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Little Sioux up to Spirit lake. On this lake were several houses scattered at wide intervals through the grove; all of these they plundered, killing the inhabitants and probably bearing off with them some women. A man by the name of Markham had been absent from Spirit lake; on his return he went to the house where he boarded, or was employed, and found its inhabitants lifeless on the floor; he ran to another house and found Indian lodges pitched before its door, he then made his way to the small settlement called Springfield, or Des Moines City, and gave the alarm; the inhabitants collected in two houses on the east bank of the river ; on the west was a single house belonging to a man by the name of Wood, who carried on a large traffic with the Indians, many of whom resort to the Des Moines during the winter and spring for the purpose of hunting. While the settlers on the east bank sent to Fort Ridgely for assistance this man Wood, with his brother, remained on the west bank, ridiculed their fears, and when Inkpalutah's band came in from Spirit lake, traded with the members until a few days before the troops arrived, and then told them they had better keep out of the way for soldiers were coming. This brought affairs to a crisis ; the Indians crossed the river, plun. dered the vacant houses, found one house unfortunately occupied, its owner, Josiah Stewart, having left the house where the settlers had congregated, and returned to his own homestead with his wife and three children. Here the savages revelled in blood. When I visited the spot the father lay dead on his threshold, the mother with one arm encircling her murdered infant lay outside the door, and by her side was stretched the lifeless body of a little girl of three summers; the eldest, a boy of ten, escaped. Attacks were then made on the two houses of which I have spoken. In one, no damage was done ; in the other, a man by the name of Thomas had his arm broken, his son, some ten years of age was killed, and a young woman was slightly wounded. The Indians then crossed the river, killed probably both of the Woods, although I only succeeded in finding the body of one of them, plundered the trading house, and hurried off with an abundance of guns, powder, lead, and provisions, to ascend the Des Moines and join the Yanktons.

While expressing my regret and disappointment that the object of my expedition was not attained, viz: the punishment of the Indians, I would be doing injustice to the officers and men of my company were I not to bring to the notice of the commanding officer the cheerfulness and patience with which they encountered the fatigues of no ordinary march; and perhaps I would be doing injustice to myself did I not assert that I used the best energies of my nature to carry out the instructions which I received. And am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BARNARD E. BEE, Captain Commanding Company D,10th Infantry. First Lieut. H. E. MAYNADIER,

Adjutant, 10th Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Fort RIDGELY, April 14, 1857.

A true copy


FORT SNELLING, August 3, 1857. GENERAL: Major Sherman, 3d artillery, came in yesterday evening in advance of his company, coming to this post by easy marches from the upper agency, at the mouth of the Yellow Medicine river, about forty miles above Fort Ridgely,

This company is under orders for Fort Leavenworth, and will embark for St. Louis in a few days after its arrival here. The company is expected to arrive the 5th instant.

I have had much conversation with Major Sherman, and also Captain Bee, in relation to Indian affairs.

The Indians, after much difficulty, have agreed to the terms of the superintendent, Mr. Cullen ; and Little Crow, a friendly chief of the lower bands, is now out with 130 warriors to capture Inkpadutah and his band. All the Indians have left the agency and gone to their respective homes. The number collected amounted to 5,000, and Major Sherman estimates the warriors, all fully armed, at 2,000. Others carry this number up to 2,500, and even 3,000. The lowest estimate is no doubt the most correct.

About fifty lodges were Yanctons, who do not receive annuities, but were present to demand part of the annuity to be paid the Sissetons, on the alleged ground that the latter, in their treaty, sold some of the lands belonging to the former. A similar demand was made the year previous, and the Sissetons gave the Yanctons part of the goods, but no money.

In order, general, to give you a correct idea of the temper of the Indians, I must be somewhat minute in my detail. After the massacre at Spirit lake the son of Inkpadutah took possession of Miss Gardner; whereupon his wife, belonging to Sleepy Eye's band, left him and returned to her people. When Miss Gardner was delivered up, Inkpadutah's son visited Sleepy Eye's camp to seek and obtain, as some suppose, his wife. Others take the ground that this band sympathized with the murderers and harbored this Indian, who was afterwards killed.

