Notes for: George Bodine

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Ronny earlier sent me this:

From Progressive Batavian (Batavia, N.Y.) of Friday, 11 Sept 1874.
How George Bodine Lost his Scalp at the Base of Medicine Bow
The recent arrival of ex-Vice President Colfax in Denver recalls to the mind of a local paper a half-forgotten but never published incident growing out of his trip across the plains in 1864 or 1865. At that time Capt. Humphreville's Company K, of the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry Volunteers, was stationed in garrison at Fort Hallack, a small log fortress on the Overland State Line, near the base of Medicine Bow Mountain. When Colfax and his congressional party passed through Fort Halleck, the writer happened to be one of the detail of four soldiers ordered out as a special escort or scout to follow the illustrious party to Bridger Pass, after which we were instructed to return. Our mission was performed faithfully. We saw the coach with its load of notables go dashing down the other side of the range, and with merry hearts and gleeful voices turned out horses for a gallop back to the fort. As we moved rapidly along through the sage-brush and grease-wood in the valley between Medicine Bow and the Elk Mountains, a flock of sage hens attracted our attention and separated our party. Fatal temptation! We little thought of the danger then so near us, and the horrible fate awaiting the bravest and boldest of the party--poor George Bodine. He had just emptied his carbine at a sage-hen, or grouse, when, with a chorus of horrible whoops and yells, a party of Sioux rode up out of a ravine, which, with the sage-brush, had concealed them from observation, and after discharging a cloud of arrows, mingled with slugs and bullets, at us at long range, galloped toward Bodine, who was by this maneuver completely out off from us. We counted sixteen or seventeen Indians, and opened fire upon them from a friendly clump of brush in which we sought shelter. Poor George! He realized his danger in a moment; his only hope of safety was in flight. His horse, though tired from its long gallop after the stage-coach, was still able to distance the scrubby ponies of the Sioux, and if he could reach the ferry at North Platte, he would be safe. Alas, for the bravest of comrades, the pride of a proud mother and father, who to this day mourn his horrible fate. His horse, frightened by the yells of the red demons in pursuit, and evidently maddened by an arrow or two which had struck it, became unmanageable, and in a fatal moment the bridle-rein broke from one side of the bit. The terrified and now unrestrained brute turned toward us. To reach us it must come in contact with the Sioux. It was an exciting race, but a hopeless one for the poor young soldier. We dashed out to meet him in his fatal race. He came closer to his circling foes. His carbine he threw away and drew his Remington revolver. This he emptied at the Sioux at close range, and two fell headlong from their saddles. We observed him crouch down forward, upon his saddle as if to avoid the coming blows. But it was not for that he crouched. It was the fatal coils of the lariat, or lasso, which the next instant dropped over him, and we heard his heart-piercing shriek as he was dragged backward from his horse, which galloped past us in safety. How poor George suffered while being hacked to pieces by the fifteen red fiends, none can tell. As we galloped away we heard his horrible cries for mercy while his scalp was being torn from his head, and to this day, when thinking of that horrid incident, those screams of agony ring upon the air.

From Ronny Bodine:

George Bodine, age 13, was living 1860 with his parents in New Haven, Huron County, Ohio. On 8 Jan 1864, he enlisted as a Private with Company K, 11th Ohio Cavalry (USA), stating his age to be 18, and was killed in a skirmish on 8 June 1865 at Sage Creek, Dakota Territory. On 1 July 1882, his mother, Angeline C. Bodine, applied for a pension (no. 294284).