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thirty minutes occurred here in filling up the creek for our train to pass (now called Battle creek). We soon got under way again. In the haste of the Indians to get away they had cut loose their baggage and tent poles which lay promiscuously over the prairie. We went about three miles when we arrived on a rise of ground near the Elkhorn. A half mile away was the main body of the Pawnees and fifteen or twenty rods in our advance lay five or six hundred of the red skins in a dry creek, or draw, armed to do battle with bow and arrows. They had divested themselves of clothing, only wearing their moccasins and a breech-clout. All was excitement, as we had formed in line with our respective companies for the emergency, and at this moment Carrow-na-Sharrow, the head chief, came riding up. Sergeant Robinson tired his revolver at him, wounding his pony in the neck, no doubt to bring on an action. At this point the chief threw away his bow and arrows, saying: "Me no fight; me been to Washington; me saw the great father; me no fight.” During this time Governor Black rode up and ordered no gun to be fired without his orders, though the match had been lit for the cannon, and men in readiness. At this instant one of the other chiefs had displayed the stars and stripes.
They had been taught when they formed a treaty at Washington in 1857, that the stars were an emblem of the United States and on presenting the flag they then received an opposing foe as an enemy to the United States.
A parley ensued. The reader can picture to himself the line of defense, and our foe upon a plateau of the Elkhorn. our right had swum the river, mounting the bluff; others escaping for dear life were crossing the prairie and mounting the bluff half a mile to our left, and when our troops found there would be no fighting, for their blood was up, there was no little cursing and swearing, when they remembered the attrocities and thefts of the Pawnees.
The chiefs made their appearance, carrying the stars and stripes unfurled, for a consultation. All were trembling with fear and shaking like an aspen leaf. The governor then told them, through an interpreter, his object and the depredations they had committed upon the inhabitants, their friends. Scarade-ne-Sal, their former chief and orator, made a speech through the interpreter, of great length, striking his breast with his fist at almost every word to confirm his state
He stated in his remarks that he thought his force sufficient to wipe us out of existence; “but,” said he, “what is the use? The great father at Washington would send his men by thousands and wipe us off the face of the earth.” Admitting the depredations which had been committed upon the inhabitants, he merely referred to their want and poverty. He agreed to pay all the sufferers and the expenses of the expedition. Governor Black here demanded that the desperadoes be given up who had been foremost in the depredations, and six were turned over, one of whom was wounded through the breast. Things being settled as fairly as could be, the command retraced their steps (many though reluctantly) recrossing Battle creek to a bluff in the vicinity, where there was plenty of wood and water, to rest up for the day.
In the afternoon the writer had occasion to reconnoiter a little over the prairie, when he met two well known persons with the wounded Indian. It was hinted at afterwards that the Indian was left in a secluded place with his blanket for a winding sheet.
On the morning of the 14th, being refreshed, the command started in a southerly direction, the five Indian prisoners securely bound, following in the rear of the train and a guard following to watch them. In the morning we struck the Pawnee trail in a southerly direction to reach Beaver creek. At noon we passed the camp of the Pawnees and Omahas.
A short distance after passing the camp, a halt was made, for reasons which were never understood. A squaw had been noticed following the young bloods, and at an opportune moment she severed their bonds and they bounded forth simultaneously. Marshal West, then marshal of the territory, followed two of them toward their camp, shooting one of them in the back, he threw up his hands and fell prostrate to the ground. Mr. Moorland, of the F. V. company, was not so successful. Following the prisoners and shooting at them, one ball penetrated the Omaha camp, wounding one of their number. On account of the excitement and commotion, the batallion was ordered into line for defense. Before the command was in line an Omaha came rapidly up, dressed in citizens clothing, probably the
ief, informing General Thayer that one of his men had been wounded. Mr. Moorland was obliged to give the Omaha his horse.
Leaving their camp we passed on and in the afternoon reached
Beaver creek; men and horses rather famished and thirsty. Our horses were changed occasionally from the saddle to the harness. The wagon horses being without grain for a number of days had become greatly weakened. When descending towards Beaver creek, we could see the Sioux Indians in groups probably to intercept the Pawnees on their march. On the morning of the 15th, we took more of an easterly direction, following down the valley of Beaver creek, thinking more of our families and friends. Nothing occurred to cause any displeasure during the day, and the next, the 16th, before noon, we passed through Genoa. At this date the government had men employed erecting buildings for the Pawnees, school houses, grist mills, saw mills and other buildings, for their reception. At evening the command reached Columbus.
