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CONDITION OF THE INDIAN TRIBES
JOINT SPECIAL COMMITTEE,
JOINT RESOLUTION OF MARCH 3, 1865.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
JANUARY 26, 1867.--Ordered to be printed.
Mr. DOOLITTLE submitted the following
The Joint Special Committee of the two Houses of Congress, appointed under the joint resolution of March 3, 1865, directing an inquiry into the condition of the Indian tribes and their treatment by the civil and military authorities of the United States, submit the following report, with an appendix accompanying the same:INDIAN WARS WITH THE WHITES.
At its meeting on the 9th of March the following subdivision of labor was made: To Messrs. Doolittle, Foster, and Ross was assigned the duty of inquiring into Indian affairs in the State of Kansas, the Indian Territory, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
To Messrs. Nesmith and Higby the same duty was assigned in the States of California, Oregon, and Nevada, and in the Territories of Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
To Messrs. Windom and Hubbard the same duty was assigned in the State of Minnesota and in the Territories of Nebraska, Dakota, and upper Montana. The result of their inquiries is to be found in the appendix accompanying this report.
The work was immense, covering a continent. While they have gathered a vast amount of testimony and important information bearing upon our Indian affairs, they are still conscious that their explorations have been imperfect.
As it was found impossible for the members of the committee in person to take the testimony or from personal observations to learn all that they deemed necessary to form a correct judgment of the true condition of the Indian tribes, they deemed it wise, by a circular letter addressed to officers of the regular army, experienced Indian agents and superintendents, and to other persons of great knowledge in Indian affairs, to obtain from them a statement of the result of their experience and information; which, with the testimony taken by the various members of the sub-committees, is also to be found in the appendix.
The committee have arrived at the following conclusions:
First. The Indians everywhere, with the exception of the tribes within the Indian Territory, are rapidly decreasing in numbers from various causes By disease; by intemperance; by wars, among themselves and with the whites; by the steady and resistless emigration of white men into the territories of the west, which, confining the Indians to still narrower limits, destroys that game which, in their normal state, constitutes their principal means of subsistence; and by the irrepressible conflict between a superior and an inferior race when brought in presence of each other. Upon this subject all the testimony agrees.
In answer to the question, whether the Indians "are increasing or decreasing in numbers, and from what causes," Major General Pope says:
"They are rapidly decreasing in numbers from various causes: By disease; by wars; by cruel treatment on the part of the whites--both by irresponsible
4 CONDITION OF INDIAN TRIBES.
persons and by government officials; by unwise policy of the government, by inhumane and dishonest administration of that policy; and by steady resistless encroachments of the white emigration toward the west, which every day confining the Indians to narrower limits, and driving off or killing the game, their only means of subsistence."--(See appendix, page 425.)
To the same question, General John T. Sprague gives the following answer:
"The Indians are decreasing in numbers, caused by their proximity to the white man. So soon as Indians adopt the habits of white men they begin to decrease, aggravated by imbibing all the vices and none of their virtues. Other causes exist, too numerous to be detailed in this paper."--(Appendix, 228.)
The following is the answer of General Carleton to the same question:
"As a general rule, the Indians alluded to are decreasing very rapidly in numbers, in my opinion. The causes for this have been many, and may be summed up as follows:
1st. Wars with our pioneers and our armed forces; change of climate and country among those who have been moved from east of the Mississippi to the far west.
2d. Intemperance, and the exposure consequent thereon.
3d. Veneral [sic] diseases, which they are unable, from the lack of medicines and skill, to eradicate from their systems, and which, among Indians who live nearest the whites, is generally diffused either in scrofula or some other form of it [or?] taint.
4th. Small-pox, measles, and cholera--diseases unknown to them in the early days of the country.
5th. The causes which the Almighty originates, when in their appointed time He wills that one race of men--as in races of lower animals--shall disappear off the face of the earth and give place to another race, and so on, in the great cycle traced out by Himself, which may be seen, but has reasons too deep to be fathomed by us. The races of the mammoths and mastodons, and the great sloths, came and passed away: the red man of America is passing away!--(Appendix, 432-3.)
General Wright gives his testimony to the same point as follows:
"The Indian tribes are rapidly decreasing in numbers, especially west of the Rocky mountains, caused in some measure by the wars waged against them and more particularly by the encroachments of the whites upon their hunting grounds and fisheries and other means of subsistence, and by the readiness with which they adopt the vices of the whites rather than their virtues; hence their numbers are rapidly diminished by disease and death."--(Appendix, 440.)
These officers have had large experience in Indian affairs, and they are supported by the concurrent testimony of many other of the most experienced officers and civilians, to be found at length in the Appendix.
The tribes in the Indian Territory were most happily exempted from the constant tendency to decay up to the commencement of the late civil war. Until they became involved in that they were actually advancing in population, education, civilization, and agricultural wealth.
Their exceptional condition may be attributed to the fact that, from their earliest history these tribes had, to a considerable extent, cultivated the soil and kept herds of cattle and horses; that they were located in a most fertile territory and withdrawn from the neighborhood and influence of white settlements and to the legitimate influence of education and Christianity among them.
The war has made a terrible diminution of their number, and brought disease and demoralization in its train. A full account of the condition of the Cherokees will be found in the reply of the Hon. J. Harlan, agent of the Cherokees--(See Appendix, pages 441-50.) The recent treaties with the tribes in
CONDITION OF INDIAN TRIBES. 5
Indian territory, and the reports of their improved condition since the pacification give strong hopes that their former prosperity will return.
The committee determined, if possible, to ascertain the real cause of the destruction of the tribes, and proposed to the officers above named, and to many others, the following most important inquiry bearing upon that subject, viz:
"What diseases are most common and most fatal among them, and from what causes?"
To this General Sprague answers:
The children die rapidly and suddenly from dysentery and measles, and from neglect and exposure to the weather. The adults die from fevers, small-pox, drunkenness, and diseases engendered from sexual intercourse. These diseases among the men and women in the most malignant form, as the Indian doctors are unable to manage them. Indulgence in liquor, exposure, and the absence of remedies aggravate the disease. In this, striking at the very basis of procreation, is to be found the active cause of the destruction of the Indians."
General Pope is of opinion that "venereal diseases, particularly secondary syphilis, is the most common and destructive. It is to be doubted whether one Indian, man or woman, in five, is free from this disease or its effects."
Without quoting from others, it will be found, by the united testimony of all, that this disease, more than all other diseases, and perhaps more than all other uses, is the active agent of the destruction of the Indian race. Add to this intemperance, exposure, the want of sufficient food and clothing, wars among themselves and wars with the whites, and we are at no loss to account for the utter extinction of many of the most powerful tribes, and the ultimate disappearance of nearly all upon this continent. It is a sad but faithful picture.
Second. The committee are of opinion that in a large majority of cases Indian wars are to be traced to the aggressions of lawless white men, always to be found upon the frontier, or boundary line between savage and civilized life. Such is the statement of the most experienced officers of the army, and of all those who have been long conversant with Indian affairs.
Colonel Bent, who has lived upon the Upper Arkansas, near Bent's fort, for thirty-six years, states that in nearly every instance difficulties between Indians and the whites arose from aggressions on the Indians by the whites. The war with the Sioux, commencing in 1854, the war with the Arrapahoes and Cheyennes in 1865, are traced by him directly to those aggressions. (Appendix, page 93.)
Colonel Kit Carson, who has lived upon the plains and in the mountains since 1826, and has been all that time well acquainted with the Indian tribes in peace and in war, confirms this statement. He says, "as a general thing the difficulties arise from aggressions on the part of the whites." "The whites are always cursing the Indians, and are not willing to do them justice." (Appendix, page 96.)
From whatever cause wars may be brought on, either between different Indian tribes or between the Indians and the whites, they are very destructive, not only of the lives of the warriors engaged in it, but of the women and children also, often becoming a war of extermination. Such is the rule of savage warfare, and it is difficult if not impossible to restrain white men, especially white men upon the frontiers, from adopting the same mode of warfare against the Indians. The indiscriminate slaughter of men, women, and children has frequently occurred in the history of Indian wars. But the fact which gives such terrible force to the condemnation of the wholesale massacre of Arrapahoes and
6 CONDITION OF INDIAN TRIBES.
Cheyennes, by the Colorado troops under Colonel Chivington, near Fort Lyon, was, that those Indians were there encamped under the direction of our own officers, and believed themselves to be under the protection of our flag. A full account of this bloody affair will be found also in the appendix. To the honor of the government it may be said that a just atonement for this violation of its faith was sought to be made in the late treaty with these tribes.
Third. Another potent cause of their decay is to be found in the loss of their hunting grounds and in the destruction of that game upon which the Indian subsists. This cause, always powerful, has of late greatly increased. Until the white settlements crossed the Mississippi, the Indians could still find hunting grounds without limit and game, especially the buffalo, in great abundance upon the western plains.
But the discovery of gold and silver in California, and in all the mountain territories, poured a flood of hardy and adventurous miners across those plains, and into all the valleys and gorges of the mountains from the east.
Two lines of railroad are rapidly crossing the plains, one by the valley of the Platte, and the other by the Smoky Hill. They will soon reach the Rocky mountains, crossing the centre of the great buffalo range in two lines from east to west. It is to be doubted if the buffalo in his migrations will many times cross a railroad where trains are passing and repassing, and with the disappearance of the buffalo from this immense region, all the powerful tribes of the plains will inevitably disappear, and remain north of the Platte or south of the Arkansas. Another route further north, from Minnesota by the Upper Missouri, and one farther south, from Arkansas by the Canadian, are projected, and will soon be pressed forward. These will drive the last vestige of the buffalo from all the region east of the Rocky mountains, and put an end to the wild man's means of life.
On the other hand, the emigration from California and Oregon into the Territories from the west is filling every valley and gorge of the mountains with the most energetic and fearless men in the world. In those wild regions, where no civil law has ever been administered, and where our military forces have scarcely penetrated, these adventurers are practically without any law, except such as they impose upon themselves, viz: the law of necessity and of self-defence.
Even after territorial governments are established over them in form by Congress, the population is so sparse and the administration of the civil law so feeble that the people are practically without any law but their own will. In their eager search for gold or fertile tracts of land, the boundaries of Indian reservations are wholly disregarded; conflicts ensue; exterminating wars follow, in which the Indian is, of course, at the last, overwhelmed if not destroyed.
THE INDIAN BUREAU.
Fourth. The question whether the Indian bureau should be placed under the War Department or retained in the Department of the Interior is one of considerable importance, and both sides have very warm advocates. Military men generally, unite in recommending that change to be made, while civilians, teachers, missionaries, agents and superintendents, and those not in the regular army generally oppose it. The arguments and objections urged by each are not without force.
The argument in favor of it is that in case of hostilities the military forces must assume control of our relations to the hostile tribes, and therefore it is better for the War Department to have the entire control, both in peace and in war; secondly, that the annuity goods and clothing, paid to Indians under treaty stipulations, will be more faithfully and honestly made by officers of the regular army, who hold their places for life, and are subject to military trials for
CONDITION OF INDIAN TRIBES. 7
misconduct, than when made by the agents and superintendents appointed under the Interior Department; and thirdly, that it would prevent conflict between different departments in the administration of their affairs.
Upon the other side it is urged with great force that, for the proper administration of Indian affairs, there must be some officer of the government whose duty it is to remain upon the reservations with the tribes and to look after their affairs; that, as their hunting grounds are taken away, the reservation system, which is the only alternative to their extermination, must be adopted. When the Indians are once located upon them, farmers, teachers and missionaries become essential to any attempt at civilization--are absolutely necessary to take the first step toward changing the wild hunter into a cultivator of the soil--to change the savage into a civilized man. The movement of troops from post to post is, of necessity, sudden and frequent, and, therefore, the officers of the army, however competent, cannot take charge of the affairs and interests of Indians upon reservations any longer than military force is required to compel the Indians to remain upon them, as in the case of the Navajoes in New Mexico, and during that time even proper and competent persons acting as agents, farmers, teachers, and missionaries, devoting their whole time to these occupations, can serve that purpose much better than officers of the army.
While it is true many agents, teachers, and employés of the government are inefficient, faithless, and even guilty of peculations and fraudulent practices upon the government and upon the Indians, it is equally true that military posts among the Indians have frequently become centres of demoralization and destruction in the Indian tribes, while the blunders and want of discretion of inexperienced officers in command have brought on long and expensive wars, the cost of which, being included in the expenditures of the army, are never seen and realized by the people of the country.
Since we acquired New Mexico the military expenditures connected with Indian affairs have probably exceeded $4,000,000 annually in that Territory alone. When General Sumner was in command of that department he recommended the purchase of all the private property of citizens, and the surrender of that whole Territory to the Indians, and upon the score of economy it would doubtless have been a great saving to the government.
But that policy was not pursued, and there, as well as elsewhere, the reservation system has been adopted. That it has and will cost the government large sums of money is undoubtedly true, but, in the end, far less that the maintenance of forces sufficient to keep the peace, and suffer the Indians to range at will over the Territory. When once adopted, however, the same necessity of agents, teachers, farmers, and missionaries arises, both upon the score of humanity and economy--both to civilize the Indian and to teach him to raise his subsistence from the soil. The army and the officers of the army are not, by their habits and profession, well adapted to this work.
Another strong reason for retaining the Indian Bureau in the Department of the Interior is, that the making of treaties and the disposition of the lands and funds of the Indians is of necessity intimately connected with our public land system, and, with all its important land questions, would seem to fall naturally under the jurisdiction of the Interior Department.
The inconvenience arising from the occasional conflicts and jealousies between officers appointed under the Interior and War Departments are not without some benefits also; to some extent they serve as a check upon each other; neither are slow to point to the mistakes and abuses of the other. It is therefore proper that they should be independent of each other, receive their appointments from and report to different heads of departments. Weighing this matter and all the arguments for and against the proposed change, your committee are unanimously of the opinion that the Indian Bureau should remain where it is.
8 CONDITION OF INDIAN TRIBES.
BOARDS OF INSPECTION.
Fifth. In our Indian system, beyond all doubt, there are evils, growing out of the nature of the case itself, which can never be remedied until the Indian race is civilized or shall entirely disappear.
The committee are satisfied that these evils are sometimes greatly aggravated, not so much by the system adopted by the government in dealing with the Indian tribes, as by the abuses of that system.
As the best means of correcting those abuses and ameliorating those evils, the committee recommend the subdivision of the Territories and States wherein the Indian tribes remain into five inspection districts, and the appointment of five boards of inspection; and they earnestly recommend the passage of Senate bill 188, now pending before the House. That bill was unanimously recommended by the joint special committee, and also recommended by the committees of both Houses upon Indian Affairs. It is the most certainly efficient mode of preventing these abuses which they have been able to devise.
The following are the four important sections of the bill as recommended by the committee:
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there be, and is hereby, created five boards of inspection of Indian affairs, each to consist of one Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, unless sooner removed by the President; one to consist of an officer of the regular army, who may be annually detailed by the Secretary of War for that purpose, and one to consist of a visitor, to be selected by the President from among such persons as may be recommended by the annual meetings or conventions of the religious societies or denominations of the United States as suitable persons to act upon said boards; or, in case of their failure to make such recommendation, from among such persons as he shall deem proper. Each of said assistant commissioners shall receive a salary of three thousand dollars per annum, besides necessary travelling expenses; and each of said visitors shall receive a salary of two thousand dollars per annum, besides necessary travelling expenses.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be established five inspection districts of Indian affairs, as follows: One to embrace the States of California and Nevada and the Territory of Arizona; one to embrace the State of Oregon and the Territories of Washington and Idaho; one to embrace the Territories of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico; one to embrace the State of Kansas, the Indian territory, Nebraska, and southern Dakota; and one to embrace the State of Minnesota and that part of the Territory of Dakota north of Nebraska, and the Territory of Montana; Provided, however, That the Secretary of the Interior, under the direction of the President, may from time to time change the boundaries of said Indian inspection districts.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of said boards of inspection, so far as it is practicable, to visit all the Indian tribes within their respective districts at least once in each year; to examine into their condition; to hear their complaints; to preserve peace and amity; to ascertain whether all the stipulations of treaties on the part of the United States are kept; to examine into the books, accounts, and manner of doing business of the superintendents and agents within their respective districts; to make diligent inquiry into the conduct of the officers and employés of the Indian department, and into the conduct of the military forces towards the Indians, with power to summon witnesses, and, by the aid of the military, who are hereby directed to aid them, to compel their attendance; each member of said board being hereby authorized
CONDITION OF INDIAN TRIBES. 9
to administer oaths; and said board shall be authorized to suspend for cause any officer or employé of the Indian department in their respective districts, and to remove them from office, subject to the approval of the President. And said board shall report annually, or as often as may be required, to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs; and in all cases of suspension or removal from office by said board of any officer or employé of the Indian department, said board shall make immediate report thereon in writing, stating the cause thereof, for the action of the President.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all superintendents of Indian affairs, all Indian agents, and the assistant commissioners to be appointed under this act, in addition to the powers now conferred by law, shall also possess all the powers and perform all the duties now conferred by law upon circuit court commissioners, or court commissioners in all cases or matters wherein any Indian tribe or any member of any Indian tribe shall be concerned or be a party; and that in all matters or proceedings wherein any Indian tribe or member of an Indian tribe shall be concerned or a party, the testimony of Indian witnesses shall be received in all courts and before all officers of the United States.
The purpose of the bill is to provide boards of high character, and to organize them in such a manner and to clothe them with such powers as to supervise and inspect the whole administration of Indian affairs in its three-fold character--civil, military, and educational.
To the position of chief of this board there should be appointed an assistant commissioner, with a salary sufficient to command the services of a man of character and great ability, whose whole time is to be devoted to this important work.
One of the board is to be an officer of the regular army, to be assigned by the Secretary of War; (it is believed that he would be an officer of high standing in the army;) and a third is to be selected from among those persons who may be named by the great religious conventions or bodies of the United States. It is impossible to believe that these great bodies could name any other than a man of high character and great ability. Such a board not organized upon political grounds at all, and possessing, as they will, the important powers conferred in the third section of this bill, will, in the judgment of the committee, do more to secure the faithful administration of Indian affairs than any other measure which has been suggested.
The assistant commissioner will report to the Secretary of the Interior; the officer of the army to the Secretary of War; and the third will report, not only to the government, but to that religious body which may have recommended his appointment. Thus the treatment of the Indians by the civil authorities, by the military authorities, and by their teachers and missionaries, will be subject to constant inspection and supervision.
It is urged that the expenses of these boards will be considerable; but in comparison with the greater economy and efficiency their supervision would secure, that expense will be comparatively trifling.
Such boards, charged with the duty, among other things, to preserve amity, will doubtless sometimes save the government from unnecessary and expensive Indian wars.
As an instance bearing upon this point, when that portion of the committee who were charged with the duty of inquiring into the condition of Indian affairs in Kansas, New Mexico, and Colorado, arrived as Fort Larned, they found that the officer there in command had just issued an order to his troops to cross the Arkansas, going south into an Indian territory where not a single white man lived, to make war upon the Comanches, a most powerful tribe which roams over all that region from the Arkansas to Mexico. Your committee felt that such an expedition would of necessity bring on a long war with that tribe; that it was wholly unnecessary, and they took the responsibility of advising
10 CONDITION OF INDIAN TRIBES.
General McCook, a member of the staff of General Pope, who accompanied them, to countermand that order until he could communicate with General Pope at St. Louis. The order was countermanded; the troops then in motion were recalled, and thus by the mere presence and advice of the committee a war was avoided with the Comanches, which, had it once begun, would not have been prosecuted to a successful termination without an expenditure of twenty
millions of dollars.
Your committee took the testimony, among others, of Colonel Ford, then in command at Fort Larned, upon this subject. He says, speaking of the Comanches, (see appendix, page 64:) "From the best information I can get, there are about seven thousand warriors well mounted, some on fleet Texan horses. On horseback they are the finest skirmishers I ever saw. How large a force, mounted and infantry, would be required to defend the Santa Fé road and wage a successful war against the Indians south of the Arkansas? It would require at least ten thousand men--four thousand constantly in the field, well mounted; the line of defence to extend from Fort Lyon to Fort Riley, and south about three hundred miles. All supplies would have to come from the States. Contract price for corn delivered at this point was $5.26 per bushel." With corn at this enormous price, and hay, and wood, and all supplies in proportion, the expense of such an Indian war is beyond belief. By many it was estimated that such a war would have required at least ten thousand men, and a war of two or three years' duration, to make it successful, with an expenditure of more than thirty millions of dollars.
It is believed that such boards of inspection thus organized and composed of the men who should be appointed to fill them, would save the country from many useless wars with the Indians, and secure in all branches of the Indian service greater efficiency and fidelity. If such boards should cost the government a hundred and fifty thousand dollars annually, and should avert but one Indian war in ten years, still, upon the score of economy alone, the government would be repaid five hundred per cent.
J. R. DOOLITTLE,
Chairman Joint Special Committee.
January 26, 1867.
THE CHIVINGTON MASSACRE.
WASHINGTON, Tuesday, March 7, 1865.
Samuel G. Colley sworn and examined.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. What is your age?
Answer. I was fifty-seven last December.
Question. Are you agent for the Cheyennes and Arapahoes?
Answer. I am.
Question. How long have you acted as such?
Answer. My commission dates from July, 1861. I filed my bonds October, 1861.
Question. When did you go upon the ground where they are located?
Answer. I went upon the ground in August, 1861.
Question. Have you been in charge of those Indians, as agent, ever since?
Answer. I have.
Question. State in brief terms about where they are located.
Answer. Their reservation commences at a point fifteen miles south of Fort Lyon thence up the Arkansas river north to a point on the north bank of the Arkansas, some twenty-five miles above Fort Lyon; it then runs down till it strikes the old line of New Mexico, follows that line due north till it intersects a certain line described in the treaty, thence north till it strikes Sand creek, thence down Sand creek to the place of beginning, including the fort. The reservation is in the form of a triangle.
Question. Have the Arapahoes a reservation adjoining the Cheyennes?
Answer. Yes; the tract which I have described is divided in two, half for the Cheyennes and half for the Arapahoes, the Cheyennes taking the west part of it.
Question. About how many of those Cheyennes are there, according to your best estimate?
Answer. I have enumerated them as well as I could. We have had, when I have given them some presents, between 200 and 300 lodges of Cheyennes there at a time, and something over 200 lodges of Arapahoes. There is another band that were not satisfied with the treaty who ran north of the Platte and have never come down there to mingle with these Indians much. Some of them may have been on the reservation, but they do not claim that as their reservation; they claim land north.
Question. Are those Cheyennes or Arapahoes?
Answer. A band of each.
Question. Do the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, any of them, live in houses?
Answer. No; they live wild.
Question. Do they have any kind of tents or skins, or anything of that sort, for shelter?
Answer. They build a tent of buffalo skins on lodge poles, very much like a Sibley tent.
Question. They move about from place to place?
Answer. Yes; they move about; wherever the game goes they go.
Question. They are nomadic?
Answer. Entirely so. They break up into parties of twenty or thirty.
Question. What was the occasion of the recent difficulty between our people and the Cheyennes and Arapahoes?
Answer. It commenced early last spring on the Platte. There was a collision there between the Indians and the soldiers. I am not able to say which party was the aggressor; the claim there is differently made, the Indians claiming one way and the soldiers the other.
Question. Was there much fighting then?
Answer. Not much fighting; they were small parties. I think Major Downing went out first and destroyed a few lodges, and killed one man and took some of their ponies. I heard immediately that there had been a fight there, and knowing that it is very difficult to keep one party of Indians from fighting when their brethren are at it, I went 240 miles to find the Arapahoes and Cheyennes. I found the former, and explained as well as I could that there had been trouble between some soldiers and Indians, and asked them if they knew anything about the cause of it. They said they did not; they had not heard of it. They told me at that time that they did not want any trouble with the whites; that if there had been trouble over there they were not to blame for it. They called those Indians that ran north their dog soldiers. They did not pretend to have much control over them. They pledged me solemnly that if the whites would not follow them up and fight them they would remain peaceable and quiet. Coming back I met a party of Cheyennes and told them the same. They said they would go over towards the Platte and get those Indians in, and get them away. I told them to go over on the Arkansas, their country, and if they behaved them-
selves they should be protected as far as I could protect them. The very day that I saw them there another party of soldiers came out from Denver, some of the first Colorado regiment, that were sent out by Colonel Chivington, I suppose, and they followed up these Indians some 200 miles, and came in collision with them over on Smoky Hill, in the buffalo country. They had quite a fight there, the Indians claiming that they were attacked, and the soldiers claiming that they were attacked. I do not know how that was. One of their main chiefs was killed at that time. After that there were depredations committed.
Question. By the Indians upon the whites?
Answer. Yes; they came up to work the reservation. Some parties came up, drove in the stock of the contractor, killed two of his men. We supposed at that time the Indians were united against us that the whole country was going to be at war, and they would unite. Previous to this, however, some Sioux Indians had been laboring with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes to get them to join them, but they disclaimed any idea of it. I got a circular from Governor Evans, in June, requesting me to send out runners and invite all friendly Indians of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes who belonged to the southern bands, as he called them, and to my band, into Fort Lyon, and there feed and protect them. I did so. I sent out one particular Indian who remained there all the while, only as I sent him out. I sent out my interpreter. I sent out Colonel William Bent, who has a wife, a Cheyenne squaw. He has been in that country thirty or forty years. He came back, and said that he had seen Black Kettle, the head chief of the Cheyennes, and that they had promised to come in; that they did not want any trouble; were willing to cease hostilities and get all the war parties in that were out and would come up. In the last of September the one-eyed Indian whom I had sent out came in. He said the Indians had three or four white prisoners with them whom they wanted to give up, and if we would go out we could get them. Major Wynkoop went out with a command of 100 men, had an interview with them, brought in their main chief, and brought in four prisoners whom they had, one young lady and three children. They expressed a desire to be friendly. Major Wynkoop went to Denver, took them up to Governor Evans, and had an interview; I was not present. They came back again; they went out to their lodges towards Smoky Hill; brought in about 100 lodges of Cheyennes, and about the same number of Arapahoes came into Fort Lyon; and Major Wynkoop issued them half rations for a time. Soon General Curtis relieved Major Wynkoop, ordered him to report to headquarters at Leavenworth or Fort Riley, I am not sure which, and placed Major Anthony in command, with orders to fight these Indians; that there could be no peace until they were chastised, as I understood the order. Major Anthony came up, looked the matter over, and said, "It is different from what I expected here; I supposed these Indians were riding in here making demands, and you were obliged to give it to them. I cannot fight them." He called a council of them. He told them what his orders were, and told them he wanted them to give up their arms and their stolen horses. They came in in about two hours, having seen their tribes, and gave up their bows and arrows and perhaps four or five field guns, and a dozen or fifteen government horses and mules; and he fed them for fifteen days, I think, on prisoners' rations. He considered them his prisoners and gave them prisoners' rations. This continued for some days. Not hearing from General Curtis he got a little afraid, and told them to go down to Sand creek until he heard from General Curtis. They were in frequently; Black Kettle was in three days before the attack, and Major Anthony and I made up a purse and bought tobacco for them, thinking it was better to keep them peaceable. We had them right there, and there was no use going to fight those Indians at that time, as they were friendly. There they remained till Colonel Chivington came down with his regiment.
Question. When was that?
Answer. It was the 28th of November, 1864, I think.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. How many of the Indians were there, and did the number embrace both Cheyennes and Arapahoes?
Answer. About one-half of each tribe were there.
Question. Where were the rest?
Answer. They were, I suppose, on Smoky Hill--I know some of them were--and scattered around through the country.
Question. Were any still up on the emigrant route on the Platte?
Answer. I suppose there might have been some on the Platte. We did not know that Colonel Chivington was coming there until the morning he came in. We had had no mail from Denver for over three weeks, I think. We did not know what trouble there was, and were afraid the Indians had gone off and cut off the settlements above. The evening before he came in some one came down and said he had seen some camp-fires above, and he thought they were the Kioway Indians. He knew they were not our Indians, for if
they were they would have come to see him. He came down and reported to the major that camp-fires were there, and he was fearful the Kioway Indians had come in. The major sent out scouts and found that it was Colonel Chivington's command coming from Denver. He came in in the morning, and that evening marched for their camp at 8 o'clock. The results I do not know personally. I was not there.
Question. In the mean time did any orders come from General Curtis?
Answer. Not that I know of. I did ask Colonel Chivington that night if there was no hope that peace could be made with these Indians. He informed me that General Curtis had telegraphed him that it might be done on certain conditions; that is to say, they should deliver up property they had stolen, make restitution in ponies for those they had not got, and deliver up their desperadoes who had been making raids.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. You think about one-half of the Cheyennes and one-half of the Arapahoes were there in camp?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Of these, what proportion were of their warriors?
Answer. I should think an equal portion of their warriors were with them.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Half of the warriors of the two tribes?
Answer. I should think there were. So far as I know, the young men of the bands who were with them were there. There were warriors, and women and children too.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. The warriors belonging to these particular bands were not away?
Answer. Not to my knowledge. The other Indians, those who were away, were away with their families.
Question. Do they always take their women and children with them?
Answer. Not always. They leave their women and children when they go out on a war expedition. They were encamped at that time about eighty miles from the others on the Smoky Hill, in the buffalo country.
By Mr. HUBBARD:
Question. When they go on a hunt, do they take their squaws and children?
Answer. They move their squaws and children to the buffalo country when they go to hunt. When they go on a war party they leave them behind.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. When you speak of a lodge, you mean a family?
Answer. Yes; a lodge will contain five on an average. We call a lodge five souls.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. Do you know anything about the attack?
Answer. I was not there. I only know what I heard from officers who were there.
Question. How did you regard those Indians who were in that encampment?
Answer. I regarded them as at that time friendly.
Question. What had been their conduct previous to that? Had they been murdering settlers, and robbing, and committing depredations?
Answer. These Cheyennes had not. They might have had some among them that had been.
Question. Colonel Chivington spoke to you of some desperadoes among the Indians; did you know of any of that character there?
Answer. I did not know of any of that character. There might have been some who were out with the Arapahoes. It was said there had been some there that were out.
Question. Was it your understanding that they made restitution of all stolen property prior to the attack?
Answer. The Arapahoes said they gave up all their government property. I think they had property belonging to citizens which they did not give up.
Question. Did they give up all their arms?
Answer. I am not able to say. I think it is doubtful whether they did. We did not think, at the time, that they did give up all their arms.
Question. How many guns did they give up?
Answer. But very few. They had not many guns. I thought they had more guns than they brought in and gave up.
By Mr. HUBBARD:
Question. Even if these desperate Indians were there among them, you would hardly have known it yourself?
Answer. No; I did not know who were there, only as the chiefs informed me.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. Were those Indians, who gave up the young lady and three children, in that encampment?
Answer. One was there and was killed. The other was in the employ of the government at the time.
Question. Do you know that young lady's name?
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. Did any facts come to your knowledge as to the attack?
Answer. I have heard all the officers repeat it who were there.
Question. Give the current version.
Answer. I can state, according to the received version, that the command marched at 8 o'clock in the evening from Fort Lyon. They attacked the village, which was 30 miles distant, and fired into it about daylight. The Indians, for a while, made some resistance. Some of the chiefs did not lift an arm, but stood there and were shot down. One of them, Black Kettle, raised the American flag, and raised a white flag. He was supposed to be killed, but was not. They retreated right up the creek. They were followed up and pursued and killed and butchered. None denied that they were butchered in a brutal manner, and scalped and mutilated as bad as an Indian ever did to a white man. That is admitted by the parties who did it. They were cut to pieces in almost every manner and form.
