth regiment, Colonel Baker, which was in the advance, promptly and gallantly met the attack in front, which was the first demonstration of the Indians. The artillery was quickly brought into play, and the savages drew back to a safe distance. Colonel Crooks, with the Sixth regiment, on the right flank, held them at bay, and effectually guarded the train, while the cavalry on the left, and the Seventh regiment and cavalry in the rear, presented an unassailable line. The Indians got partly under cover of broken ground at the south end of the lake, but were soon dislodged by the fire of Lieutenant Western's section of the battery, and a line of skirmishers of the Seventh. One shot from an Indian, evidently aimed at Colonel Marshall, while he was locating a howitzer, struck the ground at his feet. The most determined effort, however, to make a breach, was in front, and was fairly resisted by the Tenth regiment, so that it had its day of fighting.

The Indians, as they came on at first, were heard to say, “It is too late, it is too late,” evidently having expected to surprise us in camp. Another Indian answered, “We must fight for our children.”

After reconnoitring all sides of the train, and finding it girt with a wall of fire, they seemed to think it was no use to make an assault. After seeing that the proper dispositions had been made for guarding the train, the General ordered the column to move forward, regardless of the Indians. The Indians seeing our purpose to press on towards their families, quickly withdrew, the whole demonstration not delaying the march over two hours.

General Sibley, Major Brown, and others, estimated the number of Indians engaged this day at over two thousand. In the battle of Big Mound were all the lower Indians, the Sissetoans, and part of the Yanktonais. In the last day's fight, that of Stony Lake, they had been reenforced by another camp of Yanktonais and some Tetons from the west side of Missouri River. We captured a Teton boy, who had no gun, and was subsequently released at the Missouri River. This Teton and an old squaw were the only prisoners taken in battle or near a battle. The supplications for the life of the wretches, when they had fired their last shot, were generally met by sabre thrust that finished them.

No more Indians were encountered until the banks of the Missouri were reached, the morning of the twenty-ninth. The Indians had made good use of the night, and got their families and ponies over. Their wagons,,to the number of over one hundred, and a remnant of their plunder, that had not been strewn along the route of their flight, was left on the east bank of the river. Themselves covered the bluffs on the west side.

The Sixth regiment, then in the advance, deployed as skirmishers through the woods a mile and a half to the river. As they were starting to return, a heavy volley, that came from the high grass on the opposite bank, fell harmless about them or short of them. They stopped a moment to return it, but the distance was too great for effect.

While Colonel Crooks was at the river, the General sent an order by Lieutenant Beever, aid-decamp. While returning with an answer, Lieutenant Beever mistook a trail that led down the river, where his body was found next day pierced by three arrows and a ball. He had also wounds from a tomahawk on his head. His horse lay near him. Two pools of blood, twenty paces from his body, indicated that two of his murderers had paid dearly for his life. On the same trail, was found the body of private Nicholas Miller, of Company K, Sixth regiment, who had made the same mistake in taking the trail that Beever had.

Two days were passed in camp at the mouth of Apple Creek, on the Missouri, opposite Burnt Boot Island. and then the homeward march was

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