Now the Pawnee expedition was at an end. On the 18th of July we reached our respective homes and were happy to find our families in good health. But the result of our following the redskins was unfortunate. Our corn fields had required our attention and the result was not more than half a crop. But there was an advantage gained. The Pawnees were whipped. They ever afterward respected the white people and their rights as citizens of Nebraska.
It has been more than thirty years since the event and it may not be out of place to make some remarks in relation to the living and dead comrades.
Governor Black was succeeded as governor in 1860; returned to Pennsylvania, raised a regiment in 1861, rose to brigadier-general, and was killed, I think, at Gettysburg,
Major General J. M. Thayer is our worthy governor, and resides at Lincoln.
Major Curtis rose to major general during the rebellion, and died in Council Bluffs.
General E. Esterbrook, resides at Omaha.
Lieutenants William West and Henry Campbell, of the Fremont volunteer company, are dead.
George Turner, of Fremont volunteer company, is dead.
"Like pilgrims to the appointed place we tend ;
The world's an inn and death the journey's end.”—DRYDEN. Most of the Fremont volunteer force at the time were young men and those living now wear the frosty locks of age.
Of Moorland it was reported he drove off some ponies from the Pawnees when they were upon their reservation. They found the trail toward Nebraska City. They took up their stock, killing Moorland on the prairie and leaving his flesh for the wolves and his bones to bleach in the sun.
We left the Pawnees between the Elkhorn and Beaver creek valleys. Their hunting was in the Sioux country, as the buffalo had been driven back by the white settlers, consequently their natural enemy, the Sioux, were contesting every inch of ground in their direction.
At Wood river, near Fort Kearney, they had a battle depleting their numbers and Icarrow-na-Sharrow received a wound; lingering a few days he passed to his happy hunting ground.
Being nearly famished for the want of food, about one hundred at night fall stole away from the eagle eye of the Sioux, going south into the buffalo country and in three days returned with their ponies loaded down with meat. In the early fall the Pawnees returned to harvest their corn, preparatory to going to their reservation; first finding out how well they were received by the people of Fremont. Finding them friendly and not enemies, they had permission to cache their corn in the limits of the place until winter or spring, taking their time to remove it.
In 1858, the Pawnees, were enumerated by the government and numbered 3,700. When they left the reservation for the Indian Territory in 1876, their number was a little over 2,600. By good anthority, in 1887, they only numbered between ten and eleven hundred.
EARLY DAYS IN NEBRASKA.
A RUNNING FIGHT WITH THE LEADER OF A BAND OF DESPERADOES.
[From the Omaha Republican, January 29, 1888.] It was the pleasure of a Republican representative a few evenings since to listen to a number of well-told reminiscences which were recounted by Captain G. M. Bailey, of this city. Captain Bailey, who was a private in the late war, and was taken prisoner, contined in Libby prison, and afterward paroled, came to Omaha when it was hardly a good-sized town. There were no railroads at that time entering this city. Communication with the outside world was bad by means of a stage line to St. Joseph, thence by steamboat to St. Louis, and it was over this route, after many mishaps, that the captain first reached Omaha. Not long after he was, on account of ill-health, placed in the commissary department, with the rank of captain. It was while he was serving in this capacity that the incident we relate occurred. We give it as it came from his lips:
“In the spring of 1866, while I was assistant commissary on the staff of General Wheaton, then in command of the district of Nebraska, I received orders to go to the Pawnee reservation to muster out a battalion of Indians who had been enlisted under Major North to fight the Sioux, and who were at that time raising a great rumpus throughout the northwest. To carry out the order it required that I, with the army paymaster and our assistants, should traverse a distance of something over a hundred miles, through a region infested with desperadoes, in a lumbering army ambulance. It was on a bright and beautiful morning-in April, if I am not mistaken--when we left Fort Omaha, on what was destined to be an eventful trip. The ambulance contained four of us-- Major Olmsted, the paymaster, his
- .) clerk, my clerk and myself. The driver and a mounted escort of