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The Cheyenne Massacre

The Cheyenne Massacre image
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The sentinel walking guard on the east sido oí the prison-room containing the Cheyennes had jwst cried out, "Ten o'clock, " all's well." Hardly had the sound of his voiee died away on the loreeze when. by apreconcerted signaLthe savages burst throngh the dóörs and Windows, which theY had previonsly 1111fasented. The movement was executed with such promptness as to take the sentinels completely by surprise. The first of the savages gainiiig the oütside at the east end opened fire upon the sentinels from firearms which they had succeeded in eoncealing since their capture last October, suceeeding in killing one an.l dangeronsly wounding another. A similar scène was enacted on the west and scrnth sides of the Imilding. The savagjs having fired into the guardroom, severely wounding two guardsmen, tlie main guard, consisting of twenty men and two non-commissioned oificers, rushed to intercept the savages' escape. Corporal Pulver, a brave young fellow, of Company L, Third 'cavah-y, sprung on a savage, suppo.sed to be the chief , Dull Knife, with the intontion of disarming him. The savage, anticipating the attack, immediately fired on Pulver, the ball taking eft'eet in liis"right arm. Other members of the guard in the meantime were trying to preTent the escape of the retreating sav&ges, all eñbrts however proving ineffeetual, as-the bncks on being overakai fired on the guard with fatal efect. The squaws were also armed with huge liunting-kiiivea, using them on the troops when an opportunity ocourred. The men of Company C, Third cavalry. in the barrack-room near, hearing the first shot, sprung out of bed, and, in an incredibly short period, rushed to to the scène 'of the engagement,_ many of them stopp'ng to render assistance to wounded comrades lying on the frozen snow. This scène tended to arouse within them the demon of reveage. On catching up with the guard ïneffectively stniggling with the retreating savages, they oponed an indiscriminate fire, v.ith dreadful effect, on the renegades, killing twenty, eight of I whom proved to be warriors. The savI ages, reaching White river, within 500 yards of the post, scattered, making fort-h e hills a few miles distant. The main I body continued to retreat up the left bank of the river, closely pursued by the infuriated soldiers. Such of the savages as were overtaken fired on the pursuers and in return were immediately shot down. The dismounted troops, after pursuing tlie savages two miles, were overta&en by Companies E and L, Third cav.alry, mounted, who, on hearing firing in camp a mile diíjír-it, arvefl in time to onpture many savages wlio would doubtless have eseaped had it not been for their timely assistance. The raounted eompanies continued piirsnit of the fleeing savages, allowing the dismounted troops, completely exhausted from cold and fatigue, to return to the pst, carrying back a mimber of siivftges, most of whom proved to be squavs and papooses, their wounds, in manf cases, being rendered doubly seriouË by their bejng frozen, and the most-seriously injured of whom died wittin the ensuing two hours. During the wrk of dressing their wounds by Surgeon Petty, who displayed great akilland nerseverance in administerinpr relief to the wounded savages, great forti tnde was display e cl, especially noticeable in the younger ravages. Surgeen Mosely, in the meantime, was busily occupied attending the wounded troops, who lived ouly long enough to hare thcir wounds dressed. The dismonnted troops, having consigned the wounded WHWget to medical care, were or.lcred to saddle up and follow the trail of the fleeing savages, which,owiug t(i the light f rom the pale moon, and the gronnd being covered with snow, was rendered doubly easy. During the eitire night the sharp report of caibines could be heard from the distant bluffs, where pursued and pursuers met in cteadly conflict. The trail was followed antil thü setting of the moon rendered further pursuit impossible until daylight. Soon tho trail became visible, and pursuit was renewed. TJie principal trail lay over and through a succession of mountains and ravines, rendering pursuit by mounted troops almost impossible. The troops that followed the smaller trails were sucoessfu! in capturing many savages, and killing such as rendered it necessary for preservation. A detaohment consisting of six men of company H, ïhird cavalry, liaving disoovered a party of savages in a washout, Private Everett, one of their number, disniouuted and advanced, oalliug upon the savages to surrender, by signs, etc, signifying to them tlieir desire to capturo rather than kill them. The savages, in response, oponed lire, Everett falling mortally wounded. The reniainder of the troops gained the nearest shelter and opened iire on the savages, killing and enpturing the entire party nnmbering ten. The troops that followed the inain trail succeeded in trailing the savages to where the latter liad intrenched themselves, in a ravino whose natural defenses rendered it ahnosfc inaccessible - a place, no doubt, well known to the savages, and which in years past was usec for their camping-ground. The troops, iinding it impossible to dislodge the savages without exposing themselves within easy range of the savnges' flre, determined to surronnd them, in hopes of getting them to surrender. This determinationbeing actedupon, the troops reniaincdin position all nigüfr. The following niorniiig tlie troojis difscovered the Indians had throwu up additional breastworks during the night, wit!' a view to resist any attempt of the troops to dislodge tliera. The commanding oliicer, seeing that any attempt io dislodge the savages frora such position coulcl nöt be acoompliahed without saerificing the Jives of n nurnber of his men, as the greater portion of the savages viere known to be armed, coneeived the idea of sending to Fort Robinson for artillery, by which he could more easily dislodge the savages. Aecordingly a twclve-pound Napolean gun was sent to the scène of hostilities, but, owing to the position assnmed by the savagee, the gun could not be sufficicutly depressed to play upon the position. A number of shells and solid shot were thrown as near as possible to the position occupied by them, but vith apparpntlv 110 ofl'cct. The next morning, on making reconnoissnnces of the ground lioki by the Indiana on the provious diiy, the officers were iuformed, to their may, that they had escaped during the nig'ht. Owing to the troops having no provisions on hand, it was found impracticable to follow thoir trail. The following are the names of the killed and wounded sinec the outbreak of the savages : Killed- Private Smith, Company A, Third cavalry; Private Cfopd, Company A, Third cavah-y; Private Everett, Company H, Third cavalry. Wounded- Corporal Pulver, Company A, Third cavalry; Private Egory, Company C, Third cavalry. All of whom are expected to fecover. Forty savages were "killed, fifteen wounded, and about fifty recaptured. Aniong the wounded was a sister of Bed Bear, a chief of Eed Clpud's band, who was present, having arrived froin Pine Creek agency the day previous. ( )b seeing his sister wounded Eed Bear shed tears, and called her a bad squaw.


Old News
Michigan Argus