With this latter view of the case, under the instructions from Washington, payment of the annuities was withheld.

This measure exasperated the Indians, especially the Sissetons, who say they should not be held responsible for the acts of Inkpadutah and his followers, for they are not allied to them by blood, or in any manner whatever.

Judge Flandreau, then the agent, learning that Inkpadutah's son was in Sleepy Eye's camp, requested of Captain Bee, commanding at Fort Ridgely, some troops to take the Indian captive. Lieuten'int Murray, 10th infantry, with a small detachment, was sent with instructions to make the capture, but not to molest any women and children. A charge having been made upon the camp by the troops, the Indian ran, but was subsequently found and killed.

The agent then desired to capture the wife, which the lieutenant objected to, but she was taken ; and this greatly exasperated the Indians, a number of whom armed themselves, proceeded to the agency, and demanded the return of the woman, which was done by the agent; and then the Indians demanded two beeves as a recompense, which also was granted. Before this time a call was made on Major Sherman to send troops to the agency about the 5th of July, the time for the payment of the annuities. He proceeded from this post with his battery, and was joined by a detachment of Captain Bee's company. His presence was of the first irrportance, for when the Indians were informed they must deliver up Inkpadutah and his band before they would be paid their excitement was great. You may judge of the effect upon the whites when informed that many of the employés of the Indian department went off entirely without receiving their pay. But for the presence of the troops it is thought the agency would have been attacked and pillaged. Colonel Abercrombie's arrival at Fort Ridgely with four companies 2d infantry was most opportune; and the Indians, being entirely ignorant of this movement, were greatly surprised. Major Patten's company was detached to the agency to relieve the detachment of the 10th infantry, and Major Sherman was further reinforced by a second company (Sully's.) The Indians were called to council on several different days, but they presented themselves armed, and they were accordingly dismissed. In the evening of one of the days a soldier of Major Patten's company, going a short distance from the camp, was stabbed in the back by a Sisseton. About this time Little Crow came up with some of his friendly Indians, and going to Major Sherman offered his assistance in case of an attack, which, it was reported, would be made that night. Major Sherman put no faith in the report. After examination showed that the Sisseton who stabbed the soldier acted without the knowledge of his people. He, though a Sisseton, was, on the side of one of his parents, a Yancton. On the day referred to the superintendent gave the Sissetons some provisions, and this Indian wished his people to share with the Yanctons, which was not done. High words passed between the chief and this man, and the former called him a coward, when the latter said he would show him before night whether he was a coward. The Indian was disarmed, but it seems his knife was overlooked. He lurked about the camp of the troops, and seeing a single soldier stabbed him. This act caused considerable excitement amongst the troops, and Lieutenant Spencer, 2d infantry, with a small command, was sent to demand the Indian. He was received by an armed party of Indians, who cocked their guns as he approached. He dismounted from his horse, halted his men, gave his pistol to a soldier, and advanced alone. A peremptory refusal was given to his demand. Next day the chiefs, after much delay, agreed to deliver up the man, and he was brought; but when Major Sherman went to receive him, the young men took possession of the Indian and carried him off. This was a critical moment for the major, for had he then opened a fire, which he might have done, war was inevitable. To further demands the Indian was given up and placed in charge of the guard. The night previous to this Little Crow passed in the Sisseton camp, and by his entreaties induced these Indians to agree to the terms of the superintendent, by sending two warriors from each band (all to be under Little Crow) after the murderers.

In the council which followed the arrangements were made; but near its close the Indian in confinement, sitting in front of the guard tent, sprang to his feet and ran in the direction of the council, supposing, no doubt, that the guard would be afraid to fire lest the balls would take effect upon the officers and others in council. The guard saw the danger, but fired low, and six balls pierced the legs of the Indian. Major Sherman afterwards told the Indians that he cared nothing further about the man. After the council was over the Indians broke up their camp and moved off. Major Sherman remained at the agency three days thereafter, and on the 27th instant commenced his return march.