Question. How many were killed there, according to the reports?
Answer. I will tell you how I got my information. There was a young half-breed who had been in Kansas. He had been educated here, and came out last summer, for the first time in a good many years, to the Indians. He had been about Fort Lyon a good portion of the summer. When the command came down there, my first impulse was to get him to go up and tell these Indians that the troops were coming up there and might attack them, but he had gone, the day before, out to their camp. He made an attempt to reach the command when they began to fire, but was deterred, fell back and jumped on to a pony, behind a squaw, and rode till he overhauled a drove of ponies that they were driving off. He rode with them to the camp and was with them 14 days after they got together on Smoky Hill. He said there were 148 missing when they got in. After that quite a number came in; I cannot tell how many. There were eight who came into Fort Lyon to us, reducing it down to about 130 missing, according to the last information I had.
By Mr. NESMITH.
Question. Were you on the ground after the battle?
Answer. I was not.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE.
Question. Did you understand that any women or children were killed?
Answer. The officers told me they killed and butchered all they came to. They saw little papooses killed by the soldiers. Colonel Shupe was in command of the regiment; Colonel Chivington in command of the whole force.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Who commanded the troops when this massacre took place?
Answer. Colonel Chivington was in chief command.
By Mr. HIGBY:
Question. Who was in immediate command of the party where the butchery took place? Who led the expedition?
Answer. Colonel Chivington led the expedition. I do not think there was anybody in command; the soldiers appear to have pitched in without any command.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. What troops were they, and where were they raised?
Answer. They were the one-hundred-day regiment raised in Denver, with a portion of the first Colorado regiment. The one hundred-day men were Shupe's command as immediate colonel; Chivington was colonel of the first regiment, and took command of the whole force.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. As you learned, was it the first Colorado regiment that joined in this massacre, or was it the one-hundred-day men that were raised?
Answer. Officers of the first regiment told me they did not fire a gun, and would not or could not; some of their soldiers undoubtedly did.
Question. Were the men who actually made a rush on the village the one-hundred-day men?
Answer. That was so understood.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Do I understand you that the officers had nothing to do with it?
Answer. I was told by the officers that Colonel Chivington told the men to remember the wrongs the Indians had inflicted on the whites and to pitch in, and they just went at it pell-mell; forty of our troops were killed and wounded; fourteen died. The Indians would get their families ahead of them and then they would fall back, fighting as they went.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. What about the property?
Answer. From five hundred to six hundred ponies were said to be brought in, having been taken from the Indians, and their whole property was destroyed and they left perfectly destitute without hardly even their clothing.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. Did you see any of the property brought in?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. What did it consist of?
Answer. It consisted of ponies principally, and Indian dresses, and the fixings natural about those wild Indians. They make their dresses out of skins and bead them off very nicely. The dresses were sold for from twenty to thirty dollars the dress.
Question. Was any of this property recognized as property stolen from the whites?
Answer. There were one or two things I saw that I knew had been stolen.
Question. Was any of the other property recognized as stolen property?
Answer. I saw a horse or two and a mule or two that were branded other brands than Indians. Those Indians pick up a great many horses there, and sometimes they bring them in, but sometimes they do not. When they steal a horse their usual custom is to trade it right off to somebody else.
Question. Were there any Mexican dollars among that property?
Answer. I do not know anything about that; I did not see any; they might have had some; I do not know. It must be a mistake to suppose, as has been said, that there were as many Mexican dollars as a mule could carry.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. What is the condition of those tribes now?
Answer. I have not been able to see any of them, but this young man says they are all imbittered against the whites. He says that Black Kettle, the leading chief, laughed at him when he went out; said to him, "You are an old fool; you ought to have stood and been shot down as the rest of us." He made a great deal of fun of him for coming out there and coming under our protection. Two or three of their war councils said they had agreed first to strike the Platte and clean that out, and then strike towards Denver. They told him he had better leave the country there and get home as soon as possible, and furnished him a horse in the night to come home. This was the half-breed who was out this summer, of whom I have spoken.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. What was his name?
Answer. Edward Guerrier; and Major Wynkoop has his statement in writing, and I suppose it has been forwarded to the War Department.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. What there is left of the tribe that escaped has gone north on to the Platte?
Answer. I suppose so.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Is that outside of the reservation?
Answer. Yes, sir; these Indians have not been on the reservation much; they only come in and see us; there is no camp there; they cannot live there; they have to go out and hunt, for in that country there is no settlement between the Platte and the Arkansas, and
none for two hundred and forty miles below us on the Arkansas, and none south of the Platte from us, clear to Texas; it is a buffalo country; they roam there in bands and hunt and come into the agency two or three times a year.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. What do you say of the reservation which has been set apart for the Arapahoes and Cheyennes?
Answer. I think we can never set them on to it again; they were killed there on it, and they are superstitious. The reservation is the best tract of land we have in Colorado for agricultural purposes, I think.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. How is it as to hunting and game?
Answer. There is no hunting there and no game on it, only a few animals. No buffalo have been seen there for three or four years.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. From your knowledge of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes and their character, do you think they can be brought to settle down and live a life of agriculture?
Answer. I do not think the present generation can, to any extent. Some few of them want to come in and live with the whites, but as a general thing they are opposed to settling down. They say their fathers hunted, lived, and roamed over the country; the country was all theirs, and they had plenty, but the white man has come and taken it. I think they have gone north now with their families toward the Yellowstone.
Question. Have you an idea that they are uniting with the Sioux?
Answer. I think they are. The Sioux undoubtedly have been wanting them to unite the last two years. They have told me so. They have always disclaimed it and said they would not. They said they did not want to fight; the whites treated them well, and there was no use of their fighting. After the first fight of which I have spoken, they told me that if the whites let them alone they would be peaceable; that there was no object in fighting; but still they said there were young men in the party whom they could not control, which is the fact. The better portion of them cannot control all the young warriors, who are somewhat a political class of men and who make their capital out of their bravery, and if they have no Indians to fight they will fight somebody else.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. I understood you to say that before this massacre there was a collision, and you could not tell which party commenced it; do you not know who shed blood first?
Answer. I heard officers there say that the Indians commenced it; and I heard others say they did not. I do not know. The Indians say they did not. They said they disarmed it; they came up and shook hands, and took their arms away, and that is like taking their life. That is their notion of it.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. How many were in the camp that was attacked?
Answer. About 500. There were only a few lodges of the Arapahoes that were attacked, and before Chivington got there with his command they heard from those who escaped and got away. Only a few of the Arapahoes that were camped with the Cheyennes were attacked--eight lodges. Part of them have now escaped and gone to the Kioways and Comanches, south of Arkansas.
Question. Have you any other statement to make?
Answer. There was a good deal of misunderstanding among us there. At one time we supposed the Indians were all against us, and expected that they were. Indians would come in and try to get into the camp and see us, and see what was the matter, and after we got them in we learned these facts. An Indian whom I had two years ago, who speaks English, rode up to Fort Lyon, and he saw a soldier; he hallooed to that soldier and said he wanted to see Major Colley. He wanted to know what the fighting all meant, and to make peace. The soldier reported that he had been chased by an Indian and saw a number of others. We supposed they were coming to commit depredations and sent a command after them, who overhauled them, and got near enough to fire into them, but not near enough to hurt them. Since he has come in he has told me that he is the Indian who came there to throw down his bow and arrow and talk to me. We did not understand, and supposed he was coming with hostile designs. Then there is another thing. The people of Colorado are very much down on the Indians. As a general thing they want their land. They are coming in contact universally with them. If they take anything to make a fire with, a conflict grows up. My opinion is that white men and wild Indians cannot live in the same country in peace.
Question. Are there any of the Indians in Colorado that you know who can be induced to live on and cultivate the soil?
Answer. I do not know much about the Utes. There is a tribe of Utes over there that I know nothing about. They are west of me in the mountains. I do not know whether they would cultivate the soil or not.
Question. But you think it would be next to impossible to get this generation of these Indians of the plains to settle down to cultivate the soil?
Answer. I do. They will stay with you if you feed them all the time, and there will be no trouble; but they will not work. The squaws do all their work that is done.
Question. Do the squaws of these nomadic tribes raise any corn or anything?
Answer. They do not raise anything. They depend on the buffalo. That is their great staple.
Question. What vegetables, if any, do they eat?
Answer. They like corn in any way, but they do not raise any. They are fond of pumpkins and potatoes; they will eat them when you give them to them, but they never raise anything. We attempted to get them to work on the reservation. We laid out a good deal of money in getting a farmer there last spring, and the crops looked very fine until this trouble broke out.
Question. How do you cultivate the crops there on the reservation; by irrigation?
Answer. By irrigation. We had 250 acres broken in corn on the Arkansas.
Question. Is it a country where you have no rains during the summer season?
Answer. It rains in July. There are showers almost every day for a month.
Question. Cannot the country be cultivated without irrigation?
Answer. No, sir. Last season wheat might have been raised without irrigation, but there is no safety in it. As a general thing there is no attempt to raise anything without irrigation.
Question. At what time does the spring open there?
Answer. Earlier than in Wisconsin. We have but very little snow there. We have late frosts there. We can plant in April or the first of May.
Question. Do you have frosts late enough to injure corn planted as early as that?
Answer. We have not had.
Question. How early do the frosts come in the fall?
Answer. About as early as they do in Wisconsin--the last of September or first of October.
Question. With irrigation what productions can you raise; for instance, on the Arapaho and Cheyenne reservation?
Answer. Wheat, corn, oats, potatoes, barley, all kinds of vegetables.
Question. How is it as to fruit?
Answer. It has never been tried. Wild fruit is abundant; plums, wild grapes, and cherries.
Question. Would it be a good country for vines?
Answer. I think it would.
Question. Which way do your rains come from?
Answer. Our storms in winter come from the northeast altogether. Our rains are all showers coming from the mountains west and north.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. How is this reservation for timber?
Answer. There is very little of it; nothing for fencing or building, but enough for firewood. It is cottonwood entirely. There is beautiful stone, as handsome a stone quarry as I have ever seen, there, and plenty all along. We burnt lime last year. It was supposed to be sandstone, but we found it made excellent lime.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. Are there any white settlers there?
Answer. A hundred miles above the reservation it is settled up the Arkansas towards Denver.
By Mr. WINDOM:
Question. How far is the reservation from Denver?
Answer. The head of it is 150 miles.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. Are the streams about there plenty?
Answer. There is hardly any stream that has any running, permanent water.
Question. So that it is only upon the Arkansas that you can irrigate.
Answer. We cannot on the reservation, except on the Arkansas.
Question. Is the country about there capable of a large settlement, a heavy population, in your opinion?
Answer. It is from the lower end of the reservation to the mountains on those streams. For stock-growing it is the best country I have ever seen. We do not feed at all in winter. The stock keep fat all winter without feeding--those that are not worked.
Question. How is it for sheep?
Answer. There is no finer country in the world for sheep, I think.
Question. Are the winters dry?
Answer. Very dry.
Question. But cold?
Answer. We have some cold days. A snow-storm lasts a day or so, but it is not wet snow; it is dry.
Question. How low does the thermometer go?
Answer. It has been as low as 20 degrees below zero. This winter more than half the time we slept with our doors and windows open. The nights are cool.
Question. So far as health and salubrity are concerned, what do you think of it for a people?
Answer. It cannot be beat in the United States for our white people. There is hardly anybody sick there, and I have known a great many cured of asthma and lung complaints.
Question. What is the nature of the country between this reservation and the Kansas settlements?
Answer. It is rather barren. There is hardly any timber after you get 50 miles below Fort Lyon.
Question. Is that barrenness from a want of rain, or in the nature of the soil itself?
Answer. For want of rain. I say it is barren, although it produces grass. It is a good stock-growing country.
Question. Are there streams sufficient for stock growing purposes?
Answer. On the Arkansas, and as you go north on the Republican and the Smoky Hill, you find water there, and between that and the Platte.
Question. Do you think that all that country which we generally call the plains is adapted to a pastoral people and large stock-growing?
Answer. No doubt of it.
Question. And will hold a tolerably dense population?
Answer. It takes more country to grow stock there than it would in Wisconsin. You could have larger establishment.
By Mr. HIGBY:
Question. You say that through winter, stock lives well?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. When do the grasses of which you speak spring? Through what months do they grow, and when do they mature?
Answer. They commence in April. The grasses on the high lands generally mature in July, or soon after the rains. That which we call the buffalo and the gramma grass, the bunch grass here, is a different grass from any I have seen in the western country. They spring a little earlier than in other places.
Question. I understand you that there is no rain except in July?
Answer. I have known some in the fore part of August, but generally July is the rainy month.
Question. Then at the time your grasses spring there are no rains?
Question. Is not that a natural vegetation?
Answer. It appears to be natural to that country; it grows every year.
Question. Do you say a crop cannot be raised annually with the season without irrigation?
Answer. They say that when the white man settles up a country it rains more.
Question. Have you tested it with the natural season by putting in agricultural seeds at the time of the springing of the natural vegetation?
Answer. They have done so about Denver and above me, and sometimes they raise a crop and sometimes they do not.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. Is there any coal on the Arapaho reservation?
Answer. Yes, sir; plenty of it on Sand creek. General Pierce, the surveyor general of the Territory, informed me that as he struck the creek he saw plenty of coal.
Question. What would you suggest or propose to do with these Indians?
Answer. My opinion is that they might have a hearing; that we might get at them in
some way, and if we could make them believe what we told them they would be willing to go to some other country. There is a large country south of the Arkansas, between there and Texas, where the Kioways and Comanches roam. The Arapahoes might go there; I think the Cheyennes would want to go where they came from, towards the Sioux.
Question. Are the Arapahoes and the Comanches and Kioways friendly?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Do they speak the same language?
Answer. Not the same language, but they can understand each other.
Question. Have they ever lived or hunted together?
Answer. They have always hunted together and have intermarried.
Question. What is your suggestion as to the best thing to be done with them?
Answer. It was my opinion after this affair that they would have to be annihilated; that we could not get at them; but Colonel Leavenworth tells me that he has seen the Kioways and Comanches, and they are willing yet to come into terms of peace and arrangement.
Question. Is there any other fact or suggestion which you desire to make in relation to the matter?
Answer. The only fact is that, as I told you, the Colorado people are very much opposed to having peace with these Indians. It is almost as much as a man's life is worth to speak friendly of an Indian, and for that reason I do not believe they can live in that country.
By Mr. HUBBARD:
Question. From what does that feeling arise? Does it arise from the depredations and murders which the Indians have committed heretofore, or is it a natural antipathy which the whites there have against Indians?
Answer. There was a natural antipathy, and then the depredations and murders they have committed this year have outraged the people, and they think an Indian ought to be killed anyhow. It is my opinion that they cannot be got on to that reservation again. It is a pity the work was commenced there. Some came and complained that the government had not complied with treaty stipulations in building houses and completing the farm, and we were induced to commence last year.
By Mr. HIGBY:
Question. From what you gathered, from all the information you received, did it seem to be a general desire among those engaged in the expedition to make the slaughter, or were they inflamed to it by some of their leaders?
Answer. The officers at Fort Lyon were opposed to going out, and represented to Colonel Chivington that they considered any men who would go out to fight those Indians, knowing the circumstances as they knew them, to be cowards.
Question. Did they so express themselves to Chivington and those men?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. What answer, if any, was given?
Answer. Chivington threatened to put the officers under arrest. That was the answer, I believe.
Question. Were the officers who made those remarks officers of his command who did finally go with him?
Answer. Some of them did finally go with him. They said that at Fort Lyon before they started.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. In addition to your business as Indian agent, have you been prosecuting any other business there, any private business, farming, or anything of that sort?
Answer. None at all. My son is settled there; he went there in 1859, and put up some hay at Fort Lyon last summer.
Question. What has been usually the amount of annuities or presents that have passed through your hands to these Indians?
Answer. The treaty of 1851 gave them about $17,000--I think that was the amount of it--in presents for the right of way through their country. In 1861 they made a permanent treaty and this reservation was assigned to them. By that treaty, under the direction of the Interior Department, they were to have $30,000 a year for fifteen years, to be expended in improvements, opening farms, building houses, and so on. Whether any of that has been given to them in goods or not, I do not know. We still continue to give them under the first treaty, which is not yet out, about $17,000 in the shape of presents.
Question. Of that appropriation of $17,000 a year, how much actually gets to and reaches the Indians and is distributed among them?
Answer. The whole of it, so far as I know; all that comes to me does.
Question. But where are the purchases made?
Answer. In New York, and the goods are shipped to Colorado.
Question. Shipped by the overland route?
Answer. Contracts are made, and they are shipped by freighters from Atchison to Colorado. The bills of lading are sent on. The prices of the goods seem fair.
Question. How do they compare with the prices of the goods as sold in the markets of Colorado?
Answer. A great deal less than goods sold there.
Question. Are they furnished to the Indians cheaper than they could be purchased of dealers in Colorado?
Answer. A great deal cheaper.
By Mr. HUBBARD:
Question. Of what descriptions are the goods?
Answer. Blankets, sugar, coffee, flour, and some kinds of cloths, calicoes, and so on.
Question. Is much hardware sent out?
Answer. Not a great deal.
Answer. Yes; generally a little paint and a few beads.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Who fixes the prices?
Answer. I understand that the money is laid out in New York, and the government transports the goods to the Indians free of expense to them. The transportation does not come out of the annuities; it is let by contract.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. The goods are purchased in New York, and the transportation is let by the government by contract?
Answer. Yes; the government contracts for hauling them to the agency.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. Have you been in the habit of receiving goods there for disbursement yourself?
Answer. I have received two parcels since I have been there. Last year I received none for these Indians.
Question. Have you ever made a requisition on the department here for goods?
Answer. Yes; every year I consult the Indians and see what they want, and make a requisition on the government, and send it on here.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. You spoke of a price being fixed; is that the price of the goods when given by the government to the Indians?
Answer. I understand they have so much money to be expended for them, and the money is laid out in New York, and the goods are transported by the government.
Question. Then the goods would only be for distribution; there would be no price to be fixed?
Answer. There is no price fixed on the goods; we just give them to the Indians. When they come on I generally take them out of the wagons and tell the chiefs to give them to whom they belong, and they divide them up among their families.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. Have the goods generally been furnished according to the requisition you made?
Answer. Sometimes they say it is too large, and costs too much money.
Question. I mean in kind; do they send you what you ask for?
Answer. Yes, sir; they send the same articles.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. As an illustration of the prices, what do blankets cost apiece out there?
Answer. So far as my knowledge extends, and I have seen the prices, they have been furnished cheaper than they could be bought there. Blue blankets, three-point as they call them, that Indians want, used to come at about $12 a pair in New York; I think they are higher now. They send out a good blanket; it is different from a soldier's blanket. I used to look over to see how the prices compared, and I always thought the prices were no higher than the goods were bought at.
Question. What kind of blankets did you get in fact?
Answer. Good blankets; I think the price two years ago--there were none sent last year--was $12 a pair. Since the trouble broke out it has not been safe to send them.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Did those Indians get anything last year?
Answer. Nothing at all.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. What was the occasion of that?
Answer. I suppose on account of the troubles, and because they were fighting the whites there. The articles sent are good, fair articles.
Question. What does it cost a pound to get sugar there to the Indians?
Answer. The contract for freights was low. Two years ago I think it was five or six cents a pound. Freights now are higher than that.
By Mr. NESMITH:
Question. What is the difference between the contract price the government pays and private freight?
Answer. It was no higher than private freights, but generally lower, I think. I believe the freights on Indian goods were less than on soldiers' goods. I do not remember the amounts.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. What has been spent of the money provided by the treaty?
Answer. About $20,000 has been expended in breaking up the land and building a house and warehouse at the reservation on the Arkansas, and for an acequia. Whether there has been any of that expended in goods sent out there I do not know.
Question. You think the Indians really will never live on the reservation?
Answer. I do not believe we can get them to live there now.
Question. What kind of a building has been made there?
Answer. They built a house for a blacksmith, that was about completed; then they were to build a house for the agent, and in that house there was to be a council-room, and also a store or warehouse, and that is about up to the windows. It is made of stone. It remains unfinished. They have broken the windows out of the blacksmith's house and out of the blacksmith's shop which was built. About 250 acres, or a little over, were broken up. The acequia was built also. We had a fine crop of corn there, which would have produced well if it had been taken care of.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Was it contemplated that the Indians themselves would work the land?
Answer. It was thought some would come in to work. We thought we could get some of them in to learn. The object was to teach and show them how to work.
Jesse H. Leavenworth sworn and examined.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. Have you lived in Colorado?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. For what length of time?
Answer. I went to Colorado in 1860, and I was there until 1862, when I was authorized to raise the second regiment of Colorado volunteers, and was there till the fall of 1863 in command of that regiment on the frontier.
Question. What is about your age?
Answer. Near fifty.
Question. Are you the son of General Leavenworth?
Answer. Yes, sir; of General Henry Leavenworth, of the United States army.
Question. Did you graduate at West Point?
Answer. I did.
Question. During your father's lifetime, when he was in command upon the frontier, did you become well acquainted with Indian life and character on the border?
Answer. I did.
Question. During your stay in Colorado and since, have you become acquainted with the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kioways, Comanches, and Apaches?
Answer. Yes, sir; I believe I have a thorough acquaintance with each and every one of those tribes.
Question. Do you speak the language?
Answer. No, sir; I do not speak their language, but I talk with them by signs, more or less. I have no difficulty in communicating with them.
Question. From the best information you have, what do you estimate to be the number of the Arapahoes?
Answer. I think there is not to exceed from 1,500 to 1,700 of them. There is a band of Arapahoes that claim not to be connected with those of the Upper Arkansas--the North Platte Arapahoes. With that band I am not much acquainted; but with the Arapahoes of the Upper Arkansas, who have a reservation with the Cheyennes at Fort Lyon, I am well acquainted. I think there are about 280 lodges of them--that is the number I have counted many times--and I think there are from 1,500 to 1,700 of them, all told, men, women, and children.
Question. How many of the Cheyennes?
Answer. I have supposed there was about the same number, with the addition of eighty lodges of what are called Dog Soldiers, who have never associated much with the Indians of the Arkansas, but have kept aloof from them.
Question. What is the character of those who are called the Dog Soldiers?
Answer. They are a warlike, high-minded, savage people. They separated from the others on account of the Fort Lyon reservation, with which they were dissatisfied. They went north, and said they would never live on the reservation. They were dissatisfied with the treaty and went off on to the Smoky Hill, and kept between the Smoky Hill and the Powder river.
Question. How many of the Kioways do you estimate that there are?
Answer. I think there is just about the same number of them as there is of Cheyennes and of Arapahoes. I do not think there is much difference; there may be a hundred either way. There are from 1,500 to 1,700 of them.
Question. How many Apaches?
Answer. Forty lodges, and they average from four to five to a lodge.
Question. What is the character of the Apaches?
Answer. The Apaches are a small band of docile Indians dependent on their neighbors for protection. They first associated with the Arapahoes, but they thought the Arapahoes were not strong enough to protect them, and they separated from them and now run mostly with the Kioways, more for protection than anything else. They are led partly by the Kioways. For two years that I was in command of the southwestern frontier they would look upon the trains, but I never heard of any depredations committed. They would beg, but they would not do any wrong. They apparently felt their weakness and did not like to get into any trouble.
Question. What is the number of the Comanches?
Answer. There are nine bands of Comanches. Eight of them are what we call Union Comanches; the ninth band is the southern Comanches, residing in Texas, who are friendly with the Texans. I know that eight of the bands are friendly to the United States; the ninth band has never been north.
Question. How many of them are there?
Answer. I cannot state the exact number, but from the best information I can get they average from 500 to 700 warriors to a band. The old men, women, and children will average from three to five to each warrior. Mawwee has the largest band. It is a band composed mostly of young men. He has about 700 warriors, the largest band of all.
Question. You think, then, there would be about 3,500 souls in the largest bands, and that there are nine bands of them; would your estimate be that they amount altogether to about 30,000?
Answer. Not so many as that--from eighteen to twenty thousand, all told. I should like to state where I get most of my information about the Comanches. In 1834 my father went into the Comanche country with General Dodge, afterwards Governor Dodge, of Wisconsin, the commanding officer of the 1st regiment of dragoons. My father was the second officer in command. He went there to form a treaty, under General Jackson's orders, with the Comanches. On that expedition he died. He had with him a man by the name of Jesse Chisom, as guide and interpreter. Jesse Chisom has been with these Indians almost all the time since. He has been upon that frontier; he has traded with them; he speaks their language perfectly; and he is now my guide and interpreter for these Indians, and has helped me more since last fall than any one else in keeping them quiet and protecting them. His information in regard to them is perfect and complete, and I get most of my information from him. I have had a great deal to do myself with many of the bands, but my information is principally from him.
Question. Are all these bands, the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Apaches, Kioways, and Comanches, of the nomadic tribes?
Answer. They are. They all live in lodges and move from place to place constantly over the plains. Wherever the grass fails them they remove to some other point. Where game is plenty they stay, and when it becomes scarce they move to some other point. They are the wild Arabs of America.
Question. Have the Comanches many horses?
Answer. A great many.
Question. In their movements do they go on foot or on horseback?
Answer. On horseback. A Comanche never moves except on horse, unless he is compelled to do so.
Question. Are they fine horsemen?
Answer. Splendid. There are no better horsemen in the world. They ride from the moment they can sit up straight. They are tied on the horse by the mother and the mother leads the horse, and that is the way they move from place to place.
Question. Are the Comanches a warlike people?
Answer. The most warlike we have on the continent, I think. They have fought the Texans for a great many years. Since the massacre at San Antonio--I do not remember in what year that was--they have been constantly at war with the Texans, and they are at war with them now. They have a great many Mexicans with them now as prisoners and servants or slaves.
Question. State the disposition of the Kioways, Comanches, and Apaches towards the United States at the present time.
Answer. Last summer I was appointed agent for the Kioways, Comanches, and Apaches, with instructions by the Indian department to meet them and to preserve peace between them and the United States, if possible. Owing to business outside of that I was unable to reach my agency until October. In October I arrived at Council Grove, the last town there is on the verge of civilization in the western part of Kansas. The Kioways, or the wild tribes, I cannot tell who they were, had ranged down within twenty miles of Council Grove last summer; had driven off stock and killed it, but committed no murders. General Curtis, a short time before that, had issued an order that no Indian should approach a military post. My headquarters were at Fort Larned, 240 miles east of Fort Lyon. Knowing that no Indian could approach Fort Larned, and having been in command of that frontier, and knowing all the chiefs and a great many of the braves of the Indian tribes, I felt very anxious to get in communication with them. To do it, it was impossible for me to go into their country with soldiers, because I could not approach any Indian in that way; and if I went alone, they, not knowing who was coming towards them, would of course ambush me; so that it was a very dangerous business. I therefore went south, down on to the Osage lands, where there were bands of Towacaros, Wacos, Keitchies, Wichitas, and Caddoes. These were Indians who had been run out of Texas some years ago, and when this war broke out were called refugee Indians. They had had more or less communication with the Comanches and were most of them very friendly with them. I went to them for the purpose of getting runners to go into the Comanche country and communicate with them, which was the only safe way I had to get to them. I made arrangements for some fifteen or twenty to go out. They started out and were gone a few days, and came back and said they had met some Osages, and the Osages had six spare horses and told them that they had killed six Comanches, and that if they, living on the Osage lands, went out the Comanches would kill them, and they did not dare to go. Before I could get another party started, the massacre at Fort Lyon, under Colonel Chivington, occurred, and then the Indians refused to go at all. They said there was treachery on the part of the whites, and if they went and anything should occur they would be blamed. I had some old acquaintances with the Caddoes. One was Jim Parkman, the chief, who was a very excellent, good man. He told them that he was well acquainted with me, and had been for a number of years; that whatever I might say they might rely upon; it was all straight. I finally succeeded in getting the Waco chief, with three or four of his brothers, two Towacaros, and a Keitchi to go out. They were gone twenty days, and came in with 96 Kioways and Comanches, and 9 Arapahoes that had escaped from Colonel Chivington's massacre. Little Raven's band of Arapahoes got away and six Apaches. When they came in and found who wanted to see them, they told me that they did not want to fight the whites, and had no wish to fight them, but were compelled to go to war. They said they would agree not to go into the Santa Fé road; they would not molest any more white men; they would get all the Indians together and meet me in four weeks and make a peace, and it should be a permanent peace; they did not want a war, but if the whites were determined to fight them on the Santa Fé road or above, they would join hands with the Texans, and go south. I agreed to meet them in four weeks. I came out to Council Grove, and from there to Fort Riley, and saw Colonel Ford, who commands the district. He at once agreed with me that it was right to make peace with them and stop the war. He sent my letter that I addressed to him to General Dodge, at St. Louis, who commanded the department, and telegraphed to him. General Dodge telegraphed back to Colonel Ford that the military have no authority to make peace with Indians; their duty is to make them keep peace by punishing them for hostility; and to keep posted as to their location, so that when they were ready they could strike them. Having been down there as a white man, and almost the only white man that had spoken to these Indians for nearly eight or ten months, I felt that I was doing wrong to the red man to get him to stop his
war and then let the whites jump upon him, as Colonel Chivington had upon the Cheyennes, and I immediately started for Washington, in hopes that the military might be stopped and that the Indians might be protected. They do not want a war; they do not want to fight the whites; they want to be let alone.
Question. Have you a copy of the order of General Dodge?
Answer. I have. I have not a copy of my letter to Colonel Ford. I gave it to Colonel Ford for some purpose. I do not remember for what he wanted it.
Question. Will you please read General Dodge's telegraph?
Answer. It is--
"FEBRUARY 23, 1865
"[By telegraph from St. Louis.]
"To Colonel Ford, Fort Riley:
"The military have no authority to treat with Indians. Our duty is to make them keep the peace by punishing them for their hostility. Keep posted as to their location, so that as soon as ready we can strike them. 400 horses arrived here for you.
"G. M. DODGE, Major General."
I will say that, with all the information I can get, I have not learned that the Comanches have raised a hand hostile to the whites the past season. I know from report that Mawwee and Little Buffalo, the two leading chiefs of two bands, were at Fort Larned at the time the outbreak occurred between the Kioways and the post, and they immediately took their bands and went south, and I have no evidence that any Comanche has been north of the Arkansas this summer; I do not believe any of them have been. In conversation with General Curtis when I first got there, he told me that he did not think the Comanches had committed any depredations, and I do not think they have. I cannot learn that they have committed a single depredation. I think that all the depredations have been committed by Kioways and Cheyennes, with the Sioux from the north, and probably some Arapahoes, but I do not believe that any of the bands as a tribe have been united in a general war.
Question. Suppose that yourself and Major Colley were authorized to go out and meet these Indians and to make some presents to show the amicable feelings of the United States, rather than hostile feelings on the part of the government, do you believe you could reach them in a way to negotiate or to come to peace with them without any further hostilities?
