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J. S. Morrison to E. W. Wynkoop,
December 14th, 1868.

(Letter of J. S. Morrison, one of the Sheridan-Custer scouts,
written to E. W. Wynkoop, Indian Agent.)

                                                       FORT DODGE, KANS.,
                                                         Dec. 14th, 1868.
Dear Col:
    I arrived at this place yesterday all right. J. L. Bey accompanied me. He has recovered entirely from the slight indisposition he was laboring under when you left him in Topeka. He has obtained a situation under Major Inman who has got in today from the south.
    John Smith, John Poysell and Jack Fitzpatrick have got in today. John S. was not in the fight (Battle of Washita) but John P. and Jack were. They all agree in stating that the official reports of the fight were very much exagerated that there was not over twenty Bucks killed, the rest, about forty, were women and children. The prisoners have got in today. They consisted of 53 women and children. One boy is an Arapahoe. The rest are all Cheyennes. Mrs. Crocker is amongst them. She is badly wounded. She says that her child is killed. (Custer reported the child and Mrs. Crocker both killed by the Indians when the fight started,

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but apparently the truth of the matter is that both were struck by soldier bullets, instead of being the victims of the Indians, else the Indians would have been certain of killing, instead of merely wounding, the mother.--Author) The women say that Black Kettle is killed.
    The prisoners will be taken to Fort Riley. It is possible that I will be sent in charge of them. Genls. Sheridan and Custer have started on a new expedition. The officers say that he is going direct to Fort Cobb, swearing vengenance on INDIANS AND INDIAN AGENTS INDISCRIMINATELY. When John's wife (a Cheyenne) heard of the fight she tried to kill herself, first with a knife and next with strychnine but Dr. Howard cured her from the effects of it. John starts for Larned tonight.
    John S. Sends his respects to you and requests that you will attend to the business that he entrusted to you or if it is impossible for you to do so that you will turn over the power of attorney to Gen. Sanborn to attend to it for him.
    Gers [Edmund Guerrier-chw] is here and sends his respects to you. He got into trouble and will (be) ordered away from Fort Larned. He is in his old business here.
    If you return again to Indian affairs, please to let me know if you can do anything for me. I should like very much to be with you again. There is not difficulty in obtaining employment here. I have half a dozen offers and do not know which to accept but would leave everything to be with you. The Courier is about to start, so
    Godby until we meet again which will be some time.
                                 Very Respect,
                                    J. S. MORRISON

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Source:

Brill, Charles J., Conquest of the Southern Plains; Uncensored Narrative of the Battle of the Washita and Custer's Southern Campaign, Oklahoma City, OK, Golden Saga Publishers, 1938, pp. 313-314.

Created January 16, 2004; Revised January 16, 2004
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