Inkpadutah's people, few in number, are very much scattered, and Little Crow may have difficulty in capturing any of them. Even if he should fail, I would think it good policy to pay the annuities; for the annuity bands, as they are called, have nothing to do with the murderers, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant General. Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT,

Commander-in-chief, West Point, New York

FORT SNELLING, August 10, 1857 GENERAL: I have the honor to report my return to this place yes terday from Fort Ridgely, after an absence of seven days.

Whilst at the fort I had a full conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie, the commanding officer, and also with Mr. Cullen, the superintendent of Indian affairs, who arrived from the agency about the same time I reached the post. According to all I could learn, I judge that the Indians are perfectly quiet, and will comply, as far as they can, with the demands of the superintendent in reference to Inkpadutah's band. Little Crow had just returned to the agency from his expedition against their people. Towards the evening of July 28, I think, he found a party of them on Skunk lake and attacked them, and after about twenty minutes drove them into the water. Three men were killed, (one of them another son of Inkpadutah,) one badly wounded and taken prisoner; he managed to escape during the night. Two women and one child were taken prisoners and brought in; one the discarded wife of a brother of Inkpadutah ; the other now the widow of one of the men killed. All the property of the party was taken. Inkpadutah was not with this party, but the report is that he and his immediate family have gone to the vicinity of the Missouri river, in the country of the Yanktons, and perhaps has crossed that river. The band who committed the murders on Spirit lake consisted of twelve men and two boys; four men have been killed and one badly wounded. The wounded man was shot in both arms (breaking the bone of one,) and in the side. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant General. Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT,

Commander-in-chief, West Point, P.S. -The Indian who stabbed the soldier at the agency has since died of his wounds.


October 7, 1857. SIR: The report of the intended abandonment of Fort Ripley in June last spread like wildfire among the Indians, producing a marked change in their conduct. They became insolent and reckless in their bearing towards the whites. No sooner had the troops left the garrison in July last than their outbreaks commenced. They attacked the mission buildings of the Rev. Mr. Breck at Leech lake; broke in his windows and demanded whatever they wanted.

After the lapse of a day or two the same thing was repeated, and, bent on violence, they seized a calf and killed it. Two others (nude with the exception of the breach apron) and flourishing their knives, demanded Mr. Breck, and when he would not come out (as he thought they intended murdering him) they attempted to get in at the window and were only prevented from accomplishing their purpose by some squaws, who, as often as they attempted to get in, pulled them back.

As the mission under these circumstances could only sustain itself by meeting violence by violence, and this probably only for a short time, and the occupants thinking themselves in imminent danger of their lives, Mr. Breck, the mission family, and most of the government employés left and arrived at Fort Ripley on the 12th of July. This was followed by several instances of plunder. One Mr. Miracle, at Otter Tail lake, was robbed of all his provisions and groceries by a band of the “Pillagers.” A party of about fifteen men, getting out lumber in the employ of a citizen of St. Anthony, were attacked, robbed of all their provisions, and forced to return to Crow Wing. On the 11th of August, a party of Indians killed a cow, stated by the Rev. Mr. Peake as belonging to the Gull lake mission. A portion of the cow, the Rev. Mr. Maney was credibly informed, (as he states,) was sent by the Indians as a present to Hole-in-the-Day, the head chief.

On the 15th of the same month an inoffensive German was murdered within a few hundred yards of the mission buildings at Gull lake by two Indians and a half-breed. The three murderers were arrested by members of the mission and brought the next day (Sunday) to Fort Ripley, under the idea (as the Rev. Mr. Peake states) that troops had already arrived at the garrison. As such was not the case, the Rev. Mr. Maney, the chaplain, who was still residing at Fort Ripley, hired a team and gave instructiors to the young men who had the murderers in charge, to take them to Belle Prairie before Justice Hamilton, the nearest committing magistrate, and have them duly committed ; and as the sheriff resided at Little Falls, about five miles beyond, it would be best that they themselves should deliver the criminals into the hands of the sheriff. They accordingly did so. Sheriff Pugh left Little Falls with the murderers shortly before noon on Monday, having them well secured, for the purpose of safe confinement either at St. Paul or Fort Snelling. When about seventeen miles from Little Falls the sheriff was overtaken by a mob of armed men who rescued the prisoners, brought them back to Swan river, and hung them about nine o'clock in the evening. In the morning they cut

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