Answer. In 1862 I was in command of the Santa Fé road from the Great Bend of the Arkansas to the Rattoon mountains, a distance of nearly 760 miles. I was sent there by General Blunt, with all the force at my command, to protect the frontier. I had 102 infantry and one section of artillery, and these were recruits. There were 18 men, all told, at Fort Lyon at the time I arrived there. Major Colley was then the Indian agent. I arrived there about the last of June. I had occasion to go south to Santa Fé to co-operate with General Canby, and I got back to Fort Lyon on the 31st of July. On the 1st day of August Major Colley received an express from Fort Larned saying that the Kioways, Comanches, Apaches, Arapahoes, and Cheyennes were in full force at Fort Larned, and that they had corralled a government train of goods, and asking for re-enforcements. I had no men that I could send. I started with Major Colley and his interpreter, and I went to Fort Larned and found that there was not one dozen of those Indians with whom I was acquainted; they were strangers to me. With the assistance of Major Colley and John Smith, the interpreter, in three days time I had every one of those Indians off to their hunting-grounds, and the train was started under an escort of twenty men and went through to Fort Lyon, with the Indians camping almost every night around it, in perfect safety; and for two years those Indians never committed a depredation that I know of, and neither the government nor any individual lost a dollar by them. I left there in October, and the outbreak occurred in May following. I have not seen these Indians since I left there, until the 15th of February. I know them well. When I met them they agreed at once to quit hostilities. They said they did not want to fight; that I might make the road and they would travel it. I feel now that I can say with safety that I can go to them with Major Colley, and in thirty days the war will be ended, and it will save millions of money. I say it also because Major Whalley, of the regular army, wrote, last spring, to the department that if Colonel Chivington was not stopped in his course the government would be involved in a war that would cost millions of money. It has occurred. I told the department, last spring, that if Lieutenant Ayres was not stopped in hunting the Cheyennes from camp to camp they would get into a war. It has come. I know all the chiefs and a great many of the braves; I know them to be kind-hearted. I know there are bad men among them, but I know the Cheyennes so well that I am satisfied they can rule those bad men, and there is no necessity for this war. If the soldiers
are stopped from hunting the Indians, I will guarantee peace in thirty days, and I will not ask $50,000 to do it with. They want to know that their Great Father will protect them. They want some man that they have confidence in to say that they shall be righted. They never came to me with a complaint that I did not right them if possible.
Question. As our white men are going and gathering into that country, and travelling all around about it, is not the game becoming scarcer?
Answer. It is.
Question. As the game diminishes, what do you suggest is to be done with the wild hunting Indians?
Answer. There is the finest country in the world for agricultural purposes south of the Arkansas, on the Red river, near Fort Cobb and the Wichita mountains, on the north fork of the Red river, where they can live and raise almost anything they want. It is now literally alive with cattle. They can go there now, and if the whites are kept away from them, with the abundance of cattle they can live without coming in contact with the whites. All along under the Staked Plain, in the northern part of Texas and eastern New Mexico, there is fine water and fine grazing.
Question. What is your opinion, based on your practical knowledge and experience of this matter? What would you advise the government to do?
Answer. I would advise them to let some individual in whom these Indians have confidence go there and tell them that they shall be protected; take them down south, where I have got Kioways, Comanches, and two bands of Arapahoes now, and let them remain there. I think the Cheyennes can be induced to go down there; but they will never go on to their reservation again.
Question. Do you think the Kioways and Comanches who live down there would be willing to let the Arapahoes and Cheyennes go among them?
Answer. Yes, sir; they would have no objection. The head chief of the Arapahoes is a half-Comanche; he speaks the Comanche language just the same as he does the Arapaho.
Question. From your knowledge of all these tribes of Indians, do you think they could be induced to abandon the hunter's life and live by pasturage or by cultivation of the soil?
Answer. They cannot at present. They may live by grazing, and gradually come into it; but at present it would be out of the question.
Question. They would be like the Arabs in that respect?
Answer. Yes; they would have to come to it gradually, and they may come to raising cattle, and as the buffalo disappeared begin upon the beef. I think they would make excellent graziers.
Question. Do you mean that they should be put in that part of Kansas, as well as the Indian Territory and Texas, that lies south of the Arkansas?
Answer. I would not bring them anywhere near Kansas if I could help it. There is a little band of refugee Indians called the Caddoes, who, when the rebellion broke out, were driven from Fort Cobb up north and came in almost to Fort Lyon. They came in destitute, freezing, and almost perishing. They brought a few cattle with them, a few hens, a few pigs, and a few calves. Major Colley received them. They were loyal; they were half-civilized; they lived in houses; and a better set of men I never met in my life, well disposed, kind-hearted. They are like the Pueblos of Mexico. They were more than half-civilized. Their women dressed in long dresses, the same as our American women do; they made good bread; everything was neat and clean about them. They lived at Fort Larned. The government gave them $5,000 annuity two years ago. Last year the government authorized me to issue to them some goods to the amount of $5,000. I found them at the mouth of the Arkansas river. Last year they lost over 100 by small-pox. There were only 425 of them when they first came up. Parkman, their head chief, is one of the most intelligent men I ever met; he is correct in every particular. He told me that he could not live on the borders there; that the whites were stealing his horses all the time, and he moved across the Arkansas, on to what is called the Minisquta, and they followed him over there and stole quite a number of his horses there. He then moved on to the Chickasaqua. Since this Chivington massacre he has become alarmed, and he is now living with his little band away down between the Salt Plains and the Brushy mountains, as near Texas as he can go. Parkman, if he dared to return to the rebel States to-morrow, would be killed; he dare not return there, and he dare not come back here, the whites abuse him so and steal his horses. He has nothing left but a few ponies, and his men are suffering; they are dying almost every day from small-pox. John Leonard, the doctor and priest, died since I left, and his wife too. This is an illustration of the way they are treated.
WASHINGTON, Wednesday, March 8, 1865.
John S. Smith sworn and examined.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. What is your age?
Answer. I was born in December, 1810.
Question. How long have you lived in the country west of Kansas, in Colorado?
Answer. I went to that country first in 1830.
Question. Do you know the language of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes?
Answer. I do that of the Cheyennes.
Question. Have you acted as interpreter for the Indian agent to the Cheyennes?
Answer. I have.
Question. Were you in the Indian camp of the Cheyennes when Colonel Chivington made his attack upon it?
Answer. I was.
Question. State when it was.
Answer. I left Fort Lyon for the Cheyenne village on the 26th of November; on the 27th I reached the village; on the 28th I remained there; and on the 29th the attack was made.
Question. How many Indians were there in camp?
Answer. I think about 500, men, women, and children.
Question. What number of warriors or men?
Answer. About 200. They will average two warriors to a lodge, and there were 100 lodges.
Question. What portion of the Cheyenne tribe was that?
Answer. The southern band, led by the main chief of the nation, Black Kettle.
Question. Where was the northern band at this time?
Answer. They were supposed to be over on the North Platte, between the North Platte and the Smoky Hill.
Question. What time in the day or night was the attack made?
Answer. Between daybreak and sunrise.
Question. State now the circumstances of the attack; just describe them in brief words.
Answer. As soon as the troops were discovered, very early in the morning, about daybreak, the Indians commenced flocking to the head chief's lodge, about the camp where I was--the camp over on Sand creek; it is called Big Sandy, about forty miles northeast of Fort Lyon. When the attack was made the Indians flocked around the camp of the head chief and he ran out his flag. He had a large American flag which was presented to him, I think, by Colonel Greenwood some years ago, and under this American flag he had likewise a small white flag.
Question. Was it light, so that the flags could be plainly seen?
Answer. Yes; they could be plainly seen.
Question. How long was this before any firing was heard?
Answer. A very few minutes; they were but a short time coming into camp after they were first discovered. They came on a charge. When I first saw them they were about three-quarters of a mile from the camp, and then the flag was run up by Black Kettle.
Question. Go on and state what occurred.
Answer. The firing commenced on the northeast side of Sand creek; that was near Black Kettle's lodge. The men, women, and children rushed to the upper end of the village, and ran to the lodge of another chief at the other end, War Bonnet.
Question. Were the Indians then armed?
Answer. Some of them were; some of them left their arms in their lodges; some few picked up their bows and arrows and lances as they left their lodges; the younger men did.
Question. Did they form in any battle array or with a view to oppose the charge?
Answer. No, sir; they just flocked in a promiscuous herd, men, women, and children together. The bed of Sand creek ran right up; there was little or no water in it at this place. Then they came to some breaks in the banks about where the troops overtook them, and the slaughter commenced; I suppose about three hundred yards above the main village. White Antelope was the first Indian killed, within a hundred yards of where I was in camp at the time. They fought them from very early in the morning. as I have stated, until about eleven o'clock that day before they all got back together in camp. The troops then returned to the Indian village, followed the Indians up the creek two or three miles firing on them, then returned back to the Indian camp and destroyed everything there was there--the entire village of one hundred lodges. I had a son there, a half-breed; he gave himself up. In this stampede of the Indians he started to go with them,
but when he found there was a fair show for him he turned around and came back to our camp where the troops were. I made several efforts to get to the troops, but was fired on myself by our own troops. My son stayed in the camp of our soldiers one day and a night, and then was shot down by the soldiers. My life was threatened, and they had to put a guard around me to save my life.
Question. After you surrendered to the troops?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. How many were killed?
Answer. I think about seventy or eighty, including men, women, and children, were killed; twenty-five or thirty of them were warriors probably, and the rest women, children, boys, and old men.
Question. Were any Indian barbarities practiced?
Answer. The worst I have ever seen.
Question. What were they in fact?
Answer. All manner of depredations were inflicted on their persons; they were scalped, their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the head with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word.
Question. Do you know which troops those were that actually did this work; whether they were the hundred-day men who came from Denver, or the regular first Colorado regiment?
Answer. I am not able to say; they were all in a body together, between eight hundred and one thousand men I took them to be. It would be hard for me to tell who did these things; I saw some of the first Colorado regiment committing some very bad acts there on the persons of Indians, and I likewise saw some of the one-hundred-day men in the same kind of business.
Question. You say the troops pursued the Indians until about eleven o'clock, the Indians fleeing all the while?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. When they came back to the Indian village were there any of the Indians there, men, women, or children, left?
Answer. No, sir; they were all gone except a few children who came into our camp an hour after we had all returned to this Indian camp. There were a couple of women there, white men's women, Indian women who had married white men, and they were not hurt.
I think there were seven in number saved from the entire village, women and children, and they were taken to Fort Lyon.
Question. When those Indians were there in camp do you know in what relation they were to our forces at Fort Lyon?
Answer. Yes, sir; some of them had just returned from an interview with Governor Evans and Colonel Chivington at Denver city. We had seven of the chiefs up there with us at Denver city; I went as interpreter with them. They returned and were sent out for their families to move in near Fort Lyon, where they could be protected and taken care of; they were told that if the troops from Denver city or the Platte should meet them over in that direction they would probably hurt them, and it was supposed they would be better off in the vicinity of Fort Lyon, where they could be watched, than out further north, and they went there with all the assurances in the world of peace promised by the commanding officer, Major Wynkoop.
Question. Did he, in the mean time, issue some rations to them?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. Did they, so far as you know, remain there?
Answer. They did.
Question. And you, as interpreter of the United States, were in camp with them?
Answer. I was in camp with them at the time.
Question. Had this band, so far as you know, committed any depredations on our people after this interview at Denver?
Answer. None that I heard of; I heard of none until after this raid of Colonel Chivington.
Question. From your knowledge of these Indians, and all about them, and of that place which is set apart as their reservation, do you think they can be brought to settle down upon that Cheyenne reservation?
Answer. Yes, sir; with diligent workers there with them it could be done in some time; probably it would take all summer to do it.
Question. Do you think those Indians could be induced to leave off their wild hunting life and go into agricultural pursuits or the raising of cattle?
Answer. Not all of them; there are a few that are best acquainted with the whites who would be willing to do it; they have told us so; I think that in time, with encouragement,
they could be brought to it. I have been twenty-seven successive years with the Cheyennes myself.
Question. During those twenty-seven years how have they been as a tribe generally towards our citizens?
Answer. They have been very peaceable until quite recently. In 1857 they had some trouble over on the Platte, but I never understood the particulars of it; that was when Colonel Sumner went out and had a little fight with them, but they came to immediately, and from that time until about twelve months ago, when they had a falling out with white settlers in the vicinity of Denver and below Denver on the Platte, they were peaceable; but this thing has been growing ever since that time, until Chivington made this raid.
They have been followed up from the Platte to the Smoky Hill, and from the Smoky Hill to the Arkansas, and south of the Arkansas river; they went clear over south of Salt Springs, where Colonel Leavenworth is acquainted. Governor Evans then issued some circulars that were taken to them there, and explained to them that if they wanted to return in peace they could do so; that those who were friendly disposed could return to their reservation. As soon as they learned this, the body of them returned. This band that I speak of, that purchased some white prisoners from the Sioux and some of the northern band of Cheyennes, sent us word at Fort Lyon that if we would go out to them they would turn them over to us. I went with Major Wynkoop there as his interpreter, and they turned over four of them, whom they had got from the Sioux and from the northern band of Cheyennes.
Question. Even now what is your opinion? Do you think, for instance, that if persons like Major Colley, yourself, or Colonel Leavenworth were to go to these Indians now, peaceable relations could be established between them and the United States, notwithstanding all that has occurred?
Answer. I say yes; I think so from the fact that they never wanted to fight the whites. They have lost certainly a great deal of the confidence that they used to have in the white man, but with proper exertions I think they might be brought back, with correct assurances.
Question. Did they have many ponies and horses?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. How many were taken away from them?
Answer. About six hundred head.
Question. And all their lodges?
Answer. Everything they had.
Question. These lodges of theirs are made of skins?
Answer. Of buffalo hides; a lodge is made after the pattern of a Sibley tent; when they move from one place to another they take their tents or lodges with them.
Question. Would you feel yourself any personal apprehensions if you were sent to go among them and converse with them?
Answer. I would not like to go without some Indian protectors; I could get some of our other friendly Indians and would readily go with them, sending them on probably as runners ahead of me, so as to let them know my business, and then I would not feel at all apprehensive of losing my life.
Question. But you think the result has been such that now they would kill any white man they should see.
Answer. Yes, sir; anybody.
Question. What is the number of the Cheyennes?
Answer. There are about four hundred and eighty or five hundred lodges, and they will average five souls to a lodge; there are about two thousand five hundred Cheyennes altogether; this includes the northern band.
Question. Is the northern band the same that are commonly called the Dog soldiers?
Answer. No, sir; the Dog soldiers are mixed up promiscuously; this is a band that has preferred the North Platte and north of the North Platte, and lives over in what is called the bad land, mauvais terre.
Question. How long have you been with these Indians?
Answer. Since I went there I have resided with these Indians off and on every year; I have generally been employed as United States interpreter; prior to that I was a trader in that country for St. Vrain & Co., and in that way I first learned the Cheyenne language.
John Evans sworn and examined.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. Are you governor of the Territory of Colorado?
Answer. I am.
Question. How long have you been in that Territory?
Answer. Since the spring of 1862. I went there in May of that year.
Question. What is the state of the Indian tribes generally in your Territory at this time?
Answer. There are three tribes or bands of Utes which are in the mountains west of us, the Tabahuaches, the Uintas, and the Yampah or Bear River Indians. These Indians have not committed any depredations since the summer of 1863. They committed depredations upon the overland stage line between Denver and Salt lake at that time. In fact, they attacked a party of soldiers who went after them to procure some stock stolen from the stage stations, and killed two or three of the soldiers. I think the Indians did not get worsted any; perhaps one or two were wounded, but they made their escape with the stock, a portion of which, however, has since been returned by them.
Question. What is the condition of the Tabahuache bands?
Answer. They were together at this time.
Question. Are they now in peaceable relations with us?
Answer. Yes, they all have been since that time. Just before that treaty, Major Wynkoop went after them, at the time they made this raid upon the stage line, with quite a large expedition, and followed them down the San Luis valley. He followed their trail, but did not overtake them; ran out of subsistence, and returned. In the mean time I informed Agent Head, the agent of the Tabahuaches, of the difficulty. He had just returned from Washington with a party of chiefs of that band, who had been on a visit here, and he was instructed to get information to these Indians as rapidly as possible, and try to satisfy them until an explanation could be made in regard to this pursuit. They came down there very much alarmed, and at the same time intent upon going to war, and went to the Capotes and Muhuaches, who were near neighbors just over the line in New Mexico, asking them to join and go to war. Agent Head sent immediately to them the chiefs who had been here, and one of those chiefs, Ura, who is a very intelligent and very sharp and shrewd Indian, who speaks the English language fluently, went among them and explained to them the folly of going to war. He and his associates had seen the army of the Potomac, and one of his strong points with the Indians was, that the whites had soldiers enough to surround all their country and close them in and wipe them out. Through the representations of these chiefs difficulty was prevented, and they were induced to meet in council for the purpose of making the treaty of Conejos. That was the treaty with the Tabahuache band. That treaty was amended by the Senate, and last fall I met the band again in council to ratify the Senate amendments, and succeeded after a great deal of earnest effort to get their assent to the diminution of their hunting-grounds, all of which is matter of record. The Uintas, immediately subsequent to this expedition, were seen by Major Whitely and his interpreter, and they made an appointment with them last fall to have some presents for them this summer. They agreed to be peaceable and friendly and meet him in the spring. The waters, however, were so high and the snows were so deep that they could not meet him at the time appointed; they could not get there, nor could he, in the Middle Park, to the place appointed; but afterwards the major went over and found them and induced them to meet at the council ground of Conejos with the other tribes, to receive presents, in conjunction with the Tabahuache band, which they did, and went away very abundantly satisfied. We gave them a very nice distribution of goods. I gave them a lecture on obedience to their chiefs and on the necessity of going immediately to the agent as soon as any difficulty occurred, to report it to him and have it adjusted, instead of committing depredations or exciting any spirit of hostility amongst their men, which they were all satisfied with.
Question. So far as they are concerned, do you think they are on friendly terms now?
Answer. They are; and I understand that since my absence they have been down and offered their services to the commander of the department, if he should need them, as soldiers in the war against the Cheyennes.
Question. Are the Tabahuaches hostile to the Cheyennes and Arapahoes?
Answer. The Indians in the mountains all through New Mexico and Colorado have been at war with the Indians on the plains, as classes, from time immemorial; whenever they meet they fight.
Question. Is that so when they go to hunt on common hunting-grounds?
Answer. They get up their war parties. When I first went there I thought it would be a very humane and good idea to get those Indians to quit fighting one another, and I gave them a great many lectures on the impropriety of these war parties, but I found, after I had done it, that it gave a great deal of offence to them. One of them said he had been brought up to war, and to quit fighting was a thing he could not think of, and he thought it was an unworthy interference on my part. They were for non-intervention. I found that my plan was not working well, and I concluded to let them alone.
Question. Now, to come down more particularly to the difficulties with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, will you state, in as brief terms as you can, your view of the matter and all you know about it; how the difficulty arose; how it has been managed, and the part the force of Chivington took in it?
Answer. When I went there, the first band of Indians that I met was a band of Arapahoes, under the command of Little Owl. They came in and gave me a visit; we had a friendly smoke, and they went off with this dissatisfaction; They said that the white people had taken their gold--this was Little Owl's speech; I do not know but that I have a copy of it. He said the white people had taken their gold and their lands; that they wanted their own lands, they did not care about the gold particularly. I told them that they had made a treaty at Fort Wise. He claimed that he was not there, and a good many of his party said they were not there, but some of them had been there. I told them that that treaty provided for their joining in the benefits that were conferred by the government. He said they would not settle on the Arkansas. There is mention in the treaty of one of the bands not being present. He and his band were perhaps as friendly then, and are now, as any other of the Indians of the plains. Friday, who was the chief talker of his band, had been brought up by Major Fitzpatrick, one of the old Indian agents there, and lived in St. Louis for some time, and he speaks English very well. He has, during all the difficulties, with a portion of his band, remained friendly. He came in and remained at Camp Collins under our protection, and has been subsisted by the government to a large extent, because it was unsafe for him to go out and hunt. Another portion of that band was among those young men who wanted to fight. In 1863, the spring next after my arrival, and after this interview, the head man after Little Owl's death--he died the winter after I arrived there--came in and told me there was a party of Sioux who had been down with them and had held a council, in which the question of driving the whites out of the country was the topic of discussion. The Sioux are at the Fort Laramie agency, which is not in Colorado Territory, but the Indians are in the habit of passing to and fro. These Indians are entirely nomadic; they have no definite home; they range generally in certain parts of the Territory, but they interchange in their hunts extensively. He told me that the Sioux had been down with them and they had held a council on Horse creek, as he reported, in which the question of driving the whites out of the country and preventing them from settling was the chief discussion. His claim was that he and a good portion of his band were opposed to anything of the kind, but some of them were very much in favor of going to war. Soon after that, Major Lorey, the agent of the Sioux Indians, came to Denver and saw me in regard to the same thing. He said there was dissatisfaction among the Indians; that he was satisfied that it was important to get them together and hold a council, or they would go to war. They were committing occasional depredations at that time which were reported, and which, in my report for 1863 to the Indian Bureau, are mentioned. I saw the impending danger from the talk I had had with the Arapahoes; I was satisfied that a portion of them did not feel well, and a portion of the Cheyennes had been in to see me once, some of the Dog soldiers on a war party, and they had gone after the Utes. I advised them not to go. That was at the time I was trying to make friends among them. They promised me that they would not, and started off as though they were going back to their own hunting-grounds, took a circuitous route, and in a day or two the settlers on the road to the South Park, in the southern mines, as they are called, came in and reported that this war party were committing depredations; they had outraged a woman at one of the ranches, and were in the habit generally of going to a ranch and taking what they wanted without injuring anybody, but they treated one hotel-keeper's wife very improperly. The man happened to be away, and they went into her bed-room and proposed to make her get up out of a sick-bed and get them something to eat, which was their custom. The settlers sent in for defence; they were alarmed and anticipated an attack. A squad of some half a dozen soldiers went after the Indians; Captain Wagner commanded the soldiers, but the Indians fled more rapidly than he pursued; he did not see them. He went up to get them to come out of the settlement and go back to their hunting-grounds again, but he saw no Indians, and while he came out at Colorado City, seventy-five miles south of Denver, the Indians went out on their way to the plains again. That was in July, 1862.
Question. Did any troubles occur in 1863?
Answer. This should have been told prior to what I have stated in regard to Little Owl's reporting to me the proposition to go to war. I will return now to that. In 1863, upon Major Lorey's representation, I wrote a letter, a very urgent letter, to the department here for active measures to try to prevent these Indians from becoming hostile and going to war, showing them the danger, that the Sioux Indians were in connexion with the hostile Sioux of Minnesota. A party from Minnesota had been with these Indians at the council on Horse creek. I sent Agent Lorey a despatch and got him to come in person to the Secretary of the Interior. He did so, and laid the matter before the department, with my letter, and they appointed a commission, consisting of Agent Colley, Agent Lorey, and myself, to get the Arapahoes and Cheyennes in council, and especially the northern bands, for the purpose of making an adjustment. I got his return and got the commission, I think in July, 1863. I sent for Major Colley, and we arranged for a council on the head
of the Republican in the fall of 1863, on the 1st day of September, or thereabouts. I employed Elbridge Gerry, who has been about twenty-five years among them and has a Cheyenne wife, (and, by the way, he is a grandson of Elbridge Gerry who signed the Declaration of Independence, and a scholar and a man of very good mind,) and Antoine Jaunice, to go to the Indians on the head of the Republican and on the Platte, and up and above Major Lorey's agency, to find all the Arapahoes and Cheyennes they could. They started and notified them of the council and induced them to agree to come. They spent the time up to the 1st of September in these efforts. They met various bands and got promises from them to be at the council. Major Colley and Mr. Smith, together, undertook to notify the Indians of the Arkansas, the Arapahoes and Cheyennes, of this council, and induce them to come. They went in person and visited their principal bands and urged the importance and necessity of coming. At the time of the council, however, they declined to come, on account of their horses being poor, they being at work making their lodges, and the journey being such a long one. It was supposed to be about a medium ground between the different bands, so that we could get them all together. That was advised by Gerry and others, as will be seen in his report of this expedition. Mr. Gerry met the Cheyennes more particularly, where nearly all their chiefs were together, at the head of the Smoky Hill, on Beaver creek, and they promised to meet him at the time. He came out to the Platte river and escorted us to the Upper Timber, on the Rickaree fork of the Platte river, where we went; and after he had escorted us so that he could give us directions to find the place within two days' travel, he left us, in order to conduct the Indians to the same place. We waited two weeks for the Indians and Mr. Gerry's return, and we got quite uneasy about his safety. He came in finally with a report, which is published in my annual report for 1863, showing the reasons why they declined to come. I think all or nearly all the chiefs that signed the treaty of Fort Wise were in the party at the time. Mr. Gerry says that one of them, Bull Bear by name, agreed to come in on his promising to give him a horse if he would do so, but they held a council and decided that he should not do it; that they did not want anything more to do with the whites; that they did not want any presents, but they wanted their lands, and would have their lands. Mr. Gerry argued very sensibly, as will be seen by referring to his statement, which I hope the committee will read. After his report we had nothing to do. The chief of one of the northern bands, Spotted Horse, came in. Major Lorey saw Friday, and he promised to come, but did not get there. I saw several small parties of Cheyennes myself, who told me that they had decided not to hold a council. One was Yellow Wolf's band that I met on the Platte as I was on this expedition. They said, however, they meant to be friendly; they did not mean to fight, but they meant to have their lands. They took the ground that they had never sold their lands. Mr. Gerry argued with them that they had better recognize that, but the chiefs who signed that treaty told Gerry that they were obliged to repudiate the signing of that treaty of Fort Wise, or the Dog soldiers would kill them.
I returned home and was under the necessity of going as far in the opposite direction to meet the Tabahuache band of Utah Indians, which I had made arrangements to meet on the 1st of October. After I got back from Conejos, which took me until the latter part of October, I think the 16th or 20th of October, a party of Indians near Denver made a raid, and they stole Mr. Van Wirmer's horses. I sent out for them to come in and see me, counselled them against difficulty, and told them they must give up the horses they had stolen and try to remain peaceful. I sent to the department statements of these matters, which were published in the report for 1863. These were Arapahoes, I think, altogether; I do not think there were any Cheyennes among them. I sent for the Indians to come in, and they gave up the horses that had been stolen, or made recompense for them to Mr. Van Wirmer. I found a white man, Mr. North, among them, who had been living with them for years and had a squaw wife, who sent me word that he could give me some advice that would be very important. I sent for him to come in, and his statement as made to me I communicated to the Interior Department and to the War Department at the time, and it will be found in my report for this year. His statement that a council of war had been held, and a confederation of the Indians had agreed to go to war in the spring, was laid before the War Department, and a request made that our military posts be strengthened instead of withdrawing troops, as the War Department was then withdrawing them on account of the danger. In the spring these Indians stole 175 head of cattle from Irvin & Jackman, government contractors, about thirty-five or forty miles from Denver, where they were herding them.
Question. What Indians took those cattle?
Answer. They were Cheyennes, I suppose. That is, the Indians who came in to make peace with Major Wynkoop gave me the statement of the particular bands that had committed the depredations, a memorandum of which I have. I do not recollect the facts well enough to state which Indians they were, but I can furnish them in detail as reported by the Indians themselves in this council. I got Major Whitely to take a record of the
sayings of the council when they were at Denver, when Colonel Chivington and Colonel Shoop and other officers were present. That is the same council referred to by Captain Smith. Very nearly at the same time they committed the depredations on the Platte, and there were several depredations of this kind committed on the Arkansas and at different points, in pursuance of the arrangement that they had made with one another. The plan was laid down in Mr. North's statement. Wherever there were depredations the people were alarmed and ran in for military protection, and the soldiers went off while there were any to send. But early in the spring not only were our posts not re-enforced, but General Curtis ordered our troops all to Kansas, to rendezvous in the southeast corner of the Territory, on the Arkansas, with the understanding that they were to go to Kansas, as the general said, to fight rebels. I not only made application for re-enforcements, but protested against this, as I knew that the Indians, seeing the troops going away, would become more troublesome and we should have more difficulty in keeping them quiet. Major Colley labored very earnestly to try to pacify and keep them quiet; but these circumstances emboldened them. You will find a portion of my correspondence on the subject in my annual report for this year. I was unable to collect the facts as to all the depredations that were committed at various points. They were not all reported to my office, and I made application at the office of the commander for the information so as to embody it in my report--I mean the depredations that we had heard of as occurring at various points during the spring and summer--and the commander said he was not allowed to furnish the evidence. I suppose the reports will be found on the files of the War Department.
Question. At the time of the interview at Denver, when these chiefs were up there in behalf of the Cheyennes, were assurances given by you and Colonel Chivington that if they returned and went into camp in the neighborhood of Fort Lyon and did not commit depredations, they would have no difficulty?
Answer. After a long talk, by which I endeavored to get all the information that was practicable in regard to who had been doing mischief and what mischief they had been doing, I asked them what assurance they would give that they were going to be friendly. I said that it was no part of our intention to continue a war; that their disposition to be friendly was manifested by their coming up, but I wanted to know what they were willing to do to assure us of their continued friendship; whether they would be willing to join us in fighting the Sioux, a large party of whom, from the north of the Platte, they told us, were then threatening the Platte river, and were on the head of the Republican. I have here the minutes of that council at Denver, as taken down by Major Whitely.
Question. For a more specific statement you may refer to the minutes; but you can give us now the substance of the thing, and subsequently furnish the minutes if you wish.
Answer. After a talk the Indians said they desired to make peace, and they asked if I could give them any assurance that their band, which was on the head of the Republican, would be safe. I told them that I could not; that the soldiers might come across them there and attack them; I could not say anything about that; that their best course would be to get out of the way--to bring them in. In general terms they were advised that they had been at war; that they had been committing a great many depredations by their own confession; that I was not the peace-making power; that the War Department claimed the right to say when the troops should make war and when they should make peace, and that I turned them over to the War Department for this purpose. They professed to be willing not only to make peace, but to join with the whites in fighting the Sioux, the Kioways, and the Comanches, all of whom had been with them in their war parties.
Question. Was it not said by Colonel Chivington and yourself that if they would withdraw out of the way and go into the neighborhood of Fort Lyon they would be safe?
Answer. No, sir.
Question. What was the substance of what you told them on that subject?
Answer. The substance of my assurance was that they should show their peaceable intentions, and that I had little doubt they would be able to make and retain friendly relations with the military department.
Question. Was it not suggested to them to go to the neighborhood of Fort Lyon with their camp?
Answer. Colonel Chivington was there; he was commanding the district. Fort Lyon was not in his district. I asked him if he had anything to say, and he simply remarked to them that his way of making peace was for them to lay down their arms; that the soldiers were still out on the war-path. That, I think, was about the substance of his expression. That is also found in Major Whitely's report. Colonel Chivington simply remarked that they were out of his command; that Major Wynkoop would take them back and that he was competent to take care of them, or something to that effect.
Question. Was Major Wynkoop there with them?
Answer. He was there at the council. Immediately after that council I suggested to Major Wynkoop, through Colonel Shoop--I did not see him myself--that my judgment was, that for the time being it was better to treat them as prisoners of war, surrendered prisoners. I had no business to advise him about it; it was simply an extra-official suggestion that I made. I understood, however, that Major Wynkoop did treat them in that way.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Did these men come in by your request?
Answer. No. The council was held by my request, as I before stated. These were brought in by Major Wynkoop, who went out to their camp to rescue some white prisoners from them, and when he got there he suggested to them to make peace and come in, and they came with him to see me.
By Mr. DOOLITTLE:
Question. Looking at the whole transaction as it was, did you not understand that when there Indians came and proposed to surrender the white prisoners, it was an overture on their part to do something to try and make peace with us?
Answer. I did.
Question. Did you not understand from what occurred at the council when Major Wynkoop was there, and on their going back, that, as they had surrendered these white prisoners, if they went back and remained where they were located, they were to have peace?
Answer. I supposed that they were.
Question. Major Wynkoop so understood, as far as you know?
Answer. Yes, sir; I supposed they were to have peace. What occurred after they went away from Denver I have nothing but flying rumors about. The next day after that council I started for the Conejos treaty-ground, 250 miles off.
By Mr. ROSS:
Question. Can you give us any explanation of the orders under which the massacre occurred?
Answer. In regard to the massacre I gave no orders. I came away from the Territory before it occurred, and had no knowledge of any intention to make such an attack. I knew the soldiers were to go after the hostile Indians, but that they were actually going I had no knowledge whatever.
Question. Did you, as governor, make any order about following them up?
Answer. I made no orders except what will be found in my annual reports. There is a proclamation there to which some have taken exception. I will simply say in regard to it that it was at a time when our troops were all taken away or under orders to go away. The last company was on the march down to the Arkansas when several murders of families and burnings of houses occurred close to the capital. The people were terribly excited and making a great cry that I did not do anything for them. It was impossible to secure the militia. It was out of the question, on account of the state of the militia law, to get the militia out. We had no means of equipping such as would volunteer to go. In that state of the law, as the only means I could think of to justify the people in defending themselves was to issue a proclamation authorizing them to do, so I issued the proclamation, and it is part of my report. I may say further in regard to it that, in reference to pursuing, capturing, and destroying the enemy, I quoted the language of the Secretary of War in his complimentary order to General Rosecrans. The same language which he used in regard to the rebels I used in regard to the Indians. There was nothing said about massacring. The troops were strictly prohibited from interfering with friendly Indians, as will be seen by the document. That proclamation was issued before we commenced raising the third regiment, which I subsequently got authority from the Secretary of War to do. I had made application a month before for authority to raise them, but did not get it until this time. At the time I issued this proclamation I renewed my application to him for the means of defending ourselves, and he granted the privilege of raising a regiment, which was done very promptly by our people, for there was a great state of alarm and excitement at the time.
Question. Had you anything to do with directing the troops when this attack was made?
Answer. Nothing. I had no more command of those troops than I had of the army of the Potomac. I did not advise it in any way. Whenever anybody has said anything to me about troops, I have said that what they were raised for was to fight the Indians. I never had any knowledge that that particular attack was contemplated or that it occurred until I was in the States, after having left the Territory.
By Mr. WINDOM:
Question. Do you know of any palliation or excuse for that massacre except what you have stated before in general terms?
Answer. There are two stories in regard to it. I do not know what the testimony brought before you is in reference to it, but I see by my Denver papers and some others which I have received that they justify the attack on the ground that those Indians had left the fort and gone off with hostile intentions. I have seen one letter of that kind in
the Denver papers.______________
Question. But you do not know any facts yourself?
Answer. I know no facts either justifying or condemning it except what I have heard here to-day--some of the statements made by Captain Smith. It would be a matter of interest, I have no doubt, to the committee if we were to collect a statement of the progress of the war so as to give the depredations committed, and show the inauguration of it. I have no doubt, as is stated in my annual report, that emissaries from the hostile tribes who were driven out of Minnesota have got us into these difficulties. The restlessness that is among our Indians would probably have amounted to nothing if it had not been for those Sioux coming down there and telling them--this is their common expression--"Now, whilst the whites are fighting among themselves, we can join together and drive them out of this country." I think that is a very general opinion among the Indians.
FORT LYON, C. T., January 15, 1865.
Personally appeared before me John Smith, Indian interpreter; who, after being duly sworn, says: That on the fourth day of September, 1864, he was appointed Indian interpreter for the post of Fort Lyon, and has continued to serve in that capacity up to the present date; that on the fourth day of September, 1864, by order of Major E. W. Wynkoop, commanding post of Fort Lyon, he was called upon to hold a conversation with three Cheyenne Indians, viz., One Eye and two others, who had been brought into the post that day; that the result of the interview was as follows: One Eye, Cheyenne, stated that the principal chiefs and sub-chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations had held a consultation and agreed to send in himself, One Eye, with a paper written by George Bent, half-breed, to the effect that they, the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, had and did agree to turn over to Major E. W. Wynkoop, or any military authority, all the white prisoners they had in their possession, as they were all anxious to make peace with the whites, and never desired to be at war.
Major E. W. Wynkoop then asked One Eye, he having lived among whites and known to have always been friendly disposed toward them, whether he thought the Indians were sincere, and whether they would deliver the white persons into his (Major Wynkoop's) hands. His reply was, that at the risk of his life he would guarantee their sincerity.
Major Wynkoop then told him that he would detain him as a prisoner for the time, and if he concluded to proceed to the Indian camp, he would take him out with him and hold him as a hostage for their (the Indians') good faith.
One Eye also stated that the Comanche and Arapaho nations were congregated to the number of two thousand on the headwaters of the Smoky Hill, including some forty lodges of Sioux; that they had rendezvoused there and brought in their war parties for the purpose of hearing what would be the result of their message, by which they had sued for peace, and would remain until they heard something definite.
Major Wynkoop told One Eye that he would proceed to the Indian camps and take him with him. One Eye replied that he was perfectly willing to be detained a prisoner, as well as to remain a hostage for the good faith of the Indians, but desired the major to start as soon as possible for fear the Indians might separate. On the sixth day of September I was ordered to proceed with Major Wynkoop and his command in the direction of the Indian encampment. After a four days' march we came in sight of the Indians, and one of the three Indians before mentioned was sent to acquaint the chiefs with what was the object of the expedition, with the statement that Major Wynkoop desired to hold a consultation with the chiefs.
On the tenth day of September the consultation was held between Major Wynkoop and his officers and the principal chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations. Major Wynkoop stated through me to the chiefs apart that he had received their message; that acting on that, he had come up to talk with them; asked them whether they had all agreed to and indorsed the contents of the letter which he had in his possession, and which had been received from One Eye. Receiving an answer in the affirmative, he then told the chiefs that he had not the authority to conclude terms of peace with them, but he desired to make a proposition to them to the effect that if they would give him evidence of their good faith by delivering into his hands the white prisoners they held in their possession, he would endeavor to procure for them peace, which would be subject to conditions;
that he would take with him what principal chiefs they might select and conduct them in safety to the governor of Colorado, and, whatever might be the result of their interview with him, return them safely to their tribe.
Black Kettle, the head chief of the Cheyenne nation, replied as follows: That the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations had always endeavored to observe the terms of their treaty with the United States government; that some years previously, when the white emigration first commenced coming to what is now the Territory of Colorado, the country which was in possession of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations, they could have successfully made war against them; they did not desire to do so; had invariably treated them with kindness, and had never to their knowledge committed any destruction whatever; that until the last two months they had gotten along in perfect peace and harmony with their white brethren; but while a hunting party of their young men were proceeding north, in the neighborhood of the South Platte river, having found some loose stock belonging to white men, which they were taking to a ranch to deliver them up, they were suddenly confronted by a party of United States soldiers and ordered to deliver up their arms. A difficulty immediately ensued, which resulted in the killing and wounding of several on both sides. A short time after this occurrence took place a village of papooses and squaws and old men, located on what is known as the Cedar cañon, a short distance north of the South Platte river, who were perfectly unaware of any difficulty having occurred between any portion of their tribe (Cheyennes) and the whites, was attacked by a large party of soldiers, and some of them killed, and their ponies driven off. After this, while a body of United States troops were proceeding from the Smoky Hill to the Arkansas river, they reached the neighborhood of Lean Bear's band of the Cheyenne nation. Lean Bear, second chief of the Cheyennes, approached the column of troops, alone, his warriors remaining off some distance, he not dreaming that there was any hostility between his nation and the whites.
He was immediately shot down, and fire opened upon his band, the result of which was a fight between the two parties. Presuming from all the circumstances that war was inevitable, the young men of the Cheyenne nation commenced to retaliate by committing various depredations; all the time of which he, Black Kettle, and other principal chiefs of the Cheyenne nation, were opposed to war, and endeavored by all means in their power to restore pacific relations between that tribe and their white brethren; but at various times, when endeavoring to approach the military post for the purpose of accomplishing the same, were fired upon and driven off. In the mean time, while their brothers and allies, the Arapahoes, were on perfectly friendly terms with the whites, and Left Hand's band of that nation were camped in close vicinity of Fort Larned, Left Hand, one of the principal chiefs of the Arapaho nation, learning that it was the intention of the Kioways on a certain day to drive off the stock from Fort Larned, proceeded to the commanding officer of that post and informed him of the fact. No attention was paid to the information he gave, and on the day indicated the Kioways ran off the stock. Left Hand again approached the post with a portion of his warriors for the purpose of offering his services to the commanding officer there to pursue and endeavor to regain the stock from the Kioway Indians, when he was fired upon and obliged hastily to leave.
The young men of the Arapaho nation, supposing it was the intention of the whites to make war upon them, as well as the Cheyennes, also commenced retaliating as well as they were able, and against the desire of most of their principal chiefs, who, as well as Black Kettle, and other chiefs of the Cheyennes, were bitterly opposed to hostilities with the whites.
He then said that he had lately heard of a proclamation issued by the Governor of Colorado, inviting all friendly-disposed Indians to come in to the different military posts, and that they would be protected by the government. Under these circumstances, and although he thought the whites had been the aggressors and forced the trouble upon the Indians, yet, anxious for the welfare of his people, he had made this last effort to communicate again with the military authority, and he was glad he had succeeded.
He then arose, shook hands with Major Wynkoop and his officers, stating that he was still what he had always been, a friend to the whites, and, as far as he was concerned, he was willing to deliver up the white prisoners, or do anything that was required of him, to procure peace, knowing it to be for the good of his people; but that there were other chiefs who still thought they were badly treated by their white brethren, who were willing to make peace, but who felt unwilling to deliver up the prisoners simply on the promise of Major Wynkoop that he would endeavor to procure them peace. They desired that the delivering up of the white prisoners should be an assurance of peace. He also went on to state that, even if Major Wynkoop's propositions were not accepted then by the chiefs assembled, and although they had sufficient force to entirely overpower Major Wynkoop's small command, yet, from the fact that he had come in good faith to hold this consultation, he should return unmolested to Fort Lyon.
The expressions of other chiefs were to the effect that they insisted upon peace as the condition of their delivering up the white prisoners.
Major Wynkoop finally replied that he repeated what he had said before--that it was not in his power to insure them peace, and that all he had to say in the closing was, that they might think about his proposition; that he would march to a certain locality distant twelve miles, and there await the result of their consultation two days, advising them at the same time to accede to his proposition, as the best means of procuring that peace for which they were anxious.
The white prisoners were brought in and turned over to Major Wynkoop before the time had expired set by him; and Black Kettle, White Antelope and Bullbeef, [sic] of the Cheyenne nation, as well as Nevah(,) Nattune, Bovea, and Hieys Buffalo, of the Arapaho nation, all these chiefs, delivered themselves over to Major Wynkoop. We then proceeded to Fort Lyon, and from there to Denver, Colorado Territory, at which place Governor Evans held a consultation with the chiefs, the result of which was as follows: He told them he had nothing to do with them; that they would return with Major Wynkoop who would reconduct them in safety, and they would have to await the action of the military authorities. Colonel Chivington, then in command of the district, also told them that they would remain at the disposal of Major Wynkoop until higher authority had acted in their case. The Indians appeared perfectly satisfied, presuming that they would eventually be all right as soon as those authorities could be heard from, and expressed themselves so. Black Kettle embraced the governor and Major Wynkoop, and shook hands with all the other officials present, perfectly contented, deeming that the matter was settled. On our return to Fort Lyon I was told by Major Wynkoop to say to the chiefs that they could bring their different bands, including their families, to the vicinity of the post until he had heard from the big chief; that he preferred to have them under his eye and away from other quarters where they were likely to get into difficulties with the whites. The chiefs replied that they were willing to do anything Major Wynkoop might choose to dictate, as they had perfect confidence in him. Accordingly the chiefs went after their families and villages and brought them in. They seemed satisfied that they were in perfect security and safety. After their villages were located and Major Wynkoop had sent an officer to headquarters for instructions, he (Major Wynkoop) was relieved from command of the post by Major Scott J. Anthony, and I was ordered to interpret for him (Major Anthony) in a consultation he desired to hold with the Indians. The consultation that there took place between Major Anthony and the Indians was as follows: Major Anthony told them that he had been sent here to relieve Major Wynkoop, and that he would from that time be in command of this post; that he had come here under orders from the commander of all the troops in this country, and that he had orders to have nothing to do with Indians whatever, for they had heard at headquarters that the Indians had lately been committing depredations, &c., in the very neighborhood of this post; but that, since his arrival, he had learned that these reports were all false; that he would write to headquarters himself and correct the rumor in regard to them, and that he would have no objection to their remaining in the vicinity of Sand creek, where they were then located, until such a time as word might be received from the commander of the department; that he himself would forward a complete statement of all that he had seen or heard of them, and that he was in hopes that he would have some good news for the Indians upon receiving an answer; but he was sorry that his orders were such as to render it impossible for him to make them any issues whatever. The Indians then replied that it would be impossible for them to remain any great length of time, as they were short of provisions. Major Anthony then told them they could let their villages remain where they were, and could send their young men out to hunt buffalo, as he had understood that the buffalo had lately come close in. The Indians appeared to be a little dissatisfied at the change in commanders of the post, fearing that it boded them no good; but, having received assurances of safety from Major Anthony, they still had no fears of their families being disturbed.
On the twenty-sixth of November I received permission from Major Scott J. Anthony, commanding post, to proceed to the Indian villages on Sand creek, for the purpose of trading with the Indians, and started, accompanied by a soldier named David Louderback, and a citizen, Watson Clark. I reached the village and commenced to trade with them.
On the morning of the twenty-ninth of November the camp was attacked by Colonel J. M. Chivington, with a command of from nine hundred to one thousand men. The Indian village numbered about one hundred lodges, counting altogether about five hundred souls, two-thirds of whom were women and children, all of whose bodies had been mutilated in the most horrible manner. When the troops first approached, I endeavored to join them, but was repeatedly fired upon; also the soldier and citizen with me. When the troops began approaching, I saw Black Kettle, the head chief, hoist the American flag, fearing there might be some mistake as to who they were.
After the fight Colonel Chivington returned with his command in the direction of Fort Lyon, and then proceeded down the Arkansas river.
JOHN S. SMITH, United States Interpreter.
Sworn and subscribed to at Fort Lyon, C. T., this 27th day of January, 1865.
W. P. MINTON,
Second Lieutenant First New Mexico Volunteers, Post Adjutant.
A true copy:___________
J. E. TAPPAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
FORT LYON, COLORADO, January 27, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Samuel G. Colley, who, being duly sworn, on oath deposes and says: That he is now, and has been for the past three years, United States agent for the Arapahoes and Cheyenne Indians; that in the month of June last he received instructions from Hon. John Evans, governor and ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs for Colorado Territory, directing him to send out persons into the Indian country to distribute printed proclamations (which he was furnished with) inviting all friendly Indians to come into the different places designated in said proclamation, and they would be protected and fed; that he caused the terms of said proclamation to be widely disseminated among the different tribes of Indians under his charge, and that in accordance therewith a large number of Arapahoes and Cheyennes came into this post, and provisions were issued to them by Major E. W. Wynkoop, commanding, and myself; that on the 4th day of September last two Cheyenne Indians (One-Eye and Manimick) came into this post with information that the Arapahoes and Cheyennes had several white prisoners among them that they had purchased, and were desirous of giving them up and making peace with the whites; that on the 6th day of September following, Major E. W. Wynkoop left this post with a detachment of troops to rescue said prisoners, and that, after an absence of several days, he returned, bringing with him four white prisoners, which he received from the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians; he was accompanied on his return by a number of the most influential men of both tribes, who were unanimously opposed to war with the whites, and desired peace at almost any terms that the whites might dictate; that immediately upon the arrival of Major Wynkoop at this post, large numbers of Arapahoes and Cheyennes came in and camped near the post; Major Wynkoop selected several of the most prominent chiefs of both nations and proceeded to Denver to counsel with Superintendent Evans; after his return he held frequent councils with the Indians, and at all of them distinctly stated that he was not empowered to treat with them, but that he had despatched a messenger to the headquarters of the department stating their wishes in the matter, and that as soon as he received advices from there he would inform them of the decision of General Curtis respecting them; that until that time, if they placed themselves under his protection, they should not be molested; that the Indians remained quietly near the post until the arrival of Major Anthony, who relieved Major Wynkoop; Major Anthony held a council with the Indians and informed them that he was instructed not to allow any Indians in or near the post, but that he had found matters here much better than he expected, and advised them to go out and camp on Sand creek until he could hear from General Curtis; he wished them to keep him fully advised of all movements of the Sioux, which they promptly did; he also promised them that as soon as he heard from General Curtis he would advise them of his decision; from the time that Major Wynkoop left this post to go out to rescue the white prisoners until the arrival of Colonel Chivington here, which took place on the 28th of November last, no depredations of any kind had been committed by the Indians within two hundred miles of this post; that upon Colonel Chivington's arrival here with a large body of troops he was informed where these Indians were encamped, and was fully advised under what circumstances they had come into this post, and why they were then on Sand creek; that he was remonstrated with both by officers and civilians at this post against making war upon these Indians; that he was informed and fully advised that there was a large number of friendly Indians there, together with several white men, who were there at the request of himself (Colley) and by permission of Major Anthony; that notwithstanding his knowledge of the facts as above set forth, he is informed that Colonel Chivington did, on the morning of the 29th of November last, surprise and attack said camp of friendly Indians and massacre a large number of them, (mostly women and children,) and did allow the troops of his command to mangle and mutilate them in the most horrible manner.
S. G. COLLEY, United States Indian Agent.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 28th day of January, 1865, at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory.
W. P. MINTON,
Second Lieutenant First New Mexico Volunteers, Post Adjutant.
A true copy: J. E. TAPPAN,___________
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 16, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Lieutenant James D. Connor, first New Mexico volunteer infantry, who, after being duly sworn, says: That on the 28th day of November, 1864, I was ordered by Major Scott J. Anthony to accompany him on an expedition (Indian) as his battalion adjutant; the object of the expedition was to be a thorough campaign against hostile Indians, as I was led to understand. I referred to the fact of there being a friendly camp of Indians in the immediate neighborhood, and remonstrated against simply attacking that camp, as I was aware that they were resting there in fancied security under promises held out to them of safety from Major E. W. Wynkoop, former commander of the post of Fort Lyon, a well as by Major S. J. Anthony, then in command. Our battalion was attached to the command of Colonel J. M. Chivington, and left Fort Lyon on the night of the 28th of November, 1864; about daybreak on the morning of the 29th of November we came in sight of the camp of the friendly Indians aforementioned, and were ordered by Colonel Chivington to attack the same, which was accordingly done. The command of Colonel Chivington was composed of about one thousand men; the village of the Indians consisted of from one hundred to one hundred and thirty lodges, and, as far as I am able to judge, of from five hundred to six hundred souls, the majority of which were women and children; in going over the battle-ground the next day I did not see a body of man, woman, or child but was scalped, and in many instances their bodies were mutilated in the most horrible manner--men, women, and children's privates cut out, &c.; I heard one man say that he had cut out a woman's private parts and had them for exhibition on a stick; I heard another man say that he had cut the fingers off an Indian to get the rings on the hand; according to the best of my knowledge and belief these atrocities that were committed were with knowledge of J. M. Chivington, and I do not know of his taking any measures to prevent them; I heard of one instance of a child a few months old being thrown in the feed-box of a wagon, and after being carried some distance left on the ground to perish; I also heard of numerous instances in which men had cut out the private parts of females and stretched them over the saddle-bows, and wore them over their hats while riding in the ranks. All these matters were a subject of general conversation, and could not help being known by Colonel J. M. Chivington.
JAMES D. CONNOR,
First Lieutenant First Infantry New Mexico Volunteers.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of January, 1865, at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory.
W. P. MINTON,
Second Lieutenant First New Mexico Volunteers, Post Adjutant.
A true copy: J. E. TAPPAN,___________
Acting Assistant Adjutant General United States Volunteers.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 27, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Private David Lauderbock, first cavalry of Colorado, and R. W. Clark, citizen, who, after being duly sworn, say: That they accompanied John Smith, United States Indian interpreter, on the 26th day of November, 1864, by permission of Major Scott J. Anthony, commanding post, Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, to the village of the friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, on Sand creek, close to Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, he, John Smith, having received permission to trade with the aforesaid friendly Indians; that on the morning of the 29th day of November, 1864, the said Indian village was attacked while deponents were in the same, by Colonel J. M. Chivington, with a command of about one thousand (1,000) men; that according to their best knowledge and belief the entire Indian village was composed of not more than five hundred (500) souls, two-thirds of which were women and children; that the dead bodies of women and children were afterwards mutilated in the most horrible manner; that it was the understanding of the deponents, and the general understanding of the garrison of Fort Lyon, that this vil-
lage were friendly Indians; that they had been allowed to remain in the localities they were then in by permission of Major Wynkoop, former commander of the post, and by Major Anthony, then in command, as well as from the fact that permission had been given John Smith and the deponents to visit the said camp for the purpose of trading.
DAVID H. LAUDERBOCK.
R. W. CLARK.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of January, 1865.
W. P. MINTON,
Second Lieutenant First New Mexico Volunteers, Post Adjutant.
A true copy: J. E. TAPPAN,___________
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 27, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Second Lieutenant W. P. Minton, first regiment New Mexico infantry volunteers, and Lieutenant C. M. Cossitt, first cavalry of Colorado, who, after being duly sworn, say: That on the 28th day of November, 1864, Colonel J. M. Chivington, with the third regiment of Colorado cavalry, one-hundred-day men, and a battalion of the first cavalry of Colorado, arrived at this post, and on the 29th of November attacked a village of friendly Indians in the vicinity, and, according to representations made by others in our presence, murdered their women and children, and committed the most horrible outrages upon the dead bodies of the same; that the aforesaid Indians were recognized as friendly by all parties of this post, under the following circumstances, viz: that Major E. W. Wynkoop, formerly commander of the post, had given them assurances of safety until such time as he could hear from the commanding general of the department, in consequence of their having sued for peace and given every evidence of their sincerity by delivering up the white prisoners they had in their possession, by congregating their families together, and leaving them at the mercy of the garrison at Fort Lyon, who could have massacred them at any moment they felt so disposed; that upon Major Wynkoop's being relieved from the command of Fort Lyon, and Major Scott J. Anthony's assuming command of the same, it was still the understanding between Major Anthony and the Indians that they could rest in the security guaranteed them by Major Anthony; also that Colonel J. M. Chivington, on his arrival at the post of Fort Lyon, was aware of the circumstances in regard to the Indians, from the fact that different officers remonstrated with him, and stated to him how these Indians were looked upon by the entire garrison; that notwithstanding these remonstrances, and in the face of all these facts, he committed the massacre aforementioned.
W. P. MINTON,
Second Lieutenant First New Mexico Volunteers.
C. M. COSSITT,
First Lieutenant First Cavalry of Colorado
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of January, 1865.
W. W. DENNISON,
Second Lieutenant First Colorado Veteran Cavalry,
Acting Regimental Adjutant,
A true copy: J. E. TAPPAN,___________
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 16, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Captain R. A. Hill, first New Mexico volunteer infantry, who, after being duly sworn, says: That, as an officer in the United States service, he was on duty at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, at the time there was an understanding between the chiefs of the Arapaho and Cheyenne nations and Major E. W. Wynkoop, with regard to their resting in safety with their villages in the vicinity of Fort Lyon until such time as orders in regard to them could be received from the commanding general of the department; that after Major Wynkoop being relieved from the command of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, the same understanding existed between Major Scott J. Anthony and the afore-
said Indians; that to the best of his knowledge and belief the village of Indians massacred by Colonel J. M. Chivington on the 29th day of November, 1864, were the same friendly Indians heretofore referred to.
R. A. HILL,
Captain First New Mexico Volunteers.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 27th day of January, 1865.___________
W. P. MINTON,
Second Lieut. First Infantry, New Mexico Volunteers, Post Adjutant.
A true copy: J. E. TAPPAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, COLORADO TERRITORY,
Denver, June 29, 1864.
DEAR SIR: I enclose a circular to the Indians of the plains. You will, by every means you can, get the contents to all these Indians, as many that are hostile may come to the friendly camp, and when they all do the war will be ended. Use the utmost economy in providing for those that come in, as the Secretary of the Interior confines me to the amount of our appropriations, and they may be exhausted before the summer is out. You will arrange to carry out the plan of the circular at Lyon and Larned.
You will use your utmost vigilance to ascertain how many of your Indians are hostile, where they are, and what plans they propose, and report to me by every mail at least. For this purpose you will enlist the active aid of Mr. John Smith and his son, and of such other parties as you may judge can be of essential service. Mr. C. A. Cook reports to me that Mr. Bent has given you important information in regard to the plans and strength of the hostile combinations on the plains. Please be careful and report to me in detail all of the reliable information you can get, promptly, as above directed.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colorado Territory and Sup't Indian Affairs.
Major S. G. COLLEY,
United States Indian Agent, Fort Lyon, C. T.
A true copy: W. W. DENNISON,
2d Lieut. lst Colorado Vet. Cavalry, Act'g Regt'l Adj't.
A true copy: J. E. TAPPAN,___________
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
COLORADO SUPERINTENDENCY OF INDIAN AFFAIRS,
Denver, June 27, 1864.
To the friendly Indians of the plains:
Agents, interpreters, and traders will inform the friendly Indians of the plains that some members of their tribes have gone to war with the white people. They steal stock and run it off, hoping to escape detection and punishment; in some instances they have attacked and killed soldiers, and murdered peaceable citizens. For this the Great Father is angry, and will certainly hunt them out and punish them, but he does not want to injure those who remain friendly to the whites; he desires to protect and take care of them. For this purpose I direct that all friendly Indians keep away from those who are at war, and go to places of safety.
Friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes, belonging to the Arkansas river, will go to Major Colley, United States Indian agent, at Fort Lyon, who will give them provisions and show them a place of safety. Friendly Kiowas and Comanches will go to Fort Larned, where they will be cared for in the same way. Friendly Sioux will go to their agent at Fort Laramie for directions. Friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes of the Upper Platte will go to Camp Collins, on the Cache-la-Poudre, where they will be assigned a place of safety, and provisions will be given them. The object of this is to prevent friendly Indians from being killed through mistake; none but those who intend to be friendly with the whites
must come to these places. The families of those who have gone to war with the whites must be kept away from the friendly Indians. The war on hostile Indians will be continued until they are all effectually subdued.
Governor of Colorado and Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
A true copy: W. W. DENNISON,
2d Lieut. lst Colorado Vet. Cavalry, Act'g Regt'l Adj't.
A true copy: J. E. TAPPAN,___________
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
Denver, C. T., June 16, 1864.
SIR: You will immediately make necessary arrangements for the feeding and support of all the friendly Indians of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians at Fort Lyon, and direct the friendly Comanches and Kiowas, if any, to remain at Fort Larned; you will make a requisition on the military commander of the post for subsistence for the friendly Indians of his neighborhood. If there is no agent there to attend to this, deputize some one to do it. These friendly Indians must be collected at places of rendezvous, and all intercourse between them and tribes or individuals engaged in warfare with us prohibited.
This arrangement will tend to withdraw from the conflict all who are not thoroughly identified with the hostile movement, and, by affording a safe refuge, will gradually collect those who may become tired of war and desire peace.
The war is opened in earnest, and upon your efforts to keep quiet the friendly Indians, as nucleus for peace, will depend its duration to some extent at least. You can send word to all these tribes to come as directed above, but do not allow the families of those at war to be introduced into the friendly camp. I have established a camp for our northern friendly bands on Cache-la-Poudre, and as soon as my plan is approved by the military I will issue a proclamation to the Indians.
Please spare no effort to carry out this instruction, and keep me advised by every mail of the situation.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor and Ex-officio Sup't Indian Affairs.
A true copy: W. W. DENNISON,
2d Lieut. lst Colorado Vet. Cavalry, Act'g Regt'l Adj't.
A true copy: J. E. TAPPAN,___________
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 16, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Private David Louderback, 1st cavalry of Colorado, and R. W. Clark, citizen, who, after being duly sworn according to law, say: That they accompanied John Smith, Indian interpreter, on the 26th day of November, 1864, by permission of Major Scott J. Anthony, commanding post of Fort Lyon, to the village of the friendly Indians, Cheyennes and Arapahoes, on Sand creek, close to Fort Lyon, he, John Smith, having received permission to trade with the aforesaid Indians; that on the morning of the 29th of November the said Indian village, while the deponents were in the same, was attacked by Colonel J. M. Chivington with a command of about one thousand men; that, according to their best knowledge and belief, the entire Indian party was composed of not more than five hundred souls, two-thirds of which were women and children; that the dead bodies of children were afterwards mutilated in the most horrible manner; that this village were friendly Indians; that it was the understanding of the deponents, and the general understanding of the garrison at Fort Lyon, they were allowed to remain in the locality they were then in by Major E. W. Wynkoop, former commander of the post, and by Major Scott J. Anthony, then in command, as well as from the fact that permission had been given to John Smith and the deponents to visit the said camp for the purpose of trading.
R. W. CLARK.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 16th day of January, 1865.
W. P. MINTON, Post Adjutant.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 16, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Lieutenant James D. Cannon, 1st New Mexico volunteer infantry, who, after being duly sworn, says: That on the 28th day of November, 1864, I was ordered by Major Scott J. Anthony to accompany him on an Indian expedition as his battalion adjutant; the object of the expedition was to be a thorough campaign against hostile Indians, as I was led to understand. I referred to the fact of there being a friendly camp of Indians in the immediate vicinity, and simply remonstrated against attacking that camp, as I was aware that they were resting there in fancied security, under promises held out to them of safety by Major E. W. Wynkoop, formerly commander of Fort Lyon, and by Major Scott J. Anthony, then in command. Our battalion was attached to the command of Colonel J. M. Chivington, and left Fort Lyon on the night of the 28th of November, 1864; about daybreak on the morning of the 29th of November came in sight of the camp of friendly Indians aforementioned, and was ordered by Colonel Chivington to attack the same, which was accordingly done. The command of Colonel Chivington was composed of about one thousand men; the village of Indians consisting of from one hundred to one hundred and thirty lodges, and, as far as I am able to judge, of from five to six hundred souls, the majority of them were women and children. In going over the battle-ground the next day I did not see a body of man, or woman, or child, but what was scalped, and in many instances their bodies were mutilated in the most horrible manner--men, women and children's privates cut out. I heard one man say that he had cut a woman's private parts out and had them for exhibition on a stick; I heard another man say that he had cut the fingers off of an Indian to get the rings on his hands. According to the best of my knowledge and belief, these atrocities that were committed were with the knowledge of Colonel J. M. Chivington, and I do not know of him taking any measure to prevent them. I heard of one instance of a child, a few months old, being thrown into the feed-box of a wagon, and after being carried some distance, left on the ground to perish; I also heard of numerous instances in which men had cut out the private parts of females and stretched them over their saddle-bows, and some of them over their hats.
While riding in ranks, all these matters were a subject of general conversation, and could not help being known to Colonel J. M. Chivington.
JAMES D. CANNON.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 16th day of January, 1865.
W. P. MINTON, Post Adjutant.___________
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 16, 1865.___________
Personally appeared before me Captain R. H. Hill, 1st New Mexico volunteer infantry, who, after being duly sworn, says: That, as an officer in the service of the United States, he was on duty at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, at the time there was an understanding between the chiefs of the Arapahoes and Cheyenne nation and Major Wynkoop with regard to their resting in safety with these villages in the vicinity of Fort Lyon until such a time as orders in regard to them could be received from the commanding general of the department; that after Major Wynkoop being relieved from the command of Fort Lyon, the same understanding existed between Major S. J. Anthony and the aforementioned Indians; that, to the best of his belief, the village of Indians massacred by Colonel J. M. Chivington, on the 29th day of November, 1864, were the same friendly Indians heretofore referred to.
R. H. HILL.
Sworn and subscribed to this 16th day of January, 1865.
W. P. MINTON, Post Adjutant.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 16, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Second Lieutenant W. P. Minton, 1st New Mexico volunteer infantry, and Lieutenant C. M. Cossitt, 1st cavalry of Colorado, who, after being duly sworn, says: That on the 28th day of November, 1864, Colonel J. M. Chivington, with the 3d regiment Colorado cavalry, (one-hundred-days men,) and a battalion of the 1st cavalry of Colorado, arrived at this post, and on the 29th of November, 1864, attacked a village of friendly Indians in the vicinity, and, according to representations made by others in our presence, murdered their women and children, and committed the most horrible outrages upon the dead bodies of the same; that the aforesaid Indians were recognized as friendly Indians by all parties at this post, under the following circumstances, viz: That
Major E. W. Wynkoop, formerly commander of the post, had given them assurances of safety until such a time as he could hear from the commanding general of the department, in consequence of their having sued for peace, and given every evidence of their sincerity, by delivering up white prisoners they had in their possession, by congregating their families together and leaving them at the mercy of the garrison of Fort Lyon Colorado Territory, who felt so disposed; that upon Major Wynkoop being relieved of the command of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, and Major Scott J. Anthony assuming command of the same it was still the understanding between Major Anthony and the Indians that they could rest in that security guaranteed them by Major E. W. Wynkoop; also that Colonel J. M. Chivington, on his arrival at the post of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, was made aware of the circumstances in regard to these Indians, from the fact that different officers remonstrated with him and stated to him how these Indians were looked upon by the entire garrison; that notwithstanding these remonstrances, and in the face of all true facts, he committed the massacre aforementioned.
C. M. COSSITT.
W. P. MINTON.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 16th day of January, 1865.___________
W. W. DENNION,
Acting Regimental Adjutant
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 16, 1865.
Personally appeared before me John Smith, United States Indian interpreter, who, after being duly sworn, says: That on the 4th day of September, 1865, he was appointed Indian interpreter for the post of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, and has continued to serve in that capacity up to the present time; that on the 4th day of September, 1865, by order of Major E. W. Wynkoop, commanding post of Fort Lyon, he was called upon to hold a conversation with three Cheyenne Indians, "One Eye" and two others, who had been brought into the fort that day; that the result of the interview was as follows: "One Eye" (Cheyenne) stated that the principal chiefs and sub-chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations had held a consultation and agreed, to a man, of the chiefs and sub chiefs to come or send in some one who was well acquainted with parties at the post, and finally agreed to send in himself, "One Eye," with a paper, written by George Bent, half-breed, to the effect that the Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs would and did agree to turn over to Major E. W. Wynkoop or any other military commander all the white prisoners they had in their possession, as they were anxious to make peace with the whites, and never desired to be at war. Major Wynkoop then asked "One Eye," he having lived among the whites and known to have always been friendly disposed towards them, whether they would deliver the prisoners into his (Wynkoop's) hands; his reply was that, at the risk of his life, he would guarantee their sincerity. Major Wynkoop then told him that he would deliver him as a prisoner for the time, and if he concluded to go to the Indian camp he would take him along as a hostage for their (the Indians') good faith. "One Eye" also stated that the Cheyenne and Arapaho nation were congregated, to the number of two thousand Indians, on the headwaters of Smoky Hill, including some forty lodges of Sioux; that they had rendezvoused there and brought in their war parties for the purpose of hearing what would be the result of their message by which they had sued for peace, and would remain until they heard something definite. Major Wynkoop told "One Eye" that he would proceed to the Indian camp and take him with him. "One Eye" replied that he was perfectly willing to remain a prisoner, as well as a hostage for the good faith of the Indians, but desired the major to start as soon as possible for fear the Indians might separate. On the 26th day of September I was ordered by Major Wynkoop to proceed, with his command, in the direction of the Indian encampment. After a four days' march we came in sight of the Indians, and one of the three Indians aforementioned was sent to acquaint the chiefs with what was the object of the expedition, with the statement that Major Wynkoop desired to hold a consultation with them (the chiefs) on the 10th day of September 1864. The consultation was held between Major Wynkoop and his officers and the principal chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations. Major Wynkoop stated, through me to the chiefs, that he had received their message; that acting on that he had come to talk with them; asked them whether they all agreed to and indorsed the contents of the letter which he had in his possession, and which had been brought in by "One Eye." Receiving an answer in the affirmative, he then told the chiefs that he had not the authority to conclude terms of peace with them, but that he desired to make a proposition to them to the effect that if they would give him evidence of their good faith
by delivering into his hands the white prisoners they had in their possession he would endeavor to procure for them peace, which would be subject to conditions; that he would take with him what principal chiefs they might select, and conduct them in safety to the governor of Colorado, and whatever might be the result of their interview, he would conduct them in safety to their tribe. "Black Kettle," the head chief of the Cheyenne nation, replied as follows: that the Cheyenne and Arapaho nation had always endeavored to observe the terms of their treaty with the United States government; that some years previously, when the whole emigration first commenced coming to what is now the Territory of Colorado, the country which was in possession of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations, they could have successfully made war against them, the whites; they did not desire to do so; had invariably treated them with kindness. and have never, to his knowledge, committed any depredations whatever; that until within the last few months they had got along in perfect peace and harmony with their white brethren; but while a hunting party of their young men were proceeding, north, in the neighborhood of the South Platte river, having found some loose stock belonging to white men, which they were driving to a ranch to deliver up, they were suddenly confronted by a party of United States soldiers and ordered to deliver up their arms; a difficulty immediately ensued, which resulted in killing and wounding several on both sides. A short time after an occurrence took place at a village of pappooses, squaws, and old men, located in what is known as the "Cedar cañon," a short distance north of the South Platte, who were perfectly unaware of any difficulty having occurred between the whites and a portion of their tribe, (Cheyenne;) were attacked by a large body of United States soldiers, some of them killed and their ponies driven off. After this, while a body of soldiers were proceeding from the Smoky Hill to the Arkansas, they reached the neighborhood of "Lou. Bear's" band of Cheyennes. "Lou. Bear," 2d chief of the Cheyenne nation, approached the column of troops alone, his warriors remaining off some distance, he not deeming that there was any hostility between his nation and the whites; he was immediately shot down and fire opened upon his band, the result of which was a fight between the two parties. Presuming from all these circumstances that war was inevitable, the young men of the Cheyenne nation commenced to retaliate by committing various depredations at all times, which he, "Black Kettle," and other principal chiefs of the Cheyenne nation, were opposed to, and endeavored by all the means in his power to restore pacific relations between that tribe and their white brethren, but at various times, when endeavoring to approach military posts for the purpose of accomplishing the same, was fired upon and driven off. In the meanwhile their brothers and allies, the Arapahoes, were on perfectly friendly terms with the whites, and Left Hand, one of the principal chiefs of the Arapaho nation, learning that it was the intention of the Kioways on a certain day to run off the stock from Fort Larned, proceeded to the commanding officer of that post and informed him of the fact. No attention was paid to the information he gave, and on the day anticipated the stock was run off by the Kioways. Left Hand again approached the post with a portion of his warriors for the purpose of offering his services to the commanding officer to pursue and endeavor to regain the stock from the Kioways, when he was fired upon and obliged hastily to leave. The young men of the Arapaho nation supposing it was the intention of the whites to make war upon them as well as the Cheyennes, also commenced retaliating as well as they were able, and against the desire of most of their principal chiefs, who, as well as Black Kettle and other chiefs of the Cheyennes, were bitterly opposed to hostilities with the whites. He then said that he had lately learned of the proclamation issued by the governor of Colorado, inviting all friendly disposed Indians to come to the different military posts and they would be protected by the government. Under these circumstances, notwithstanding the thought the whites had been the aggressors and had forced the trouble on the Indians, anxious altogether for the welfare of his people, he had made this last effort to communicate again with the military authorities, and he was glad to have succeeded. He then arose, shook hands with Major Wynkoop and his officers, stating that he was still, as he had always been, a friend to the whites, and that, as far as he was concerned, he was willing to deliver up the white prisoners or do anything that was required of him to procure "peace," knowing it to be for the best of his people; but that there were other chiefs who still thought that they were badly treated by their brethren, but who were willing to make peace, but who felt unwilling to deliver up the white prisoners simply upon the promise of Major Wynkoop that he would endeavor to procure them peace; they desired that the condition of their delivering up the white prisoners would be an assurance of peace; he also stated that even if Major Wynkoop's propositions were not accepted then by the chiefs assembled, and although they had sufficient force to entirely over power Major Wynkoop's small command, that from the fact that he had come in good faith to hold a consultation in consequence of the letter received, he should return to Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, without being molested. The expressions of the other chiefs were to the effect that they insisted upon peace on the condition of their delivering up the white
prisoners. Major Wynkoop finally replied, that he repeated what he had said, that it was out of his power to insure them peace, and that all he had to say was, that they might think about his proposition; that he would march to a certain locality, distant twelve miles, and there await the result of their consultation for two days, advising them at the same time to accede to his proposition as the best means of procuring that peace for which they were anxious. The white prisoners were brought in and delivered up before
the time had expired set by him, and Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Bull Bear, of the Cheyenne nation, as well as Nevah, Natanee, Boisee, and Hip Buffalo, chiefs of the Arapahoes, delivered themselves over to Major Wynkoop. We then proceeded to Fort Lyon, and from thence to Denver, at which place Governor Evans held a consultation with the chiefs, the result of which was as follows: He told them they could return with Major Wynkoop, who would reconduct them in safety, and they would have to await the action of the military authorities. Colonel Chivington, then in command of the district of Colorado, also told them that they would remain at the disposal of Major Wynkoop until higher authorities had acted in their case. The Indians appeared to be perfectly satisfied, presuming that they would eventually be all right, as soon as those authorities could heard from, and expressed themselves so. Black Kettle embraced the governor and Major Wynkoop, and shook hands with all the other officers present, perfectly contented, deeming the matter was settled. On our return to Fort Lyon I was told by Major Wynkoop to say to the chiefs that they could bring their different bands, including their families, to the vicinity of the post until he had heard from the big chief; that he preferred to have them under his eye, and away from other quarters where they were likely to get into difficulty with the whites. The chiefs replied that they were willing to do anything that Major Wynkoop might choose to dictate, as they had perfect confidence in him, and accordingly immediately brought their villages, their squaws, and pappooses, and appeared satisfied that they were in perfect safety. After their villages were located here, and Major Wynkoop had sent an officer to headquarters for instructions, then Major Wynkoop was relieved from command of the post by Major Scott J. Anthony, and I was ordered to interpret for him (Major Anthony) in a consultation he desired to hold with these Indians. The consultation that then took place between Major Anthony and these Indians was as follows: Major Anthony told them that he had been sent here to relieve Major Wynkoop, and that he would be from that time in command of the post; that he had come here under orders from the commander of all the troops in this country, and that he had orders to have nothing to do with the Indians whatever, as they had heard at headquarters that they had been committing depredations, &c., in the neighborhood of this post; but that, since his arrival, he had learned that these reports were all false; that he would write to headquarters himself and correct these errors in regard to them, and that he would have no objections to their remaining in the vicinity of Sand creek, where they were located, until such time as word might be received from the commander of the department; that he himself would forward a complete statement of all that he had seen and heard, and that he was in hopes that he would have some good news for the Indians upon receiving an answer; but that he was sorry that his orders were such as to render it impossible for him to make them any issues whatever. The Indians then replied that it would be impossible for them to remain where they were located any length of time, as they were short of provisions. Major Anthony then told them that they could let their villages remain where they were, and could send their young men out to hunt buffaloes, as he understood that the buffalo had lately come in very close. The Indians appeared to be a little dissatisfied in regard to the change of the commanders of the post, fearing that it boded them no good, but, having received assurances of safety from Major Anthony, they still had no fear of their families being disturbed. On the twenty-sixth day of November, 1864 I received permission of Major Scott J. Anthony, commander of the post, to proceed to the Indian village on Sand creek for the purpose of trading with the Indians, and started, accompanied by a soldier named Daniel Louderback and a citizen, Watson Clark. I reached the village and commenced to trade with them. On the morning of the twenty-ninth of November, 1864, the village was attacked by Colonel J. M. Chivington, with a command of from nine hundred to one thousand men. The Indian village was composed of about one hundred lodges, numbering altogether some five hundred souls, two-thirds of which were women and children. From my observation I do not think there were over sixty warriors that made any defence. I rode over the field after the slaughter was over and counted from sixty to seventy bodies of dead Indians, a large majority of which were women and children, all of whose bodies had been mutilated in the most horrible manner. When troops first appeared I endeavored to go to them, but was repeatedly fired upon; also the soldier and citizen that were with me. When the troops began approaching in a hostile manner, I saw Black Kettle hoist the American flag over his lodge, as well as a white flag, fearing that there might be some mistake as to who they were. After the
fight Colonel Chivington returned with the command in the direction of Fort Lyon, and then proceeded by the road down the Arkansas river.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this sixteenth day of January, 1865.___________
W. P. MINTON, Post Adjutant.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, April 20, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Lieutenant James Olney, veteran battalion first Colorado cavalry, who, after being duly sworn, deposes and says: That he was present at the massacre of the Indians at Sand creek by Colonel Chivington, on the twenty-ninth day of November, 1864; that during that massacre he saw three squaws and five children, prisoners in charge of some soldiers; that, while they were being conducted along, they were approached by Lieutenant Harry Richmond, of the third Colorado cavalry; that Lieutenant Richmond thereupon immediately killed and scalped the three women and the five children while they (the prisoners) were screaming for mercy; while the soldiers in whose charge these prisoners were shrank back, apparently aghast.
Sworn and subscribed to before me at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, this twentieth day of April, 1865.
Adjutant Veteran Battalion First Colorado Cavalry, Adjutant Fort Lyon.
Official copy respectfully furnished to headquarters, Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, eleventh June, 1865.___________
First Lieutenant Veteran Battalion First Colorado Cavalry, Adjutant Fort Lyon.
FORT LYON, COLORADO, January 27, 1865.
Personally appeared before me Samuel G. Colley, who being duly sworn, on oath deposes and says: That he is now, and has been for the past three years, United States agent for the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians; that in the month of June last he received instructions from honorable John Evans, governor and ex officio superintendent of Indian affairs for Colorado Territory, directing him to send out persons into the Indian country to distribute printed proclamations, (which he was furnished with,) inviting all friendly Indians to come into the different places designated in said proclamation, and they would be protected and fed; that he caused the terms of said proclamation to be disseminated among the different tribes of Indians under his charge, and that in accordance, therewith a large number of Arapahoes and Cheyennes came in to this post, and provisions were issued to them by Major E. W. Wynkoop, commanding, and myself; that on the fourth day of September last two Cheyenne Indians (One Eye and Manimick) came in to this post with information that the Arapahoes and Cheyennes had several white prisoners among them that they had purchased, and were desirous of giving them up and making peace with the whites; that on the sixth day of September following Major E. W. Wynkoop left this post with a detachment of troops to rescue said prisoners, and that after an absence of several days he returned, bringing with him four white prisoners, which he received from the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians. He was accompanied on his return by a number of the most influential men of both tribes, who were unanimously opposed to war with the whites, and desired peace at almost any terms that the whites might dictate; that immediately upon the arrival of Major Wynkoop at this post large numbers of Arapahoes and Cheyennes came and camped near the post. Major Wynkoop selected several of the most prominent chiefs of both nations and proceeded to Denver to counsel with Superintendent Evans. After his return he held frequent councils with the Indians, and at all of them distinctly stated that he was not empowered to treat with them; but that he had despatched a messenger to the headquarters of the department, stating their wish in the matter, and that as soon as he received advices from there he would inform them of the decision of General Curtis respecting them; that until that time, if they placed themselves under his protection they should not be molested; that the Indians remained quietly near the post until the arrival of Major Anthony, who relieved Major Wynkoop. Major Anthony held
a council with the Indians and informed them that he was instructed not to allow any Indians in or near the post, but that he had found matters much better here than he had expected, and advised them to go out and camp on Sand creek until he could hear from General Curtis. He wished them to keep him fully advised of all the movements of the Sioux, which they promptly did. He also promised them that as soon as he heard from General Curtis he would advise them of his decision. From the time that Major Wynkoop left this post to go out to rescue the white prisoners until the arrival of Colonel Chivington here, which took place on the twenty-eighth day of November last, no depredations of any kind had been committed by the Indians within two hundred miles of this post; that upon Colonel Chivington's arrival here with a large body of troops, he was informed where the Indians were encamped, and was fully advised under what circumstances they had come in to this post, and why they were then on Sand creek; that he was remonstrated with, both by officers and civilians at this post, against making war upon these Indians; that he was informed and fully advised that there was a large number of friendly Indians there, together with several white men, who were there at the request of himself (Colley) and by permission of Major Anthony; that notwithstanding his knowledge of the facts as above set forth, he is informed that Colonel Chivington did, on the morning of the twenty-ninth day of November last, surprise and attack said camp of friendly Indians and massacre a large number of them, mostly women and children, and did allow the troops under his command to mangle and mutilate them in the most horrible manner.
S. G. COLLEY,
United States Indian Agent.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this twenty-eighth day of January, at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory.
W. P. MINTON,
Second Lieutenant New Mexico Volunteers and Post Adjutant.
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January 16, 1865.
SIR: In pursuance of Special Order No. 43, headquarters district of the Upper Arkansas, directing me to assume command of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, as well as to investigate and immediately report in regard to late Indian proceedings in this vicinity, I have the honor to state that I arrived at this post on the evening of the 14th of January, 1865, assumed command on the morning of the 18th, and the result of my investigation is as follows, viz:
As explanatory, I beg respectfully to state, that while formerly in command of this post, on the 4th day of September, 1864, and after certain hostilities on the part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, induced, as I have had ample proof, by the overt acts of white men, three Indians, Cheyennes, were brought as prisoners to myself, who had been found coming towards the post, and who had in their possession a letter, written, as I ascertained afterwards, by a half-breed in the Cheyenne camp, as coming from Black Kettle and other prominent chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nation, the purport of which was that they desired peace, had never desired war with the whites, and as well as stating they had in their possession some white prisoners, women and children, whom they were willing to deliver up, providing that peace was granted them; knowing that it was not in my power to insure and offer them peace for which they sued, and at the same time anxious, if possible, to accomplish the rescue of the white persons in their possession, I finally concluded to risk an expedition, with a small command I could raise, numbering one hundred and twenty-seven men, to the rendezvous where I was informed they were congregated to the number of two thousand, and endeavor by some means to procure the aforesaid white persons, and to be governed in my course of accomplishing the same entirely by circumstances, having formerly made a lengthy report in regard to the same. In my expedition I have but to say that I succeeded, procuring four white captives from the hands of these Indians, simply giving them, in return, a pledge that I would endeavor to procure for them the peace for which they so anxiously sued; feeling that under the proclamation issued by John Evans, governor of Colorado and superintendent of Indian affairs, a copy of which becomes a portion of this report, by virtue of my position as a United States officer highest in authority in the country included within the bounds prescribed as the country of the Arapaho and Cheyenne nations, I could offer them protection until such time as some measures might be taken by those higher in authority than myself in regard to them. I took with me seven of the principal chiefs, including Black Kettle, to Denver City for the purpose of allowing them an interview with the governor of Colorado, by that means making a mistake of which I have since become painfully aware, that of proceeding with these chiefs to the governor of Colorado Territory instead of to the headquarters of my district to my commanding officer. In the consultation with Governor Evans the matter was referred entirely to the military authorities. Colonel J. M. Chiv-
ington, at that time commander of the district of Colorado, was present at the council held with these Indian chiefs, and told them that the whole matter was referred to myself, who would act towards them according to the best of my judgment, until such time as I could receive instructions from the proper authority. Returning to Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, I allowed the Indians to bring their villages to the vicinity of the fort, including their squaws and papooses, and in such a position that I could at any moment, with the garrison, have annihilated them had they given any evidence of hostility of any kind in any quarter.
I then immediately despatched my adjutant, Lieutenant W. W. Dennison, with a full statement, to the commanding general of the department, asking for instructions, but in the meanwhile various false rumors having reached district headquarters in regard to my course, I was relieved from the command of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, and ordered to report to district headquarters; Major Scott J. Anthony, 1st cavalry of Colorado, who had been ordered to assume command of Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory, previous to my departure, held a consultation with the chiefs in my presence, and told them that though acting under strict orders, under the circumstances, could not materially differ from the course which I had adopted, and allowed them to remain in the vicinity of the post with their families, assuring them of perfect safety until such time as positive orders should be received from headquarters in regard to them. I left the fort on the 26th of November, 1864, for the purpose of reporting to district headquarters; on the second day after leaving Fort Lyon, while on the plains, I was approached by three Indians, one of whom stated to me that he had been sent by Black Kettle to warn me that about two hundred Sioux warriors had proceeded down the road between where I was and Fort Larned to make war, and desired that I should be careful, another evidence of these Indians' good faith; all of his statement proved afterwards to be correct. Having an escort of twenty-eight men, I proceeded on my way, but did not happen to fall in with them.
From evidence of officers at this post I understand that on the 28th day of November, 1864, Colonel J. M. Chivington, with the 3d regiment of Colorado cavalry (one-hundred-days men) and a battalion of the 1st Colorado cavalry arrived at this post, ordered a portion of the garrison to join him, under the command of Major Scott J. Anthony, against the remonstrances of the officers of the post, who stated circumstances of which he was well aware, attacked the camp of friendly Indians, the major portion of which were composed of women and children. The affidavits which become a portion of this report will show more particulars of that massacre; any one whom I have spoken to, whether officers or soldiers, agree in the relation that the most fearful atrocities were committed that was ever heard of; women and children were killed and scalped, children shot at their mother's breast, and all the bodies mutilated in the most horrible manner. Numerous eyewitnesses have described scenes to me, coming under the notice of Colonel Chivington, of the most disgusting and horrible character, the dead bodies of females profaned in such a manner that the recital is sickening. Colonel J. M. Chivington all the time inciting his troops to these diabolical outrages previous to the slaughter; commencing, he addressed his command, arousing in them, by his language, all their worst passions, urging them on to the work of committing all these diabolical outrages, knowing himself all the circumstances of these Indians resting on the assurances of protection from the government given them by myself and Major S. J. Anthony; he kept his command in entire ignorance of the same, and when it was suggested that such might be the case, he denied it positively, stating that they were still continuing their depredations and lay there threatening the fort. I beg leave to draw the attention of the colonel commanding to the fact, established by the enclosed affidavits, that two-thirds or more of that Indian village, were women and children. I desire also to state that Colonel J. M. Chivington is not my superior officer, but is a citizen mustered out of the United States service, and also to the time this inhuman monster committed this unprecedented atrocity he was a citizen by reason of his term of service having expired, he having lost his regulation command some months previous.
Colonel Chivington reports officially that between five and six hundred Indians were left dead upon the field. I have been informed by Captain Booth, district inspector, that he visited the field and counted but sixty-nine bodies, and by others who were present, but that few, if any, over that number were killed, and that two-thirds of them were women and children. I beg leave to further state, for the information of the colonel commanding, that I talked to every officer in Fort Lyon, and many enlisted men, and that they unanimously agree that all the statements I have made in this report are correct. In conclusion, allow me to say that from the time I held the consultation with the Indian chiefs, on the headwaters of Smoky Hill, up to the date of the massacre by Colonel Chivington, not one single depredation had been committed by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians; the settlers of the Arkansas valley had returned to their camps and had been resting in perfect security, under assurances from myself that they would be in no danger for the present, by that means saving the country from what must inevitably become a famine were they
to lose their crops; the lines of communication to the States were opened, and travel across the plains rendered perfectly safe through the Cheyenne and Arapaho country. Since this last horrible murder by Chivington the country presents a scene of desolation; all communication is cut off with the States, except by sending large bodies of troops, and already over a hundred whites have fallen as victims to the fearful vengeance of these betrayed Indians. All this country is ruined; there can be no such thing as peace in the future but by the total annihilation of all these Indians on the plains. I have most reliable information to the effect that the Cheyennes and Arapahoes have allied themselves with the Kiowas, Comanches and Sioux, and are congregated to the number of ------- thousand on the Smoky Hill. Let me also draw the attention of the colonel commanding to the fact stated by the affidavits, that John Smith, United States interpreter, a soldier and citizen were presented in the Indian camp by permission of the commanding officer of this camp, another evidence to the fact of these same Indians being regarded as friendly Indian; also, that Colonel Chivington states in his official report that he fought from nine hundred to one thousand Indians, and left from five to six hundred dead upon the field, the sworn evidence being that there were but five hundred souls in the village, two thirds of them being women and children, and that there were but from sixty to seventy killed, the major portion of whom were women and children. It will take many more troops to give security to the travelers and settlers in this country and to make any kind of successful warfare against the Indians. I am at work placing Fort Lyon in a state of defence, having all, both citizens and soldiers located here, employed upon the works, and expect
to have them soon completed and of such a nature that a comparatively small garrison can hold the fort against any attack by Indians. Hoping that my report may receive the particular attention of the colonel commanding, I respectfully submit the same.___________
Your obedient servant,
E. W. WYNKOOP,
Major, Com'dg 1st Veteran Cavalry and Fort Lyon, C. T.
Lieutenant J. E. TAPPAN,
A. A. A. General, District of Upper Arkansas.
FORT LARNED, May 31, 1865.
Colonel Ford sworn:
I am colonel of the 2d Colorado regiment of cavalry and brevet brigadier general in command of the district of the Upper Arkansas. I have been in command since about the lst of September last. I relieved Major Henning. From the best of my information all the tribes of Indians are hostile. The Kioways, Cheyennes, Comanches, Arapahoes, and parts of other tribes, with their families, are now south of the Arkansas, on the Red river, which is one of its tributaries. In February last a large number of them were about one hundred and fifty miles west of south of this point. From the best information I can get, there are about seven thousand warriors well mounted, some on fleet Texan horses. On horseback they are the finest skirmishers I ever saw. How large a force, mounted and infantry, would be required to defend the Santa Fé road and wage a successful war against the Indians south of the Arkansas? It would require at least ten thousand men--four thousand constantly in the field, well mounted; the line of defence to extend from Fort Lyon to Fort Riley and south about three hundred miles. All supplies would have to come from the States. Contract price for corn delivered at this point was $5.26 per bushel. I do not know how the Indian difficulties originated. I believe the Cheyennes are trying to keep all the Indian tribes in hostility. I have no doubt the attack of Colonel Chivington on the Cheyennes had a very bad effect. There are no Indians north of the Arkansas in my district except some small roving bands. I think, without moving south of the Arkansas, it would require four thousand men to defend the line of this road. I could not swear what Indians have committed the hostilities. Colonel Leavenworth has, in my opinion, the only feasible plan for procuring an interview with the hostile tribes. I received my information from some Mexicans who were trading with the Indians under a pass from General Carleton. If a treaty were made by which the Indians would agree to keep south of the Arkansas and east of Fort Bascom, would it protect this route? It would if the northern Indians did not come on to the road. The time has been when travelling over these plains was safe; the travel was as great then as now. There seems to be no reason why that state of affairs could not be brought right by making or conquering a treaty of peace. I think the mouth of Cow creek would be a good point to meet the Indians. General Dodge's orders were to the effect that the military authorities were not to make peace, but to punish the offenders. I am of the opinion that no permits to trade with the Indians should be given while we are carrying on hostilities against
them; and no presents should be given by the agent without the concurrence of the military authorities. I am of the opinion that if a peace could be made by which the Indians would agree to keep south of the Arkansas it would be better than to conquer one. My plan of operations would be to capture their villages, women and children, killing the warriors found. I understand Kit Carson last winter destroyed an Indian village. He had about four hundred men with him, but the Indians attacked him as bravely as any men in the world, charging up to his lines, and he withdrew his command. They had a regular bugler, who sounded the calls as well as they are sounded for troops. Carson said if it had not been for his howitzers few would have been left to tell the tale. This I learned from an officer who was in the fight. From information I learn that Captain Parmeter, at Fort Larned, ordered soldiers to fire on Left Hand and party when they came to offer their services to recover the stock run off by other Indians. There is a general order in this district that no Indian shall be permitted to enter any fort or post without being blindfolded. I am satisfied that the Sand creek affair has made the Indians more bitter and harder to get at.___________
FORT LARNED, May 31, 1865.
John T. Dodds affirms:
I am fifty-four years old. Have spent six years among the Indians of Ohio and seven years here. Have been engaged, in company with another man, trading with the Indians. The Cheyennes complain that the Great Father was to give them a certain amount for the privilege of passing through their country. Heretofore they have had their presents delivered to them at a point designated by themselves; that they requested their agent, Major Colley, to make the delivery at Walnut creek, but instead the agent carried them on to Fort Lyon; that they could not go there for them without losing more horses than the goods were worth. Part of the Arapahoes, under Little Raven, went to Fort Lyon, but lost their ponies; and they all complain that if the Great Father intends giving them anything he should give it when it arrives in their country, and not put them to so much trouble. They complain further that they have to pay for the goods intended by the Great Father to be given them. The above is the statement of Black Kettle, Lean Bear, Left Hand, and Raven. They complain generally that the whites are encroaching on their lands and killing their buffalo. I think that before the Sand creek affair they were willing to settle on their reservations; but they now feel that they have been badly treated. The Comanches claim that until lately they have been at peace. A Kioway chief stated that if they went to war the Comanches would join them. Stante stated that the Kioways divided with the Comanches the stock run off from Fort Larned. I think if Satank and Stante, of the Kioways, were out of the way there would be peace, but not until. After the stock was run off from Fort Larned, Lean Bear started to go into the fort under a flag, of truce, but was fired on by order of Captain Parmeter. He left, tearing up his flag. Mauwee, One-Eye, Lou Bears, and Two Buttes, chiefs of the Comanche tribe, were present at the fort when the stock was run off, and have not since been seen.___________
FORT RILEY, May 25, 1865.
Edmond G. Guerrier, being duly sworn, says:
I am the person referred to by Mr. Mayer in his statement. I speak English well; I can speak Cheyenne some, though from long absence I have forgotten a good deal of Cheyenne. My father was a Frenchman and my mother a Cheyenne. I am twenty-five years of age. I was in the camp of the Cheyennes when Chivington made his attack upon them. I had been with them about three days before the attack. There were, I think, about eighty lodges; there are four or five in a lodge on the average; can't tell precisely the number. After the attack I remained with them about four weeks. I do not know how many warriors there were in the lodges. I do not think there were over two hundred warriors in the camp. Last spring I met John Smith, the interpreter, to go out with him; about the time we got out there the Cheyennes were at war with the whites; but the Kioways, Comanches, and Arapahoes were friendly to the whites. I drove team out for Major Colley, the Indian agent. I took my discharge at Fort Lyon, came back to Fort Larned and hired to another man to trade with the Indians, and lay in camp at Walnut creek and Fort Garah a few days after the Kioways, Comanches, and Arapahoes broke out into hostilities, and came into our camp at Fort Garah. There were two Cheyennes in the camp with us that night, and they saved us, saved our lives, myself and a trader. That night I left with the two Cheyenne Indians. This was in July some time. I was out with them
until September, when they sued for peace. I wrote the propositions for them to send into Fort Lyon, as the terms of peace. Major Colley, the Indian agent, was there. Major Wynkoop, then in command of Fort Lyon, came out into the prairie and met the Indians. Before he came he replied to my letter. His letter was directed to the chiefs. I read the letter to the chiefs. I think they have the letter still if it was not lost at the fight. The substance of the letter which I wrote and signed by order of the chief was this: That the Indians held some prisoners, three women and four children, and that they were ready to surrender them; that the Indians desired peace, and to have all the other Indians come too, and have a general peace. He does not now remember all the contents of the letter. One thing more I remember about the prisoners; they had heard there were some Indian prisoners at Denver, and they wanted to have them given up also. The substance of Wynkoop's letter, as I now recollect, was this: He stated there were no Indian prisoners, to his recollection or knowledge, at Denver; that he would come out to talk with the Indians, and wanted them to meet him on one of the branches of the Smoky Hill; he did not come out to fight, but to talk, and wanted them to bring the prisoners along. I read the letter to the Indians; they saddled up their horses and started immediately and met him that night, but had no interview until the next morning. He told them he was not big chief enough to make a treaty; he had no orders of that kind, but told them he would do all he could, and use his influence if some of the chiefs would go to Denver and see the governor, and told them that by giving up their prisoners to him it would go to show they were in earnest for peace. The Indians agreed to do so, and started the same day to go after the prisoners. In three days they brought in one young woman, and in a day or two after that brought in three children; the other three had gone north with another party of the band on to the Powder river. The chiefs who brought in the prisoners went with Wynkoop to see the governor at Denver. After Wynkoop and the chiefs returned, Wynkoop desired that the Indians who wished to be friendly should all come in and camp near Fort Lyon. If they did so it would show, if there were depredations committed they had no part in them; and if they did so, as long as they would behave, he would issue them rations. He was expecting some expeditions, and if they were found outside they would be treated by them like hostile Indians. He told them as long as they would stay there and behave themselves he would protect them and see that no troops should hurt them. I am sure and positive of this. Black Kettle and White Antelope, Cheyenne chiefs, also told me that Wynkoop had promised protection if they would come in, and they had promised to do so; and that Wynkoop had acted like a gentleman, more so than any other white man who had dealt with them, and they had promised to come in, and they did so. Before they came in Wynkoop was relieved of his command, and Major Anthony took command. Wynkoop left and came east. They were encamped on Sand creek, about twenty-five or thirty miles from Fort Lyon. A few days after Wynkoop left I went out with John Smith from Fort Lyon to the camp to trade. Smith had a Cheyenne wife at the camp; he also had a son with him, full grown. About three days after that the camp was attacked early in the morning. David Louderback was also in the camp; also a young man by the name of Watt Clark; these were white men. I was, at the time of the attack, sleeping in a lodge. I heard, at first, some of the squaws outside say there were a lot of buffalo coming into camp; others said they were a lot of soldiers. The squaws in my lodge looked out and then called to me to get up; "there were a lot of soldiers coming." I did so, went out, and went towards Smith's tent, where he traded; I ran and met him. Louderback, the soldier, proposed we should go out and meet the troops, We started; before we got outside the edge of the tent I could see soldiers begin to dismount. I thought they were artillerymen and were about to shell the camp. I had hardly spoken when they began firing with their rifles and pistols. When I saw I could not get to them, I struck out; I left the soldier and Smith; I went to the northeast; I ran about five miles, when I came across an Indian woman driving a herd of ponies, some ten or fifteen. I got a pony. She was a cousin of mine--one of White Antelope's daughters. I went on with her to Smoky Hill. I saw as soon as the firing began, from the number of troops, that there could be no resistance, and I escaped as quick as I could. From all I could learn at the council held by the Indians, there were one hundred and forty-eight killed and missing; out of the one hundred and forty-eight, about sixty were men--the balance women and children. From all I heard before and after the attack, I am sure that the Indians were encamped at the place where they were attacked in full faith and assurance that they would be protected as friendly Indians. George Bent, a half Cheyenne, helped me in writing the letter to Wynkoop to make terms of peace.
E. G. GUERRIER.
Henry F. Mayer:
I am sutler to the post, and have been such for two and a half years. I am forty seven years of age. I know Edmond G. Guerrier, a son of William Guerrier, formerly an Indian trader, a Frenchman, and trader at Fort Laramie, by a Cheyenne woman. He is now about twenty-five years of age. I know him intimately. I was the executor of his father's estate, and am his guardian. His father died in February, 1858. Edmond has been with me most of the time since. I know him to be an upright, intelligent, correct young man. He is entirely reliable. I trust every word he says.___________
H. F. MAYER.
Sworn to this 25th day of May, 1865, before me.
J. R. DOOLITTLE.
Captain L. Wilson, 1st Colorado cavalry, sworn:
I arrived in Colorado in May, 1860, from Omaha, Nebraska; was raised in Pennsylvania; I have been in the service since August, 1861; I entered the service as a private, was promoted to second lieutenant, and then to captain. The only fight with Indians I have been engaged in was the Sand creek affair. I was first lieutenant commanding a battalion at Sand creek; I think there were about eight hundred troops engaged, under the command of Colonel Chivington. The fight occurred on the 29th of November, 1864; the column concentrated at Fort Lyon and moved from there. No pickets were thrown around the post by the command, and nothing done to prevent any one from passing out. We reached Fort Lyon about 10½ o'clock on the morning of the 28th; we received no information that the Indians at Sand creek were considered under the protection of the government. Major Scott Anthony was in command of the post; the column moved about 9½ o'clock in the evening; the command was composed of cavalry with six pieces of 12-pound howitzers. We reached the Indian village at daybreak the next morning, surprising the Indians. I was ordered with my battalion to cut the Indians off from their ponies. The advance was made from the southeast side by the whole column. My orders from Colonel Chivington were to cut the herd off, and in doing that I was compelled to fire on the Indians. The first firing was by our troops; I detached H company of my battalion, which was engaged some five minutes before the action became general. The artillery opened on the Indians, who had approached me under a bank as if they were going to fight. The Indians returned our first fire almost instantaneously. I was wounded in the early part of the action; the general action lasted about two hours. I saw no flag of any kind among the Indians. I heard the loss of the enemy estimated by some of the officers engaged at from 300 to 500; I should judge there were from 600 to 800 Indians in all. I heard no orders given in relation to taking prisoners, but it was generally understood among the officers and men, that no prisoners would be taken. Young Jack Smith and young Bent, half-breeds and two or three squaws, were the only prisoners taken. Young Bent was sent as a prisoner to Fort Lyon; Jack Smith was afterwards killed in camp. The squaws and pappooses followed the column to Fort Lyon; one young infant was picked up on the field; when we got into camp it was given to one of the squaws, but afterwards died and was buried. I saw some Indians that had been scalped, and the ears were cut off of the body of White Antelope. One Indian who had been scalped had also his skull all smashed in, and I heard that the privates of White Antelope had been cut off to make a tobacco bag out of. I heard some of the men say that the privates of one of the squaws had been cut out and put on a stick. There was a herd of about 600 ponies, mules and horses captured, whose average value per head was, I think, about $100; the Indians did not succeed in getting away with more than half a dozen of them. The herd was placed in charge of Captain Johnson, provost marshal of the column, and sent into Fort Lyon. When I reached Fort Lyon, I heard from the quartermaster that the main portion of the herd had been stolen by the troops; there were about 250 head recovered and brought to Denver with the command. Of the whole number captured the government derived no benefit, the stock being stolen and generally distributed throughout the country. In the Indian camp I saw one new scalp, a white man's, and two old ones. Some clothing was found, women's shoes and dresses, and officers' uniforms and other articles. The men helped themselves to what they wanted, and the balance was burned in the village. All the force, with the exception of about two hundred and forty of the veteran battalion, were one-hundred-days men; this was their only engagement. I do not know of its being an Indian custom to scalp their own dead, but am of the opinion that the Indians at Sand creek were scalped by our soldiers.
Pressly Talbott sworn:
Have resided in the Territory since 1859; I came from Kentucky; have become pretty well acquainted with Indian affairs; the difficulties arise from depredations committed by the Indians. The first year I was here there was no difficulty with the Indians; since then they have been committing depredations. I entered the service as captain in the 3d regiment Colorado one-hundred-days men; the only battle I was engaged in was at Sand creek. I was at Fort Lyon the day before the battle; I had a conversation with Major Anthony, who expressed himself glad that we had come, saying that he would have attacked the Indians himself had he had sufficient force. I did not understand from any source that the Indians had been placed there at Sand creek under the protection of the government.
Colonel Chivington gave orders that no parties, either military or civil, should be allowed to leave or enter Fort Lyon without his consent, and he stationed pickets to enforce the order. I believe the object of the order was to prevent any one from giving the Indians information that troops were coming. I think we moved from Fort Lyon with about 650 men and four pieces of artillery, passing a distance of about forty-five miles, reaching the Indian village about sun up, surprising the Indians; Colonel Chivington ordering that the ponies be first secured, and Captain Wilson was intrusted with stampeding the ponies with Colonel Shoup. I received orders to march up the right side of the creek and attack, which I obeyed; the troops on the other side of the creek had commenced firing before; the artillery was also playing on the Indians. My company was permitted to charge the banks and ditches. No orders were given about taking prisoners. I was wounded and taken from the field about half an hour after the battle began, and know nothing of the fight after that time; I was shot through with a bullet. I did not see any flags displayed by the Indians. I do not know what disposition was made of the captured stock. I occupied a room while wounded adjoining the room of Major Colley, and was shown papers by John Smith against the government for 105 buffalo robes, two white ponies, and a wagon-load of goods. This account was made out in favor of Smith and Colley for $6,000. They claimed they had other demands against the government, and Smith said they would realize $25,000 out of it, and damn Colonel Chivington. They were very bitter in their denunciations of Colonel Chivington and Major Downing. Private Louderback swore to the accounts; he was detailed as a nurse for me, but did writing for Smith and Colley.___________
DENVER, July 21, 1865.
Jacob Downing sworn:
I have resided in Colorado since the spring of 1860; am a native of Albany, New York, a lawyer by profession, and about thirty-three years of age. I was major of the first cavalry of Colorado; was in service from August, 1861, to January, 1865. A portion of the time I acted as inspector of the district of Colorado. The first collision between the troops and the Indians was at Fremont's orchard, near Camp Sanborn, on the north side of the South Platte river, about the twelfth of April, 1864. I was at Camp Sanborn, inspecting troops. In the evening, about 9 o'clock, a man by the name of Ripley, a ranchman on the Kioway creek, came into Camp Sanborn and stated that the Indians had taken from him all his stock, and that he had narrowly escaped with his life. He did not know what tribe of Indians, and said that they were driving the people off from the Kioway, Bijout, and other creeks. He requested Captain Sanborn, the commander of the post, to give him the assistance of a few troops, stationed there, to recover the stock, saying that he knew the Indians; that they would go north, and he thought he could find them. Captain Sanborn consented. Next morning Lieutenant Dunn, with about forty men, was ordered to go in pursuit and recover the stock, if possible, taking Mr. Ripley as guide; with instructions also, as I understood, to disarm the Indians if he found them in possession of the stock, but to use every means to avoid a collision with them. He started that morning and returned about ten o'clock that evening, stating that he had had a fight with the Indians; that they first fired upon him. After marching until four o'clock in the afternoon he came in sight of the Indians, near Fremont's orchard. He was then on the south side of the Platte; the Indians were crossing to the north side, some of whom were driving a herd of stock--horses, mules, &c. In the river he halted his command to allow the horses to drink, they not having had water since morning, when Mr. Ripley and a soldier went ahead of the command to see what the Indians were driving, and to see if they could see Ripley's stock in the herd of the Indians. They soon returned, when Ripley stated that he recognized the Indians as those who drove off his stock, and had seen his horses in their herd, which they were rapidly driving towards the bluffs. The soldier stated that he thought the Indians intended to fight; that they were loading their rifles. When Lieutenant Dunn arrived on the north bank of the Platte, where he could see the Indians, he found them with their bows strung and their rifles in their hands. He directed
Mr. Ripley and four soldiers to stop the herd the Indians were driving, halted his command, and alone rode forward to meet the Indians; talked with them, endeavoring to obtain the stock without any difficulty, and requested one or two of the Indians to come forward and talk with him. They paid no attention to him, but together and in line rode towards him. Finding them determined not to talk with him, he rode slowly back to his command, and when the Indians were within about six or eight feet, he ordered his men to dismount and disarm the Indians. As soon as his men had dismounted the Indians fired upon them, and a fight commenced, which lasted about an hour. He succeeded in driving them into the bluffs, and followed them that night about twenty miles. He had four wounded, two of whom afterwards died. He thought he killed a number of Indians. The Indians, being greatly superior in numbers, succeeded in getting their dead and wounded away. At the commencement of the fight a small party of Indians drove the stock into the
bluffs, and Ripley's stock was never recovered. He afterwards learned they were southern Cheyennes. He learned it from spears, bows, arrows, and other things left on the ground where the fight occurred, and by statements of some of the Indians of the Cheyennes; this is hearsay. Major Whitely took the statement of Indians at Camp Welles. Lieutenant Dunn had separated his command, and had only sixteen men with him. He thought there were from eighty to one hundred Indians. He returned to camp, and next morning, having obtained a man named Geary as a guide, with a fresh mount, he started in pursuit. It having snowed in the night, the trail was obliterated so they could not follow it. The next was a fight I had with them at Cedar Bluffs. I came to Denver and requested Colonel Chivington to give me a force to go against the Indians. He did so. I had about forty men. I captured an Indian and required him to go to the village, or I would kill him. This was about the middle of May. We started about eleven o'clock in the day; travelled all day and all that night. About daylight I succeeded in surprising the Cheyenne village of Cedar Bluffs, in a small cañon about sixty miles north of the South Platte river. We commenced shooting; I ordered the men to commence killing them. We soon found a cañon on the edge of the brinks, occupied by warriors with rifles. I arranged my men the best, as I thought, under the circumstances, and commenced shooting at them, and they at us. The fight lasted about three hours. They put their dead under the rocks. They lost, as I was informed, some twenty-six killed and thirty wounded. My own loss was one killed and one wounded. I burnt up their lodges and everything I could get hold of. There were fifteen large lodges and some smaller ones, but I was informed that there were some warriors who had no lodges. I took no prisoners. We got out of ammunition and could not pursue them. There were women and children among the Indians, but, to my knowledge, none were killed. We captured about one hundred head of stock, which was distributed among the boys. The stock consisted of ponies, for which I would not have given $5 per head. They were probably worth in this market $15 per head. I distributed the stock among the men for the reason that they had been marching almost constantly day and night for nearly three weeks, and with the understanding that if Major General Curtis, commanding the department, would not consent to it, they would turn the stock over to the government--having seen such things done in New Mexico, under the command of General Canby, commanding the department. General Curtis would not allow this to be done, and I ordered the men to turn the ponies over to Lieutenant Chase, acting battalion quartermaster, which, to the best of my knowledge and belief, was done; and by Lieutenant Chase, as I was informed, the ponies were turned over to the government. About the same time I heard Lieutenant Ayres had a collision with the Indians. I made my attack on the Indians from the fact that constant statements were made to me by the settlers of the depredations committed by the Indians on the Platte, and the statements of murders committed; and I regarded hostilities as existing between the whites and Cheyennes before I attacked them at Cedar Bluffs, and before Lieutenant Dunn had a collision with them; and continue up to the present time. I was under Colonel Chivington when he went to Fort Lyon, and when he made the attack at Sand creek. I have no knowledge of what occurred between the Indians and Major Wynkoop, commander of the post of Fort Lyon, but heard Major Anthony's statement. Colonel Chivington marched with about five hundred men from Camp Fillmore; upon arriving at Fort Lyon he surrounded the place with pickets to prevent any one from leaving. He met Major Anthony at the officers' quarters. I was not present at the commencement of the interview, but came up soon after. I heard Colonel Chivington ask Major Anthony how the Indians were. The major said he wished Colonel Chivington would go out and attack them; that every man in Fort Lyon would go with him that had the opportunity; that he would have attacked them long before if he had had a sufficient number of troops. He stated that the Indians were on Sand creek, about twenty miles from Fort Lyon; but afterwards understood that he was mistaken, as they were about forty miles from Fort Lyon. He urged an immediate attack upon the Indians, stating that he would like to save out of the number a few who he believed to be good Indians; mention-
ing the names of One Eye, Black Kettle, and one other, stating that the rest ought all to be killed. He said, in substance, that he had ordered the Indians at one time to give up their arms, and that he had intended to treat them as prisoners of war; that they gave him a few bows and arrows used by boys, and perfectly useless for warriors; that they gave up a Hawkins rifle without any lock on it; and, in fact, all the arms they surrendered were useless. Then, believing that they were insincere in their professions of friendship, he had returned their arms, ordered them away from the post, and directed the guard to fire upon them if they attempted to come into the fort. In fact, all his statements were urging Colonel Chivington to attack the Indians; that they were hostile. The command arrived at Fort Lyon in the forenoon, and that evening about 9 o'clock Colonel Chivington's command started for Sand creek. I should judge he took with him some one hundred or one hundred and twenty men from Fort Lyon. We reached Sand creek about sunrise next morning. A battalion was immediately ordered to place themselves between the village and the ponies; the other battalions were brought up and nearly surrounded the village. The horse of a man named Pierce was apparently running away with him; the horse ran into the village and fell, but got up; when an Indian fired and killed Pierce; this was the first shot fired, to my knowledge. I rode forward to the village at the head of what was left of my battalion, some having been sent away, and when near the village an Indian fired at me from under the bank of the creek. After looking at the arrangement of the village, I went back to Major Anthony, who had his battalion in line, and, under the supposition that he was going to charge the village with his cavalry, advised him not to do it, believing that the horses were liable to become entangled among the ropes and fall. Immediately after Pierce was killed the battalion on the right commenced firing into the village. Major Anthony was on the east of the village, on the north side of the creek; most of the command were dismounted, and fought in that way. The Indians took refuge in trenches under the banks, which had evidently been dug before our arrival. The fighting became general; we killed as many as we could; the village was destroyed and burned. The surgeon informed me that some forty were killed and wounded in Colonel Chivington's command. My own belief is, that there were some five hundred or six hundred Indians killed; I counted two hundred and odd Indians within a very short distance of where their village stood, most of whom were in these trenches, and Indians were killed five and six miles from the village; but of the two hundred killed, I counted about twelve or fifteen women and a few children, who had been killed in the trenches. I did not see any flag over the village, but afterwards saw a man with a small flag, who said he got it out of a lodge; I saw no person advancing with a white flag, but think I should have seen it had it happened. The Indians were not buried by our men. I saw no soldier scalping anybody, but saw one or two bodies which had evidently been scalped. I understand two or three squaws were taken prisoners, and carried to Fort Lyon. A half breed named Smith was taken prisoner, but was afterwards shot, the man who shot him afterwards deserting. I remember seeing John Smith after the attack was made. Major Anthony ordered his men to cease firing, and called to Smith to come towards him. I saw no mutilated bodies besides scalping, but heard that some bodies were mutilated. I don't know that I saw any squaw that had been scalped. I saw no scalps or other parts of the person among the command on our return. I saw no papoose in a feed-box. I think I saw one with a squaw the night of our first camp, but understood they abandoned it the next morning, when the command moved. I heard Colonel Chivington give no orders in regard to prisoners. I tried to take none myself, but killed all I could; and I think that was the general feeling in the command. I think and earnestly believe the Indians to be an obstacle to civilization, and should be exterminated. I think there were some five hundred or six hundred head of ponies, horses, and mules. Colonel Chivington ordered the provost marshal, Captain J. J. Johnson, to take charge of them and turn them over to the quartermaster at Denver. Captain Johnson took charge of them and, I think, turned them over. I do not know of any being distributed among the men. I acted as attorney for Colonel Chivington in the late investigation.___________
DENVER, July 27, 1865.
Oliver A. Williard:
Is a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church, residing in Denver, and have resided here three years nearly; I know Colonel Chivington, and also Governor Evans; I have had conversation with Colonel Chivington more than once upon the subject of Governor Evans's connexion with the affair at Sand creek last year; Colonel Chivington said that Governor Evans had no knowledge of when he was to strike, or where, nor what was the object of his expedition; he said this more than once; he said it was necessary to keep secrecy in such expeditions, and the governor knew nothing of it when he went to the States; the governor was absent when the attack took place; both Colonel Chivington and Governor Evans are my friends, and members of my church.
Major Simeon Whitely sworn:
I have resided in Colorado since April, 1863; I came here from Wisconsin; there was no outbreak among the Plain Indians until a year ago last spring; since then there has been continual trouble; I was present at a council held between Governor Evans and seven or nine chiefs of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes in September, 1864; copies of what was said at the council are on file in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and in the commission to investigate the conduct of Colonel Chivington; the original draught is in the possession of Governor Evans; I did not hear Governor Evans say that he did not want to see the Indians, or to make peace with them; he told them that the power to make peace had passed out of his hands; I did not hear him at any time say that if he made peace he would not know what to do with the regiment he had raised; in making the report of what transpired at the council I took great pains, and am sure that it is a correct and truthful account of the whole transaction; when the third Colorado regiment came back from Sand creek I saw in the hands of a good many of the privates a great many scalps, or parts of scalps, said to have been taken in that fight; at a theatrical performance held in this city I saw a great many scalps exhibited; at various times in the city I must have seen as many as a hundred scalps.___________
S. E. Browne sworn:
I have lived in Colorado since May, 1862, during which time have been United States attorney for the Territory; I have no doubt that if the military and civil management of Indian affairs were in discreet and competent hands Indian difficulties might be avoided; I personally know of no frauds or peculations committed against the government or Indians by any civil or military officers; in February last I was elected colonel of a mounted regiment raised in this Territory to serve for ninety days; late in the month of February I was in General Moonlight's headquarters, who was in command of the district of Colorado at that time, and heard him say that from the first and third Colorado cavalry then mustered out, and the horses and ponies taken at Sand creek, there were two thousand two hundred head to be accounted for to the government, but of that number only four hundred and twenty-five or four hundred and seventy-five had been accounted for, leaving a deficit of over seventeen hundred that he knew not what had become of; a comparatively small number, I have been informed, have since been recovered; I have seen over a hundred scalps in the city and through the country, said to have been taken at Sand creek; early in September or late in August last I heard Colonel Chivington in a public speech announce that his policy was to "kill and scalp all, little and big; that nits made lice;" one of the main causes of our difficulties with the Indians comes from the delay in paying the Indians their annuities according to law.___________
Colonel Potter sworn:
Am colonel of the sixth United States volunteers; I have been in Colorado nearly two months; am in command of the south sub-district of the plains; off from the stage lines I have received no reports; on the line south to Forts Garland and Fillmore, and the line into the States, I have had no difficulty, but on the line to Green river, towards Salt lake, the Indians have been troublesome, killing men, &c.; the Indians, as near as I can find out, are the Arapahoes, who have committed depredations between Fort Collins and the North Platte; they have driven off stage stock from some of the stations, and have also killed one sergeant and five men, burnt Foot's ranch, attacked a train near the ranch, capturing two wagons and running off some sixty head of stock; the train was escorted by soldiers, who fought as well as men could until their ammunition gave out; it requires from twenty-five to thirty men to guard the stage from Virginia Dale to the North Platte; these depredations I believe to have been committed by the Arapahoes, who, while their families are fed and protected by the government, prey upon the trains; I know of no other Indians who have committed depredations this side of the North Platte; north of the North Platte depredations have been committed by the Sioux and Cheyennes; General Connor, commanding the district, is now at Fort Laramie; I do not know the strength of his force; I have at present twelve hundred and eighty-eight men under my command; I don't think there is any possibility of making any lasting peace with the Indians; I think there is only one of three things to do--either abandon the country to the Indians, forcibly place the tribes on reservations surrounded by soldiers, or exterminate them; my orders are to kill every male Indian over twelve years of age found north of the South Platte, but to disturb no women and children; as far as I know the policy of the military department here, it is to exterminate the Indians; Utah is within General Connor's district; I know of no depredations committed in Utah.
Dr. Caleb S. Birtsell sworn:
I have resided in Colorado since 1859; I came from Ohio originally; I was at the battle of Sand creek as assistant surgeon of the third Colorado cavalry; it commenced by our men corralling the ponies; Colonel Chivington and Colonel Shoup gave orders to form in line of battle, but it could not be kept; firing commenced, and I was soon after engaged attending to the wounded; I saw very little of what occurred; I reserved some of the lodges for hospital tents, and my time was occupied that day and night and the next day caring for the wounded; on the afternoon of the 29th of November, while in one of the lodges dressing wounded soldiers, a soldier came to the opening of the lodge and called my attention to some white scalps he held in his hand; my impression, after examination, was that two or three of them were quite fresh; I saw in the hands of soldiers silk dresses and other garments belonging to women; I saw some squaws that were dead, but did not go over the ground; I did not see any Indians scalped, but saw the bodies after they were scalped; I saw no other mutilations; I did not see any kind of a flag in the Indian camp; there were none left wounded on the field; I know of none being killed after being taken prisoner; soon after the battle, on the march, and here in Denver, I have seen soldiers with Indian scalps; of the stock captured a great many died, and some were distributed among the troops, and some, I think, were sold; I heard Major Anthony say that he had given the Indians back what arms they had delivered up, and told them they must take care of themselves--that he would issue no more provisions to them--and that they dared the soldiers out to fight; my impression is that orders were given to take no prisoners; I think Colonel Chivington was in a position where he must have seen the scalping going on.___________
Asbury Bird, company D, 1st Colorado cavalry, sworn:
I was present at the engagement between Lieutenant Ayres and the Indians, composed of Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and some Kioways. There was some cattle stolen on the head of Beaver creek. We were sent to recover it; encountered a band of five lodges; two of the Indians came towards us armed with rifles; when about sixty yards off we hollered "how" to them, and they to us; before we got clear up to them they saw the command about half a mile in rear of us coming up on a lope, and put off to their village and took their squaws and left. Lieutenant Ayres took round a hill to catch the Indians. On our left there was one Indian, and Lieutenant Ayres sent two men to capture him; but the Indian shot one of the men and the other ran off. The ground being too rough to get the artillery up, we returned to the Indian camp, took all the meat, &c., and burned the lodges. We got on the Indian trail the next morning and pressed them so close they abandoned many things, and we recovered twenty of the stolen cattle. We then returned to Denver. We were ordered out again; met some Indians of the Sioux tribe; held a talk with them; they said they did not wish to fight; did not feel strong enough; they stayed in our camp that night, we sharing our provisions with them. The next morning, about 9 o'clock, we were attacked by about seven hundred Indians, and fought them until dark; we lost four men killed. We had no interpreter along with us. When the two Indians came to meet me they appeared friendly, but when they saw the command coming on a lope, they seemed frightened and ran off. No effort was made by Lieutenant Ayres to hold a talk with the Indians. I was with the train at Sand creek, but did not see the fight. I went over the ground soon after the battle. I should judge there were between 400 and 500 Indians killed. I counted 350 lying up and down the creek. I think about half the killed were women and children. Nearly all, men, women, and children, were scalped. I saw one woman whose privates had been mutilated. The scalps were carried away mostly by the 3d regiment, one-hundred-day men. I saw but one Indian infant killed. Two children were brought to the fort. I think about 500 head of stock was taken; about 400 were turned over to the quartermaster at Fort Lyon. A great portion of all the stock became scattered through the country. In a conversation with Dick Colley, in the month of November, 1864, he told me they had sent $2,000 worth of the Indian goods to Denver, and expected the money every day. I heard John Smith say he had some goods that did not cost him anything; that he was going to trade with the Indians, and if he lost them would not be out anything.___________
Mr. Bouser sworn:
The first difficulty between the Cheyennes and Arapahoes and whites occurred on the 11th day of April, 1864. A white man came into Camp Sanborn and reported that he had cattle stolen. A detail of twenty men was sent after the Indians to get the cattle. The commander of the detail, Lieutenant Clark Dunn, had orders to disarm and fetch in
the Indians; if they refused, to sweep them off the face of the earth. A fight occurred, and some Indians were wounded, also four soldiers, two of whom afterwards died. There was no interpreter along with the detail. The Indians, so Lieutenant Dunn told me, shook hands, and appeared as though they wanted to say or do anything. I know an Indian named Spotted Horse, part Cheyenne and part Sioux; he is now dead; he told me that he was in the affair with Lieutenant Dunn. He said the Indians took three head of cattle; there were 100 warriors. There was snow on the ground, and the Indians were hungry and took the cattle; they would have come into Denver if their horses had been in condition. They went south of the river with the cattle, intending if the soldiers came after them to settle for the cattle by giving some of their ponies. Before they had time to cross the river and kill the cattle the soldiers overtook them. The soldiers had no interpreter, held no talk with the Indians, gave them no time even to deliver the cattle, but pitched into them. He also told me that had he been up in time, as he speaks English, or had there been an interpreter, the whole matter might have been settled without a fight. As it was, the Indians rode up close to the soldiers, dismounted, and shook hands with them. Lieutenant Dunn's men then took hold of some of the Indians' weapons and tried to wrest them away. The Indians did not know what it meant, and refused to give up their arms, when they were fired upon by the soldiers. Spotted Horse, seeing that there was going to be a war, threw up his chieftainship, and with it some one hundred head of ponies, and came in to Governor Evans. I acted as interpreter, and he told substantially to Governor Evans the above. This same chief traded four of his ponies to ransom a white woman--Mrs. Kelly. The next collision was under Major Downing, at Cedar cañon. I have a Brulé Sioux woman for a wife. I am of opinion that a lasting peace could be made with all the southern Sioux without any more fighting.___________
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY.
Lieutenant Cramer sworn:
I am stationed at this post, 1st lieutenant company C, veteran battalion Colorado cavalry. I was at this post when Colonel Chivington arrived here, and accompanied him on his expedition. He came into the post with a few officers and men, and threw out pickets, with instructions to allow no one to go beyond the line. I was then in command of company K. He brought some eight or nine hundred men with him, and took from this post over a hundred men, all being mounted. My company was ordered along to take part. We arrived at the Indian village about daylight. On arriving in sight of the village a battalion of the 1st cavalry and the Fort Lyon battalion were ordered on a charge to surround the village and the Indian herd. After driving the herd towards the village. Lieutenant Wilson's battalion of the 1st took possession of the northeast side of the village, Major Anthony's battalion took position on the south, Colonel Chivington's 3d regiment took position in our rear, dismounted, and after the fight had been commenced by Major Anthony and Lieutenant Wilson, mounted, and commenced firing through us and over our heads. About this time Captain John Smith, Indian interpreter, attempting to come to our troops, was fired on by our men, at the command of some one in our rear, "To shoot the damned old son of a bitch." One of my men rode forward to save him, but was killed. To get out of the fire from the rear, we were ordered to the left. About this time Colonel Chivington moved his regiment to the front, the Indians retreating up the creek, and hiding under the banks. There seemed to be no organization among our troops; every one on his own hook, and shots flying between our own ranks. White Antelope ran towards our columns unarmed, and with both arms raised, but was killed. Several other of the warriors were killed in like manner. The women and children were huddled together, and most of our fire was concentrated on them. Sometimes during the engagement I was compelled to move my company to get out of the fire of our own men. Captain Soule did not order his men to fire when the order was given to commence the fight. During the fight, the battery on the opposite side of the creek kept firing at the bank while our men were in range. The Indian warriors, about one hundred in number, fought desperately; there were about five hundred all told. I estimated the loss of the Indians to be from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and seventy-five killed; no wounded fell into our hands, and all the dead were scalped. The Indian who was pointed out as White Antelope had his fingers cut off. Our force was so large that there was no necessity of firing on the Indians. They did not return the fire until after our troops had fired several rounds. We had the assurance from Major Anthony that Black Kettle and his friends should be saved, and only those Indians who had committed depredations should be harmed. During the fight no officer took any measures to get out of the fire of our own men. Left Hand stood with his arms folded, saying he would not fight the white men, as they were his friends. I told Colonel Chivington of the position in which the offi-
cers stood from Major Wynkoop's pledges to the Indians, and also Major Anthony's, and that it would be murder, in every sense of the word, if he attacked those Indians. His reply was, bringing his fist down close to my face, "Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians." I told him what pledges were given the Indians. He replied, "That he had come to kill Indians, and believed it to be honorable to kill Indians under any and all circumstances;" all this at Fort Lyon. Lieutenant Dunn went to Colonel Chivington and wanted to know if he could kill his prisoner, young Smith. His reply was, "Don't ask me; you know my orders; I want no prisoners." Colonel Chivington was in position where he must have seen the scalping and mutilation going on. One of the soldiers was taking a squaw prisoner across the creek, when other soldiers fired on him, telling him they would kill him if he did not let her go. On our approach to the village I saw some one with a white flag approaching our lines, and the troops fired upon it; and at the time Captain Smith was fired upon, some one wearing a uniform coat was fired upon approaching our lines. Captain Smith was wearing one. After the fight I saw the United States flag in the Indian camp. It is a mistake that there were any white scalps found in the village. I saw one, but it was very old, the hair being much faded. I was ordered to burn the village, and was through all the lodges. There was not any snow on the ground, and no rifle-pits. I was present at the interview on the Smoky Hill between Major Wynkoop and the Indians, and it is correctly set out in his report, which I have read. I was also present at the interview between the Indian chiefs and Major Anthony, after he had assumed command. The chiefs desired to come into the post for protection, as they had heard through the Sioux that the 3d regiment Colorado troops was advancing in their direction. Major Anthony declined to permit them, saying he had not provisions to feed them. They must stay where they were, and their young men must go out and hunt buffalo. This was only three days before the massacre.___________
FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY.
C. M. Cossitt:
Is acting quartermaster at this post; was here when Colonel Chivington came in from Sand creek after the fight or massacre there. He used to stop with me when he came here. In my room several present, among others Major Colley, Indian agent. He thought he had done a brilliant thing which would make him a brigadier general. I think the expression was, "that he thought that would put a star on his shoulder." This would do for a second Harney as an Indian fighter. This is the substance of the conversation.
C. M. COSSITT,___________
Lieut. Vet. Battalion 1st Colorado Cavalry, A. A. Q. M.
Lucien Palmer sworn:
Am sergeant of company C, veteran battalion 1st Colorado cavalry. I was such at the time of the attack on the Cheyennes by Chivington; I was in the midst of the fight; I counted 130 bodies, all dead; two squaws and three papooses were captured and brought to Fort Lyon. I think among the dead bodies one-third were women and children. The bodies were horribly cut up, skulls broken in a good many; I judge they were broken in after they were killed, as they were shot besides. I do not think I saw any but what was scalped; saw fingers cut off, saw several bodies with privates cut off, women as well as men. I saw Major Sayre, of the 3d regiment, scalp an Indian for the scalp lock ornamented by silver ornaments; he cut off the skin with it. He stood by and saw his men cutting fingers from dead bodies. This was the morning after the fight. All I saw done in mutilating bodies was done by the members of the 3d regiment. I counted the number of dead bodies, but did not count the women and children separate from the men to learn the proportion of each. I speak only from my impression as to the women and children being one-third of the number killed. I was with the battery.___________
Amos C. Miksch sworn:
Am a corporal in company E, veteran battalion, 1st Colorado cavalry; was born in Pennsylvania, but my home is in Ohio. I was in the battery; did not see the first attack; after we came up we opened on the Indians; they retreated and we followed and stayed until all were killed we could find. Next morning after the battle I saw a little boy covered up among the Indians in a trench, still alive. I saw a major in the 3d regiment take out his pistol and blow off the top of his head. I saw some men unjointing fingers to get rings
off, and cutting off ears to get silver ornaments. I saw a party with the same major take up bodies that had been buried in the night to scalp them and take off ornaments. I saw a squaw with her head smashed in before she was killed. Next morning, after they were dead and stiff, these men pulled out the bodies of the squaws and pulled them open in an indecent manner. I heard men say they had cut out the privates, but did not see it myself. It was the 3d Colorado men who did these things. I counted 123 dead bodies; I think not over twenty-five were full-grown men; the warriors were killed out in the bluff; altogether I think there were about 500. There were 115 lodges, from four to five in a lodge. In the afternoon I saw twenty-five or thirty women and children; Colonel Chivington would not allow them to come in; a squad of the 3d Colorado was sent out; I don't know what became of them; it was about four miles off. The Indians were generally scalped as they fell. Next day I saw Lieutenant Richmond scalp two Indians; it was disgusting to me; I heard nothing of a fresh white scalp in the Indian camp until I saw it in the Dunn papers. There was no snow on the ground; there were no rifle-pits except what the Indians dug into the sand-bank after we commenced firing. I saw them digging out sand with their hands while firing was going on; the water came into the trenches they dug in this manner.___________
FORT LYON, June 9, 1865.
Major Wynkoop sworn:
I am in command of this post; I was in command in May, 1864, and until within a short time previous to the Sand creek affair.
Question. Do your report and the accompanying affidavits state the facts of that affair?
Answer. They do so far as they go. I have been a resident of this Territory since October, 1858. I have been familiar with the state of affairs with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Previous to the Chivington affair hostilities were open about four months. From my own personal knowledge I have no doubt that the hostilities were commenced by a detachment of soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Dunn, who was sent in search of some cattle supposed to have been stolen and driven away by some Cheyenne Indians. A conflict occurred between Lieutenant Dunn and the Indians. Captain Sanborn sent out the detachment. A rumor had reached district headquarters that the cattle had been stolen by the Indians, and Colonel Chivington issued orders that a detachment should be sent out to recover the stock and disarm the Indians. The attempt to disarm the Indians resulted in a conflict; there was one killed and three wounded on our side. That was the first difficulty I know of between the Cheyennes, Arapahoes and whites since my residence in the country, seven years. The next difficulty was an attack on a Cheyenne village by Major Downing, under Chivington's orders. The major reported he had killed over forty warriors, but the Cheyenne chiefs stated to me that their loss consisted of two squaws and two pappooses. Our loss was one killed. Lieutenant Ayres, of the Colorado battery, had the next conflict with the Indians. He had been ordered by Colonel Chivington, as he stated to me, to kill all Indians he came across. He marched from Fort Larned, about forty miles, until he came to Lean Bear's band of Cheyennes, a few of whom were some distance from the column, hunting buffalo. Sergeant Fribbley was approached by Lean Bear, and accompanied by him into our column, leaving his warriors at some distance. A short time after Lean Bear reached our command he was killed, and fire opened upon his band. I am not aware of any hostilities committed by Lean Bear's command previous to this time. A running fight for a couple of hours ensued, in which we lost several killed, the Indians getting possession of the bodies. My information has been derived from information received and reports made to me, also from the Cheyennes. At and previous to the fight of Lieutenant Ayres, a band of Arapahoes were situated about twenty-five miles from here, on Sand creek; they had been in the habit of coming into the fort frequently, and having communication with their agent, Major Colley, and myself. I had been in the habit of issuing rations to them when I found them in want. They had given every evidence of friendship for the whites, and were in the habit of bringing in and delivering to me government stock found loose on the prairie. In consequence of this friendly feeling on their part, and desirous to keep them friendly, as we were at war with the Cheyennes, I issued rations to them every ten days. About this time I made the proposition to them. Colonel Chivington was temporarily at this post, and in the presence of several officers I submitted the proposition to him, and he heartily indorsed the same, and was present at one or two issues. This post was then in the district of the Upper Arkansas; Colonel Chivington was here, but dated his orders headquarters in the field. Left-Hand's band was at this time camped near Fort Larned; near them was a band of Kiowas. Left-Hand, who had always been friendly to the whites, learned that the Kiowas, on a certain day, intended to run off the stock from Fort Larned, and he accordingly stated that fact to the commanding officer of that post, Captain Parmeter. No apparent attention was paid to the
information given by Left-Hand, and on the day indicated by him the stock was driven off by the Kiowas. Immediately after this Left-Hand and his band approached the post to offer his services and the services of his young men to pursue the Kiowas and recover the stock. Meeting a soldier a short distance from the post, he requested him to state to the commanding officer his object. I am personally acquainted with Left-Hand; he speaks English. Left-Hand continued to approach the post, at the same time exhibiting a white flag, when fire was opened upon them by the battery, which drove them off. After sufficient time had elapsed for the news to reach this vicinity, the band of Arapahoes camped here suddenly disappeared. Not a great while afterwards a citizen, a quartermaster's teamster, and his wife, while travelling from Denver here, were attacked by Indians; the man killed and the woman carried off. I have reliable information that this act was committed by Little Raven's band of Arapahoes. A short time after that, two citizens on their way to this post to testify before a military commission, sixteen miles from here, were attacked by Indians and killed. My information is, that this outrage was committed by Little Raven's band. I know of no outrages committed by any of Left-Hand's band. While a small detachment of my regiment, some thirty men, were encamped near the mouth of the Cimarron crossing, their stock was run off. Lieutenant Chase, encamped at Jimmy's camp, had his stock driven off. The letter I received from the Indians is correctly printed in the Commissioner's report. I do know that the Indians encamped on Sand creek felt that they were under the protection of the government, and were friendly; have driven my family down to their camp and sat in their lodges, without an escort. Colonel Chivington had no orders to attack the Cheyenne camp; I never have received any instructions in regard to Indians and their treatment. Since the Sand creek affair there has existed the deadliest hostility between those tribes and the whites; they have killed many persons on the Platte, and captured and destroyed much property. I know of no depredations committed on this route by the Cheyennes and Arapahoes since; I have reason to know that the Kiowas and Comanches have joined them in hostilities; I know that the Sioux are anxious, with the other tribes, to make peace, if the Cheyennes and Arapahoes do, and I think before the Sand creek affair a lasting peace could have been made with all the Indians. Since the massacre I have not been able to hold any communication with the Indians. I have in my possession a statement made by a half-breed, who had been in their camp since the massacre. He was in during the attack, and was among those who escaped; he was also in their camp when the remnant of the tribe got together on the Smoky Hill. Black Kettle, head chief of the Cheyennes, was there, but in disgrace with his tribe; was recognized no longer, and was taunted for having, by putting too much faith in the white man, their women and children murdered. They insulted him and threatened his life, asking him why he did not stay and die with his brother, White Antelope. The Indians told him that altogether there were one hundred and forty missing, but some wounded afterwards came in. Black Kettle is the only chief left who was in favor of peace. White Antelope folded his arms stoically and was shot down, refusing to leave the field, stating that it was the fault of Black Kettle, others, and himself that occasioned the massacre, and he would die. Black Kettle refusing to leave the field, was carried off by his young men. I gave to the head chiefs of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes a written statement that I had, in consequence of their delivering up some white prisoners, come to an understanding as a United States officer to cease hostilities until such a time as something definite could be concluded by the proper authorities, and warned all officers from interfering with them in a hostile manner until such time should elapse. I pledged myself to give them an interview with the governor of Colorado, and, whatever might be the result, I would return them in safety. This post, at the time of Chivington's attack, was not in his department; but he went out of his district to make the attack. There was force enough at this post, if necessary, to have whipped the Indians. I do not think this reservation is very good, not as good as on the Beaver creek or Smoky Hill Fork. The latter place is midway between the travelled routes and the Indians would much prefer land there. There is a great scope of country south of the Arkansas; the Smoky Hill is the best section of country for the buffalo. In 1858 I travelled with one companion down the Platte, through all the tribes, and was fed and lodged in their camps, encountering no difficulty. I think we might make peace if we could meet the Indians, with the exception of the Dog soldiers of the Cheyennes. But it would be difficult, in consequence of the massacre, to obtain their confidence. I think it a matter of justice to the Indians, and of a decent self-respect to the government, that an effort should be made to make peace. At the time I met the Indians I had but 130 men, and the Indians had some 700 armed warriors. I think had a fight occurred I should have been defeated. After Major Anthony assumed command of the post, he proceeded with a command of cavalry to an Arapaho village, containing the bands of Little Raven and Left-Hand. I had gone down to the village simply as a looker-on, and was there when Major Anthony arrived. He told Little Raven and Left-Hand that he had come for the purpose of taking their arms, as it became necessary to consider them pris-
oners; he did not wish any of them to leave camp without permission from him; he said he would count the number of souls in their camp, and would send an officer every day to verify their presence. The chiefs both appeared willing to deliver up their arms, Little Raven stating he did not desire to be at war with the whites, but was willing to submit to whatever Major Anthony might impose on him. Left-Hand coincided, but requested that he would like to have the Indian boys retain their bows and arrows, as they were in the habit of shooting prairie dogs and jack rabbits, which proved of benefit to them in consequence of their destitute situation. Major Anthony refused to accede to his request, and ordered all the arms to be turned over to him, which was accordingly done, and I saw them placed in a wagon and conveyed to Fort Lyon. This occurred about ten days previous to the fight on Sand creek; Left-Hand joining the Cheyennes, and Little Raven going to Camp Wynkoop.___________
I proceeded from this post with a detachment of cavalry under charge of Lieutenant Cramer. At Booneville I left the detachment, and proceeded ahead with the white prisoners, expecting the cavalry having the Indian chiefs in charge would reach Denver two days after my arrival. My object in proceeding ahead was to have an interview with Governor John Evans, ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs, previous to the arrival of the chiefs. On my arrival I was informed that the governor was sick in bed, and on that evening I did not see him. The next morning he called on me at my hotel. Upon entering the parlor I found him in conversation with Dexter Colley, son of the Indian agent for the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, who was present during our whole interview. I told the governor I had come up in accordance with my report; had brought the rescued white prisoners with me, and that the chiefs would be in in a few days, for the purpose of having an interview with him. He intimated that he was sorry I had brought them; that he considered he had nothing to do with them; that they had declared war against the United States, and he considered them in the hands of the military authorities; that he did not think, anyhow, it was policy to make peace with them until they were properly punished, for the reason that the United States would be acknowledging themselves whipped. I said it would be strange if the United States would consider themselves whipped by a few Indians, and drew his attention to the fact that, as a United States officer, I had pledged myself to these Indians to convey them to Denver, to procure an interview with himself, being the Indian superintendent, upon conditions communicated to him in my report; that I had brought these Indians a distance of nearly four hundred miles from their village with that object in view; and desired that he would furnish them an audience. He replied querulously that he was to start next day to visit the Ute agency on business; besides, he did not want to see them, anyhow. I endeavored to explain to him the position in which I was placed, and earnestly requested that he would await their arrival. He then referred to the fact that the third regiment of one-hundred-day men having been raised, and in camp, were nearly ready to make an Indian campaign. He further said that the regiment was ordered to be raised upon his representations to Washington that they were necessary for the protection of the Territory, and to fight hostile Indians; and now, if he made peace with the Indians, it would be supposed at Washington that he had misrepresented matters in regard to the Indian difficulties in Colorado, and had put the government to a useless expense in raising and equipping the regiment; that they had been raised to kill Indians and they must kill Indians. Several times in our conversation in regard to the object of the Indians who were coming to see him, he made the remark, "What shall I do with the third regiment, if I make peace?"
I have recently been over the battle-field of Sand creek: I saw no evidences of any intrenchments. I do not think the location is suitable for defence.
DENVER, COLORADO TERRITORY, September 13, 1865.
DEAR SIR: Enclosed please find a copy of my reply to the "Committee on the Conduct of the War." I hope you will find in it a vindication against their unjust implication of my name in the "Sand creek affair."
I fain would hope that, in your report, my administration of Indian affairs might have such mention as the faithfulness of which I am conscious entitles me to receive. I ask nothing but justice, and feel confident that I shall receive this. But the circumstances in which I am placed by the Committee on the Conduct of the War make me anxious for more at the hands of your committee than a mere passing notice. If there is any point in my administration not fully and satisfactorily explained I shall be happy to give the facts as they are.
I have, from what was said to me, assumed that the account of my stewardship was satisfactory to you. I trust I have not been hasty in this.
I am gratefully obliged for the kind words in my behalf you were pleased to express at Washington, which have been communicated to me by a friend.___________
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
Hon. J. R. DOOLITTLE.
Reply of Governor Evans, of the Territory of Colorado, to that part, referring to him, of the report of the "Committee on the Conduct of the War," headed "Massacre of Cheyenne Indians."
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT AND SUPERINTENDENCY OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, C. T.,
Denver, August 6, 1865.
To the Public:
I have just seen, for the first time, a copy of the report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, headed "Massacre of Cheyenne Indians."
As it does me great injustice, and by its partial, unfair, and erroneous statements will mislead the public, I respectfully ask a suspension of opinion in my case until I shall have time to present the facts to said committee or some equally high authority; and ask a correction. In the mean time I desire to lay a few facts before the public.
The Committee on the Conduct of the War, as shown by the resolution of the House of Representatives heading the report, had power "to inquire into and report all the facts connected with the late attack, by the 3d regiment Colorado volunteers, under Colonel Chivington, on a village of the Cheyenne tribe of Indians, near Fort Lyon."
They had no power to inquire into my management of Indian affairs except in so far as it related to this battle; and the chairman of the committee assured me that they would not inquire into such general management. Having no connexion whatever with the battle, and, at the time, knowing nothing of the immediate facts connected therewith, I so stated to the committee, and, relying upon the above assurance of the chairman, addressed myself to another committee which had been appointed to investigate the management of Indian affairs generally in the United States. Of this committee, Senator Doolittle was chairman, and to it, I believe, I have rendered a satisfactory account of my stewardship.
The Committee on the Conduct of the War, however, have seen fit to go beyond the scope of their powers, and to enter into a hasty and general investigation of Indian affairs in this superintendency, and in their report attack matters occurring at remote periods from, and entirely disconnected with, the subject-matter of investigation.
Under these circumstances, having been censured unheard, I claim the privilege of presenting proof of the falsity of their charges, in order that, so far as it can be done, the committee, or equally high authority, may repair the great injury done me. And I pledge myself to prove by official correspondence and accredited testimony, to their satisfaction, and that of all fair-minded men, the truth and justice of my complaint.
I do not propose to discuss the merits or demerits of the Sand creek battle, but simply to meet the attempt, on the part of the committee, to connect my name with it, and to throw discredit on my testimony. I shall not ask the public to take my assertions, except so far as I shall sustain them by undoubted authority, a large part of which is published in government documents by the authority of the honorable body of which the committee are members. The report begins:
"In the summer of 1864 Governor Evans, of Colorado Territory, as acting superintendent of Indian affairs, sent notice to the various bands and tribes of Indians within his jurisdiction that such as desired to be considered friendly to the whites should repair to the nearest military post in order to be protected from the soldiers who were to take the field against the hostile Indians."
This statement is true as to such notice having been sent, but conveys the false impression that it was at the beginning of hostilities, and the declaration of war. The truth is, it was issued by authority of the Indian department months after the war had become general, for the purpose of inducing the Indians to cease hostilities, and to protect those who had been or would become friendly, from the inevitable dangers to which they were exposed. This notice may be found published in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1864, page 218.
The report continues:
"About the close of the summer some Cheyenne Indians, in the neighborhood of the Smoky Hill, sent word to Major Wynkoop, commanding at Fort Lyon, that they had in their possession, and were willing to deliver up, some white captives they had purchased
of other Indians. Major Wynkoop, with a force of over one hundred men, visited those Indians and recovered the white captives. On his return he was accompanied by a number of the chiefs and leading men of the Indians, whom he had brought to visit Denver for the purpose of conferring with the authorities there in regard to keeping the peace. Among them were Black Kettle and White Antelope, of the Cheyennes, and some chiefs of the Arapahoes. The council was held, and these chiefs stated that they were friendly to the whites and had always been."
Again they say:
"All the testimony goes to show that the Indians under the immediate control of Black Kettle and White Antelope, of the Cheyennes, and Left-Hand, of the Arapahoes, were and had always been friendly to the whites, and had not been guilty of any acts of hostility or depredations."
This word which the committee say was sent to Major Wynkoop was a letter to United States Indian Agent Major Colley, which is published in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1865, page 233, and is as follows:
"CHEYENNE VILLAGE, August 29, 1864.
"MAJOR COLLEY: We received a letter from Bent, wishing us to make peace. We held a council in regard to it. All come to the conclusion to make peace with you, providing you make peace with the Kiowas, Comanches, Arapahoes, Apaches, and Sioux. We are going to send a messenger to the Kiowas and to the other nations about our going to make peace with you. We heard that you have some [prisoners] in Denver. We have seven prisoners of yours which we are willing to give up, providing you give up yours. There are three war parties out yet, and two of Arapahoes. They have been out some time and expected in soon. When we held this council there were few Arapahoes and Sioux present.
We want true news from you in return. That is a letter.
"BLACK KETTLE, and other Chiefs."
Compare the above extract from the report of the committee with this published letter of Black Kettle and the admission of the Indians in the council at Denver.
The committee say, the prisoners proposed to be delivered up were purchased of other Indians. Black Kettle, in his letter, says: "We have seven prisoners of yours, which we are willing to give up, providing you give up yours."
They say nothing about prisoners whom they had purchased. On the other hand, in the council held in Denver, Black Kettle said:
"Major Wynkoop was kind enough to receive the letter, and visited them in camp, to whom they delivered four white prisoners, one other (Mrs. Snyder) having killed herself; that there are two women and one child yet in their camp whom they will deliver up as soon as they can get them in; Laura Roper, 16 or 17 years; Ambrose Asher, 7 or 8 years; Daniel Marble, 7 or 8 years; Isabel Ubanks, 4 or 5 years. The prisoners still with them [are] Mrs. Ubanks and babe, and a Mrs. Norton, who was taken on the Platte. Mrs. Snyder is the name of the woman who hung herself. The boys were taken between Fort Kearney and the Blue."
Again: they did not deny having captured the prisoners, when I told them that having the prisoners in their possession was evidence of their having committed the depredations when they were taken. But White Antelope said: "We (the Cheyennes) took two prisoners west of Kearney, and destroyed the trains." Had they purchased the prisoners they would not have been slow to make it known in this council.
The committee say the chiefs went to Denver to confer with the authorities about keeping the peace. Black Kettle says: "All come to the conclusion to make peace with you providing you will make peace with the Kiowas, Comanches, Arapahoes, Apaches, and Sioux."
Again, the committee say:
"All the testimony goes to show that the Indians under the immediate control of Black Kettle and White Antelope, of the Cheyennes, and Left-Hand, of the Arapahoes, were, and had been, friendly to the whites, and had not been guilty of any acts of hostility or depredations "
Black Kettle says, in his letter: "We received a letter from Bent, wishing us to make peace." Why did Bent send a letter to friendly Indians, and want to make peace with Indians "who had always been friendly?" Again, they say, "We have held a council in regard to it." Why did they hold a council in regard to making peace, when they were already peaceable? Again, they say, "All come to the conclusion to make peace with you, providing you make peace with the Kiowas, Comanches, Arapahoes, Apaches, and Sioux. We have seven prisoners of yours, which we are willing to give up, providing you give up yours. There are three war [not peace] parties out yet, and two of Arapahoes."
Every line of this letter shows that they were and had been at war. I desire to throw additional light upon this assertion of the committee that these Indians "were and had been friendly to the whites, and had not been guilty of any acts of hostility or depredations;" for it is upon this point that the committee accuse me of prevarication.
In the council held at Denver, White Antelope said: "We (the Cheyennes) took two prisoners west of Kearney, and destroyed the trains." This was one of the most destructive and bloody raids of the war. Again, Neva (Left-Hand's brother) said: "The Comanches, Kiowas, and Sioux have done much more harm than we have."
The entire report of this council, which is hereunto attached, shows that the Indians had been at war, and had been "guilty of acts of hostility and depredations."
As showing more fully the status and disposition of these Indians, I call attention to the following extract from the report of Major Wynkoop, published in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1864, page 234, and a letter from Major Colley, their agent;
same report, page 230. Also statement of Robert North; same report, page 224.
"FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, September 18, 1864.
"SIR: * * * * * * * Taking with me, under strict guard, the Indians I had in my possession, I reached my destination, and was confronted by from six to eight hundred Indian warriors, drawn up in line of battle, and prepared to fight.
"Putting on as bold a front as I could under the circumstances, I formed my command in as good order as possible for the purpose of acting on the offensive or defensive, as might be necessary, and advanced towards them, at the same time sending forward one of the Indians I had with me, as an emissary, to state that I had come for the purpose of holding a consultation with the chiefs of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes, to come to an understanding which might result in mutual benefit; that I had not come desiring strife, but was prepared for it if necessary, and advised them to listen to what I had to say, previous to making any more warlike demonstrations.
"They consented to meet me in council, and I then proposed to them that if they desired peace to give me palpable evidence of their sincerity by delivering into my hands their white prisoners. I told them that I was not authorized to conclude terms of peace with them, but if they acceded to my proposition I would take what chiefs they might choose to select to the governor of Colorado Territory, state the circumstances to him, and that I believed it would result in what it was their desire to accomplish--'peace with their white brothers.' I had reference, particularly, to the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes.
"The council was divided--undecided--and could not come to an understanding among themselves. I told them that I would march to a certain locality, distant twelve miles, and await a given time for their action in the matter. I took a strong position in the locality named, and remained three days. In the interval they brought in and turned over four white prisoners, all that was possible for them at the time being to turn over, the balance of the seven being (as they stated) with another band far to the northward.
* * * * * * *
"I have the principal chiefs of the two tribes with me, and propose starting immediately to Denver, to put into effect the aforementioned proposition made by me to them.
"They agree to deliver up the balance of the prisoners as soon as it is possible to procure them, which can be done better from Denver City than from this point.
"I have the honor, governor, to be your obedient servant,
"E. W. WYNKOOP,
"Major First Col. Cav., Comd'g Fort Lyon, C. T.
"His Excellency JOHN EVANS,
"Governor of Colorado, Denver, C. T."
"FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, July 26, 1864.
"SIR: When I last wrote you I was in hopes that our Indian troubles were at an end. Colonel Chivington has just arrived from Larned, and gives a sad account of affairs at that post. They have killed some ten men from a train, and run off all the stock from the post.
"As near as they can learn, all the tribes were engaged in it. The colonel will give you the particulars. There is no dependence to be put in any of them. I have done everything in my power to keep the peace; I now think a little powder and lead is the best food for them.
"Respectfully, your obedient servant,
"S. G. COLLEY, United States Indian Agent.
"Hon. JOHN EVANS,
"Governor and Superintendent Indian Affairs."
The following statement, by Robert North, was made to me:
"NOVEMBER 10, 1863.
"Having recovered an Arapaho prisoner (a squaw) from the Utes, I obtained the confidence of the Indians completely. I have lived with them from a boy, and my wife is an Arapaho.
"In honor of my exploit in recovering the prisoner, the Indians recently gave me a 'big medicine dance,' about fifty miles below Fort Lyon, on the Arkansas river, at which the leading chiefs and warriors of several of the tribes of the plains met.
"The Comanches, Apaches, Kiowas, the northern band of Arapahoes, and all of the Cheyennes, with the Sioux, have pledged one another to go to war with the whites as soon as they can procure ammunition in the spring. I heard them discuss the matter often, and the few of them who opposed it were forced to be quiet, and were really in danger of their lives. I saw the principal chiefs pledge to each other that they would be friendly and shake hands with the whites until they procured ammunition and guns, so as to be ready when they strike. Plundering, to get means, has already commenced; and the plan is to commence the war at several points in the sparse settlements early in the spring. They wanted me to join them in the war, saying that they would take a great many white women and children prisoners, and get a heap of property, blankets, &c.; but while I am connected with them by marriage, and live with them, I am yet a white man, and wish to avoid bloodshed. There are many Mexicans with the Comanche and Apache Indians, all of whom urge on the war, promising to help the Indians themselves, and that a great many more Mexicans would come up from New Mexico for the purpose in the spring."
In addition to the statement showing that all the Cheyennes were in the alliance, I desire to add the following frank admission from the Indians in the council:
"Governor Evans explained that smoking the war-pipe was a figurative term, but their conduct had been such as to show they had an understanding with other tribes.
"SEVERAL INDIANS. We acknowledge that our actions have given you reason to believe this."
In addition to all this, I refer to the appended statement of Mrs. Ewbanks. She is one of the prisoners that Black Kettle, in the council, said they had. Instead of purchasing her, it will be observed that they first captured her on the Little Blue, and then sold her to the Sioux.
Mrs. Martin, another rescued prisoner, was captured by the Cheyennes on Plum creek, west of Kearney, with a boy nine years old. These were the prisoners of which White Antelope said, in the council, "We took two prisoners west of Kearney, and destroyed the trains." In her published statement she says the party who captured her and the boy killed eleven men and destroyed the trains, and were mostly Cheyennes.
Thus I have proved, by the Indian chiefs named in the report, by Agent Colley and Major Wynkoop, to whom they refer to sustain their assertion to the contrary, that these Indians had "been at war, and had committed acts of hostility and depredations."
This documentary evidence could be extended much further, but enough has been produced to show the utter recklessness of their statements; and because I would not admit, in the face of these published facts, that these Indians "were, and always had been, friendly, and had not been guilty of any acts of hostility or depredations," the committee accuse me of "prevarication." They say that I prevaricated "for the evident purpose of avoiding the admission that he was fully aware that the Indians massacred so brutally at Sand creek were then, and had been, actuated by the most friendly feelings towards the whites."
I had left the Indians in the hands of the military authorities, as I shall presently show. There were many conflicting rumors as to the disposition made of them. I was absent from the Territory, and could state nothing positive in regard to their status after the council.
In regard to their status prior to the council at Denver, the foregoing public documents which I have cited show how utterly devoid of truth or foundation is the assertion that these Indians "had been friendly to the whites, and had not been guilty of any acts of hostility or depredations." Ignorance of the facts contained in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1864 is inexcusable on the part of the committee, for I particularly referred them to it.
I am obliged to the committee, however, for stating wherein I prevaricated, for I am thus enabled to repel their gross attack on my character as a witness, by showing that they were mistaken and I was correct in my testimony.
The next paragraph of the report is as follows:
"A northern band of the Cheyennes, known as the 'Dog Soldiers,' had been guilty of acts of hostility; but all the testimony goes to prove that they had no connexion with
Black Kettle's band, and acted in spite of his authority and influence. Black Kettle and his band denied all connexion with, or responsibility for, the Dog Soldiers, and Left-Hand and his band were equally friendly."
The committee and the public will be surprised to learn the fact that these Dog Soldiers, on which the committee throw the slight blame of acts of hostility, were really among Black Kettle and White Antelope's own warriors, in the "friendly" camp to which Major Wynkoop made his expedition, and their head man, Bull Bear, was one of the prominent men of the deputation brought in to see me at Denver. By reference to the accompanying report of the council with the chiefs, to which I referred the committee, it will be observed that Black Kettle and all present based their propositions to make peace upon the assent of their bands, and that these Dog Soldiers were especially referred to.
The report continues:
"These Indians, at the suggestion of Governor Evans and Colonel Chivington, repaired to Fort Lyon and placed themselves under the protection of Major Wynkoop," &c.
The connexion of my name in this is again wrong. As will be seen by the accompanying report of the council, to which I referred in my testimony, I simply left them in the hands of the military authorities, where I found them, and my action was approved by the Indian bureau.
The following extracts from the accompanying report of the council will prove this, conclusively. I stated to the Indians:
* * * "Another reason that I am not in a condition to make a treaty is, that the war is begun, and the power to make a treaty of peace has passed from me to the great war chief."
I also said: "Again, whatever peace they may make must be with the soldiers, and not with me."
And again, in reply to White Antelope's inquiry, "How can we be protected from the soldiers on the plains?" I said "You must make that arrangement with the military chief."
The morning after this council I addressed the following letter to the agent of these Indians, which is published in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1864, page 220:
"COLORADO SUPERINTENDENCY INDIAN AFFAIRS,
"Denver, September 29, 1864.
"SIR: The chiefs brought in by Major Wynkoop have been heard. I have declined to make any peace with them, lest it might embarrass the military operations against the hostile Indians of the plains. The Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians being now at war with the United States government, must make peace with the military authorities. Of course this arrangement relieves the Indian bureau of their care until peace is declared with them; and as these tribes are yet scattered, and all except Friday's band are at war, it is not probable that it will be done immediately. You will be particular to impress upon these chiefs the fact that my talk with them was for the purpose of ascertaining their views, and not to offer them anything whatever. They must deal with the military authorities until peace, in which case, alone, they will be in proper position to treat with the government in relation to the future.
"I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"Governor Colorado Territory and ex-officio Superintendent Indian Affairs.
"Major S. G. COLLEY,
United States Indian Agent, Upper Arkansas."
That this course accorded with the policy of the military authorities was confirmed by a telegram from the department commander, sent from headquarters at Fort Leavenworth to the district commander, on the day of the council, in which he said: "I fear agent of the Interior Department will be ready to make presents too soon. It is better to chastise, before giving anything but a little tobacco to talk over. No peace must be made without my directions."
It will thus be seen that I had, with the approval of the Indian bureau, turned the adjustment of difficulties with hostile Indians entirely over to the military authorities; that I had instructed Agent Colley, at Fort Lyon, that this would relieve the bureau of further care of the Arapahoes and Cheyennes, until peace was made, and having had no notice of such peace, or instructions to change the arrangement, the status of these Indians was in no respect within my jurisdiction or under my official inspection.
In the face of all these facts--matters of public record--the committee attempt to make me responsible for the care of these Indians at the time of the battle.
It may be proper for me to say, further, that it will appear in evidence that I had no intimation of the direction in which the campaign against the hostile Indians was to move, or against what bands it was to be made, when I left the Territory last fall, and that I was absent from Colorado when the Sand creek battle occurred.
The report continues:
"It is true that there seems to have been excited among the people inhabiting that region of country a hostile feeling towards the Indians. Some had committed acts of hostility towards the whites, but no effort seems to have been made by the authorities there to prevent these hostilities, other than by the commission of even worse acts."
"The people inhabiting that region of country!" A form of expression of frequent occurrence in the reports of exploring expeditions, when speaking of savages and unknown tribes, but scarcely a respectful mode of mention of the people of Colorado.
"Some had committed acts of hostility towards the whites!" Hear the facts: In the fall of 1863 a general alliance of the Indians of the plains was effected with the Sioux, and in the language of Bull Bear, in the report of the council, appended, "Their plan is to clean out all this country."
The war opened early in the spring of 1864. The people of the east, absorbed in the greater interest of the rebellion, know but little of its history. Stock was stolen; ranches destroyed, houses burned, freight trains plundered, and their contents carried away or scattered upon the plains; settlers in the frontier counties murdered, or forced to seek safety for themselves and families in block-houses and interior towns; emigrants to our Territory were surprised in their camps, children were slain, and wives taken prisoners; our trade and travel with the States were cut off; the necessaries of life were at starvation prices; the interests of the Territory were being damaged to the extent of millions; every species of atrocity and barbarity which characterizes savage warfare was committed. This is no fancy sketch, but a plain statement of facts, of which the committee seem to have had no proper realization. All this history of war and blood--all this history of rapine and ruin--all this story of outrage and suffering on the part of our people--is summed up by the committee, and given to the public, in one mild sentence, "Some had committed acts of hostility against the whites."
The committee not only ignore the general and terrible character of our Indian war, and the great sufferings of our people, but make the grave charge that "no effort seems to have been made by the authorities there to prevent all these hostilities."
Had the committee taken the trouble, as they certainly should have done before making so grave a charge, to have read the public documents of the government, examined the record and files of the Indian bureau of the War Department, and of this superintendency, instead of adopting the language of some hostile and irresponsible witness, as they appear to have done, they would have found that the most earnest and persistent efforts had been made on my part to prevent hostilities. The records show that, early in the spring of 1863, United States Indian Agent Loree, of the Upper Platte agency, reported to me in person that the Sioux under his agency, and the Arapahoes and Cheyennes, were negotiating an alliance for war on the whites. I immediately wrote an urgent appeal for authority to avert the danger, and sent Agent Loree as special messenger with the despatch to Washington. In response, authority was given, and an earnest effort was made to collect the Indians in council. The following admission, in the appended report of the council, explains the result:
"GOVERNOR EVANS. * * * "Hearing last fall that they were dissatisfied, the Great Father at Washington sent me out on the plains to talk with you and make it all right.
I sent messengers out to tell you that I had presents, and would make you a feast; but you sent word to me that you did not want to have anything to do with me, and to the Great Father at Washington that you could get along without him. Bull Bear wanted to come in to see me, at the head of the Republican, but his people held a council and would not let him come.
"BLACK KETTLE. That is true.
"GOVERNOR EVANS. I was under the necessity, after all my trouble, and all the expense I was at, of returning home without seeing them. Instead of this, your people went away and smoked the war pipe with our enemies."
Notwithstanding these unsuccessful efforts, I still hoped to preserve peace.
The records of these offices also show that, in the autumn of 1863, I was reliably advised from various sources that nearly all the Indians of the plains had formed an alliance for the purpose of going to war in the spring; and I immediately commenced my efforts to avert the imminent danger. From that time forward, by letter, by telegram, and personal representation to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the Secretary of War, the commanders of the department and district; by travelling for weeks in the wilderness of the plains; by distribution of annuities and presents; by sending notice to the Indians
to leave the hostile alliance; by every means within my power, I endeavored to preserve peace and protect the interests of the people of the Territory. And in the face of all this, which the records abundantly show, the committee say: "No effort seems to have been made by the authorities there to prevent these hostilities, other than by the commission of even worse acts."
They do not point out any of these acts, unless the continuation of the paragraph is intended to do so. It proceeds:
"The hatred of the whites to the Indians would seem to have been inflamed and excited to the utmost. The bodies of persons killed at a distance--whether by Indians or not is not certain--were brought to the capital of the Territory and exposed to the public gaze, for the purpose of inflaming still more the already excited feeling of the people."
There is no mention in this of anything that was done by authority, but it is so full of misrepresentation, in apology for Indians, and unjust reflection on a people who have a right, from their birth, education, and ties of sympathy with the people they so recently left behind them, to have at least a just consideration. The bodies referred to were those of the Hungate family, who were brutally murdered by the Indians, within twenty-five miles of Denver. No one here ever doubted that the Indians did it, and it was admitted by the Indians in the council. This was early in the summer, and before the notice sent in June to the friendly Indians. Their mangled bodies were brought to Denver for decent burial.
Many of our people went to see them, as any people would have done. It did produce excitement and consternation, and where are the people who could have witnessed it without emotion? Would the committee have the people shut their eyes to such scenes at their very doors?
The next sentence, equally unjust and unfair, refers to my proclamation, issued two months after this occurrence, and four months before the "attack" they were investigating, and having no connexion with it or with the troops engaged in it. It is as follows:
"The cupidity was appealed to, for the governor, in a proclamation, calls upon all, either individually, or in such parties as they may organize, to kill and destroy, as enemies of the country, wherever they may be found, all such hostile Indians; authorizing them to hold, to their own use and benefit, all the property of said hostile Indians they may capture. What Indians he would ever term friendly it is impossible to tell."
I offer the following statement of the circumstances under which this proclamation was issued, by the Hon. D. A. Chever. It is as follows:
"EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, COLORADO TERRITORY, August 21, 1864.
"I, David A. Chever, clerk in the office of the governor of the Territory of Colorado, do solemnly swear that the people of said Territory, from the Purgatoire to the Cache a la Poudre rivers, a distance of over two hundred miles, and for a like distance along the Platte river, being the whole of our settlements on the plains, were thrown into the greatest alarm and consternation by numerous and almost simultaneous attacks and depredations by hostile Indians early last summer; that they left their unreaped crops, and, collecting into communities, built block-houses and stockades for protection at central points throughout the long line of settlements; that these living in the vicinity of Denver City fled to it, and that the people of said city were in great fear of sharing the fate of New Ulm, Minnesota; that the threatened loss of crops, and the interruption of communication with the States by the combined hostilities, threatened the very existence of the whole people; that this feeling of danger was universal; that a flood of petitions and deputations poured into this office, from the people of all parts of the Territory, praying for protection, and for arms and authority to protect themselves; that the defects of the militia law and the want of means to provide for defence was proved by the failure of this department, after the utmost endeavors, to secure an effective organization under it; that reliable reports of the presence of a large body of hostile warriors at no great distance east of this place were received, which reports were afterwards proved to be true, by the statement of Elbridge Gerry, (page 232, Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1864;) that repeated and urgent applications to the War Department, for protection and the authority to raise troops for the purpose, had failed; that urgent applications to department and district commanders had failed to bring any prospect of relief, and that in the midst of this terrible consternation, and apparently defenceless condition, it had been announced to this office, from district headquarters, that all the Colorado troops in the service of the United States had been peremptorily ordered away, and nearly all of them had marched to the Arkansas river, to be in position to repel the threatened invasion of the rebels into Kansas and Missouri; that reliable reports of depredations and murders by the Indians, from all parts of our extended lines of exposed settlements, became daily more numerous, until the simultaneous attacks on trains along the overland stage line were reported by telegraph, on the 8th of August, described in the letter of George K. Otis, su-
perintendent of overland stage line, published on page 254 of Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs for 1864. Under these circumstances, on the 11th of August, the governor issued his proclamation to the people, calling upon them to defend their homes and families from the savage foe; that it prevented anarchy; that several militia companies immediately organized under it, and aided in inspiring confidence; that under its authority no act of impropriety has been reported, and I do not believe that any occurred; that it had no reference to or connexion with the third regiment one-hundred-days men that was subsequently raised by authority of the War Department, under a different proclamation, calling for volunteers, or with any of the troops engaged in the Sand creek affair, and that the reference to it in such connexion, in the report of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, is a perversion of the history and facts in the case.
"DAVID A. CHEVER.
"TERRITORY OF COLORADO, Arapaho County, City of Denver, ss:
"Subscribed and sworn to before me this 21st day of August, A. D. 1865.
"ELI M. ASHLEY, Notary Public."
I had appealed by telegraph, June 14, to the War Department, for authority to call the militia into the United States service or to raise one-hundred-day troops; also had written to our delegate in Congress to see why I got no response, and had received his reply to the effect that he could learn nothing about it; had received a notice from the department commander, declining to take the responsibility of asking the militia for United States service, throwing the people entirely on the necessity of taking care of themselves.
It was under these circumstances of trial, suffering and danger on the part of the people, and of fruitless appeal upon my part to the general government for aid, that I issued my proclamation of the 11th August, 1864, of which the committee complain.
Without means to mount or pay militia, and failing to get government authority to raise forces, and under the withdrawal of the few troops in the Territory, could any other course be pursued?
The people were asked to fight on their own account--at their own expense--and in lieu of the protection the government failed to render. They were authorized to kill only the Indians that were murdering and robbing them in hostility, and to keep the property captured from them. How the committee would have them fight these savages, and what other disposition they would make of the property captured, the public will be curious to know. Would they fight without killing? Would they have the captured property turned over to the government, as if captured by United States troops? Would they forbid such captures? Would they restore it to the hostile tribes?
The absurdity of the committee's saying that this was an "appeal to the cupidity," is too palpable to require much comment. Would men leave high wages, mount and equip themselves at enormous expense, as some patriotically did, for the poor chance of capturing property, as a mere speculation, from the prowling bands of Indians that infested the settlements and were murdering their families? The thing is preposterous.
For this proclamation I have no apology. It had its origin and has its justification in the imperative necessities of the case. A merciless foe surrounded us. Without means to mount or pay militia, unable to secure government authority to raise forces, and our own troops ordered away, again I ask, could any other course be pursued?
Captain Tyler's and other companies organized under it, at enormous expense, left their lucrative business, high wages and profitable employment, and served without other pay than the consciousness of having done noble and patriotic service; and no act of impropriety has ever been laid to the charge of any party acting under this proclamation. They had all been disbanded months before the "attack" was made that the committee were investigating.
The third regiment was organized under authority from the War Department, subsequently received by telegraph, and under a subsequent proclamation issued on the 13th of August, and were regularly mustered into the service of the United States about three months before the battle the committee were investigating occurred.
Before leaving this subject, I desire to call attention to the following significant fact; the part of my proclamation from which the committee quote reads as follows:
"Now, therefore, I, John Evans, governor of Colorado Territory, do issue this, my proclamation, authorizing all citizens of Colorado, either individually or in such parties as they may organize, to go in pursuit of all hostile Indians on the plains, scrupulously avoiding those who have responded to my call to rendezvous at the points indicated. Also to kill and destroy, as enemies of the country, wherever they may be found, all such hostile Indians."
The language which I have italicized in the foregoing quotation shows that I forbade, in this proclamation, the disturbance of the friendly Indians and only authorized killing the hostile.
The committee, in their censorious mention of the proclamation, omit this sentence which I have italicized, although they quote the language immediately in connexion with it, and add the exclamation, "What Indians he would ever term friendly it is impossible to tell." Had they not suppressed this sentence their exclamation would have been awkward. Had they not suppressed it, its appearance in its proper connexion would have answered one of their most serious charges against me.
Why is this? Does it not look like a persistent determination on their part to place me before the public in an improper and unjust position? If such a thing is possible, from so high a source, where is there any safety for the character of public men?
Before closing this reply, it is perhaps just that I should say that when I testified before the committee the chairman and all its members, except three, were absent, and I think, when the truth becomes known, this report will trace its parentage to a single member of the committee.
I have thus noticed such portions of the report as refer to myself, and shown conclusively that the committee, in every mention they have made of me, have been, to say the least, mistaken.
First. The committee, for the evident purpose of maintaining their position that these Indians had not been engaged in the war, say the prisoners they held were purchased. The testimony is to the effect that they captured them.
Second. The committee say that these Indians were and always had been friendly, and had committed no acts of hostility or depredations. The public documents to which I refer show conclusively that they had been hostile, and had committed many acts of hostility and depredations.
Third. They say that I joined in sending these Indians to Fort Lyon. The published report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and of the Indian council, show that I left them entirely in the hands of the military authorities.
Fourth. They say nothing seems to have been done by the authorities to prevent hostilities. The public documents and files of the Indian bureau, and of my superintendency, show constant and unremitting diligence and effort on my part to prevent hostilities and protect the people.
Fifth. They say that I prevaricated for the purpose of avoiding the admission that these Indians "were and had been actuated by the most friendly feelings towards the whites." Public documents cited show conclusively that the admission they desired me to make was false, and that my statement, instead of being a prevarication, was true, although not in accordance with the preconceived and mistaken opinions of the committee.
Those who read this will be curious for some explanation of this slanderous report. To me it is plain. I am governor of Colorado, and, as is usual with men in public position, have enemies. Many of these gentlemen were in the city of Washington last winter, endeavoring to effect my removal, and were not particular as to the character of the means they employed, so that the desired result was accomplished. For this purpose, they conspired to connect my name with the Sand creek battle, although they knew that I was in no way connected with it. A friend in that city, writing to me in regard to this attempt, and mentioning the names of certain of these gentlemen, said: "They are much in communication with -------, a member of the committee charged with the investigation of the Chivington affair." These gentlemen, by their false and unscrupulous representations, have misled the committee.
I do not charge the committee with any intentional wrong. My charge against the committee is that they have been culpably negligent and culpably hasty; culpably negligent in not examining the public documents to which I called their attention, and which would have exonerated me, and saved them from many serious, unjust and mistaken representations; culpably hasty in concluding that I had prevaricated, because my statement did not agree with the falsehoods they had embraced.
If my statement did not agree with what they supposed to be the truth, my position was such as to demand that they should at least go to the trouble of investigating the public documents to which I called their attention before publishing a report containing charges of so grave a character.
That the Committee on the Conduct of the War should have published a report containing so many errors is to be regretted. It is composed of honorable gentlemen--members of the Congress of the United States--to whom have been intrusted duties of the gravest character, and from whom is expected, first, thorough investigation, and then careful statement, so that their reports may be relied upon as truth, so far as truth is ascertainable by human means.
This report, so full of mistakes which ordinary investigation would have avoided; so full of slander, which ordinary care of the character of men would have prevented, is to be regretted, for the reason that it throws doubt upon the reliability of all reports which have emanated from the same source, during the last four years of war.
I am confident that the public will see, from the facts herein set forth, the great injustice done me; and I am further confident that the committee, when they know these and other facts I shall lay before them, will also see this injustice, and, as far as possible, repair it.___________
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor of the Territory of Colorado and ex-officio Sup't Ind. Affairs.
Report of council with Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs and warriors, brought to Denver by Major Wynkoop; taken down by United States Indian Agent Simeon Whiteley as it progressed.
CAMP WELD, DENVER, Wednesday, September 28, 1864.
Present: Governor John Evans; Colonel Chivington, commanding district of Colorado; Colonel George L. Shoup, third Colorado volunteer cavalry; Major E. Wynkoop, Colorado first; S. Whiteley, United States Indian agent; Black Kettle, leading Cheyenne chief; White Antelope, chief central Cheyenne band; Bull Bear, leader of Dog Soldiers, (Cheyenne;) Neva, sub-Arapaho chief, (who was in Washington;) Bosse, sub-Arapaho chief; Heap of Buffalo, Arapaho chief; Na-ta-nee, Arapaho chief; (the Arapahoes are all relatives of Left-Hand, chief of the Arapahoes, and are sent by him in his stead;) John Smith, interpreter to the Upper Arkansas agency; and many other citizens and officers.
His Excellency Governor Evans asked the Indians what they had to say.
Black Kettle then said: On sight of your circular of June 27, 1864, I took hold of the matter, and have now come to talk to you about it. I told Mr. Bent, who brought it, that I accepted it, but it would take some time to get all my people together--many of my young men being absent--and I have done everything in my power, since then, to keep peace with the whites. As soon as I could get my people together we held a council, and got a half-breed, who was with them, to write a letter to inform Major Wynkoop, or other military officer nearest to them, of their intention to comply with the terms of the circular. Major Wynkoop was kind enough to receive the letter, and visited them in camp, to whom they delivered four white prisoners--one other (Mrs. Snyder) having killed herself; that there are two women and one child yet in their camp, whom they will deliver up as soon as they can get them in--Laura Roper, sixteen or seventeen years; Ambrose Asher, seven or eight years; Daniel Marble, seven or eight years; Isabel Ubanks, four or five years. The prisoners still with them [are] Mrs. Ubanks and babe, and a Mrs. Morton, who was taken on the Platte. Mrs. Snyder is the name of the woman who hung herself. The boys were taken between Fort Kearney and the Blue. I followed Major Wynkoop to Fort Lyon, and Major Wynkoop proposed that we come up to see you. We have come with our eyes shut, following his handful of men, like coming through the fire. All we ask is that we may have peace with the whites. We want to hold you by the hand. You are our father. We have been travelling through a cloud. The sky has been dark ever since the war began. These braves who are with me are all willing to do what I say. We want to take good tidings home to our people, that they may sleep in peace. I want you to give all these chiefs of the soldiers here to understand that we are for peace, and that we have made peace, that we may not be mistaken by them for enemies. I have not come here with a little wolf bark, but have come to talk plain with you. We must live near the buffalo or starve. When we came here we came free, without any apprehension, to see you, and when I go home and tell my people that I have taken your hand, and the hands of all the chiefs here in Denver, they will feel well, and so will all the different tribes of Indians on the plains, after we have eaten and drank with them.
Governor Evans replied: I am sorry you did not respond to my appeal at once. You have gone into an alliance with the Sioux, who were at war with us. You have done a great deal of damage--have stolen stock, and now have possession of it. However much a few individuals may have tried to keep the peace, as a nation you have gone to war. While we have been spending thousands of dollars in opening farms for you, and making preparations to feed, protect, and make you comfortable, you have joined our enemies and gone to war, Hearing, last fall, that they were dissatisfied, the Great Father at Washington sent me out on the plains to talk with you and make it all right. I sent messengers out to tell you that I had presents, and would make you a feast, but you sent word to me that you did not want to have anything to do with me, and to the Great Father at Washington that you could get along without him. Bull Bear wanted to come in to see me at the head of the Republican, but his people held a council and would not let him come.
BLACK KETTLE. That is true.
GOVERNOR EVANS. I was under the necessity, after all my trouble and all the expense I was at, of returning home without seeing them. Instead of this, your people went away and smoked the war-pipe with our enemies.
BLACK KETTLE. I don't know who could have told you this.
GOVERNOR EVANS. No matter who said this, but your conduct has proved to my satisfaction that was the case.
SEVERAL INDIANS. This is a mistake; we have made no alliance with the Sioux or any one else.
Governor Evans explained that smoking the war-pipe was a figurative term, but their conduct had been such as to show they had an understanding with other tribes.
SEVERAL INDIANS. We acknowledge that our actions have given you reason to believe this.
GOVERNOR EVANS. So far as making a treaty now is concerned, we are in no condition to do it. Your young men are on the war-path. My soldiers are preparing for the fight. You, so far, have had the advantage; but the time is near at hand when the plains will swarm with United States soldiers. I understand that these men who have come to see me now have been opposed to the war all the time, but that their people have controlled them and they could not help themselves. Is this so?
ALL THE INDIANS. It has been so.
GOVERNOR EVANS. The fact that they have not been able to prevent their people from going to war in the past spring, when there was plenty of grass and game, makes me believe that they will not be able to make a peace which will last longer than until winter is past.
WHITE ANTELOPE. I will answer that after a time.
GOVERNOR EVANS. The time when you can make war best is in the summer-time; when I can make war best is in the winter. You, so far, have had the advantage; my time is just coming. I have learned that you understand that as the whites are at war among themselves, you think you can now drive the whites from this country; but this reliance is false.
The Great Father at Washington has men enough to drive all the Indians off the plains, and whip the rebels at the same time. Now the war with the whites is nearly through, and the Great Father will not know what to do with all his soldiers, except to send them after the Indians on the plains. My proposition to the friendly Indians has gone out; I shall be glad to have them all come in under it. I have no new propositions to make. Another reason that I am not in a condition to make a treaty is that war is begun, and the power to make a treaty of peace has passed from me to the great war chief. My advice to you is to turn on the side of the government, and show by your acts that friendly disposition you profess to me. It is utterly out of the question for you to be at peace with us while living with our enemies, and being on friendly terms with them.
INQUIRY MADE BY ONE INDIAN. What was meant by being on the side of the government?
Explanation being made, all gave assent, saying: "All right."
GOVERNOR EVANS. The only way you can show this friendship is by making some arrangement with the soldiers to help them.
BLACK KETTLE. We will return with Major Wynkoop to Fort Lyon; we will then proceed to our village and take back word to my young men every word you say. I cannot answer for all of them, but think there will be but little difficulty in getting them to assent to help the soldiers.
MAJOR WYNKOOP. Did not the Dog Soldiers agree, when I had my council with you, to do whatever you said, after you had been here?
BLACK KETTLE. Yes.
Governor Evans explained that if the Indians did not keep with the United States soldiers, or have an arrangement with them, they would be all treated as enemies. You understand, if you are at peace with us it is necessary to keep away from our enemies. But I hand you over to the military, one of the chiefs of which is here to-day, and can speak for himself to them, if he chooses.
WHITE ANTELOPE. I understand every word you have said, and will hold on to it. I will give you an answer directly. The Cheyennes, all of them, have their eyes open this way, and they will hear what you say. He is proud to have seen the chief of all the whites in this country. He will tell his people. Ever since he went to Washington and received this medal, I have called all white men as my brothers. But other Indians have since been to Washington and got medals, and now the soldiers do not shake hands, but seek to kill me. What do you mean by us fighting your enemies? Who are they?
GOVERNOR EVANS. All Indians who are fighting us.
WHITE ANTELOPE. How can we be protected from the soldiers on the plains?
GOVERNOR EVANS. You must make that arrangement with the military chief.
WHITE ANTELOPE. I fear that these new soldiers who have gone out may kill some of my people while I am here.
GOVERNOR EVANS. There is great danger of it.
WHITE ANTELOPE. When we sent our letter to Major Wynkoop, it was like going through a strong fire or blast for Major Wynkoop's men to come to our camp; it was the same for us to come to see you. We have our doubts whether the Indians south of the Arkansas, or those north of the Platte, will do as you say. A large number of Sioux have crossed the Platte, in the vicinity of the Junction, into their country. When Major Wynkoop came, we proposed to make peace. He said he had no power to make a peace, except to bring them here and return them safe.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Again, whatever peace they make must be with the soldiers, and not with me. Are the Apaches at war with the whites?
WHITE ANTELOPE. Yes, and the Comanches and Kiowas as well; also a tribe of Indians from Texas, whose names we do not know. There are thirteen different bands of Sioux who have crossed the Platte, and are in alliance with the others named.
GOVERNOR EVANS. How many warriors with the Apaches, Kiowas, and Comanches?
WHITE ANTELOPE. A good many; don't know.
GOVERNOR EVANS. How many of the Sioux?
WHITE ANTELOPE. Don't know; but many more than of the southern tribes.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Who committed the depredation on the trains near the Junction about the first of August?
WHITE ANTELOPE. Do not know; did not know any was committed; have taken you by the hand and will tell the truth, keeping back nothing.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Who committed the murder of the Hungate family on Running creek?
NEVA. The Arapahoes; a party of the northern band, who were passing north. It was Medicine Man, or Roman Nose, and three others. I am satisfied from the time he left a certain camp for the north, that it was this party of four persons.
AGENT WHITELEY. That cannot be true.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Where is Roman Nose?
NEVA. You ought to know better than me; you have been nearer to him.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Who killed the man and boy at the head of Cherry creek?
NEVA. (After consultation.) Kiowas and Comanches.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Who stole soldiers' horses and mules from Jimmy's camp twenty-seven days ago?
NEVA. Fourteen Cheyennes and Arapahoes together.
GOVERNOR EVANS. What were their names?
NEVA. Powder Face and Whirlwind, who are now in our camp, were the leaders.
COLONEL SHOUP. I counted twenty Indians on that occasion.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Who stole Charley Autobee's horses?
NEVA. Raven's son.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Who took the stock from Fremont's orchard and had the first fight with the soldiers this spring north of there?
WHITE ANTELOPE. Before answering this question I would like for you to know that this was the beginning of war, and I should like to know what it was for. A soldier fired first.
GOVERNOR EVANS. The Indians had stolen about forty horses; the soldiers went to recover them, and the Indians fired a volley into their ranks.
WHITE ANTELOPE. This is all a mistake; they were coming down the Bijou, and found one horse and one mule. They returned one horse before they got to Geary's to a man, then went to Geary's expecting to turn the other one over to some one. They then heard that the soldiers and Indians were fighting somewhere down the Platte; then they took fright and all fled.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Who were the Indians who had the fight?
WHITE ANTELOPE. They were headed by the Fool Badger's son, a young man, one of the greatest of the Cheyenne warriors, who was wounded, and though still alive he will never recover.
NEVA. I want to say something; it makes me feel bad to be talking about these things and opening old sores.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Let him speak.
NEVA. Mr. Smith has known me ever since I was a child. Has he ever known me commit depredations on the whites? I went to Washington last year; received good counsel; I hold on to it. I determined to always keep peace with the whites. Now, when I shake hands with them, they seem to pull away. I came here to seek peace, and nothing else.
GOVERNOR EVANS. We feel that they have, by their stealing and murdering, done us great damage. They come here and say they will tell me all, and that is what I am trying to get.
NEVA. The Comanches, Kiowas, and Sioux have done much more injury than we have. We will tell what we know, but cannot speak for others.
GOVERNOR EVANS. I suppose you acknowledge the depredations on the Little Blue, as you have the prisoners then taken in your possession.___________
WHITE ANTELOPE. We (the Cheyennes) took two prisoners west of Fort Kearney, and destroyed the trains.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Who committed depredations at Cottonwood?
WHITE ANTELOPE. The Sioux; what band, we do not know.
GOVERNOR EVANS. What are the Sioux going to do next?
BULL BEAR. Their plan is to clean out all this country; they are angry, and will do all the damage to the whites they can. I am with you and the troops, to fight all those who have no ears to listen to what you say. Who are they? Show them to me. I am not yet old; I am young. I have never hurt a white man. I am pushing for something good. I am always going to be friends with the whites; they can do me good.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Where are the Sioux?
BULL BEAR. Down on the Republican, where it opens out.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Do you know that they intend to attack the trains this week?
BULL BEAR. Yes; about one-half of all the Missouri River Sioux and Yanktons, who were driven from Minnesota, are those who have crossed the Platte. I am young and can fight. I have given my word to fight with the whites. My brother (Lean Bear) died in trying to keep peace with the whites. I am willing to die in the same way, and expect to do so.
NEVA. I know the value of the presents which we receive from Washington; we cannot live without them. That is why I try so hard to keep peace with the whites.
GOVERNOR EVANS. I cannot say anything about those things now.
NEVA. I can speak for all the Arapahoes under Left-Hand. Raven has sent no one here to speak for him. Raven has fought the whites.
GOVERNOR EVANS. Are there any white men among your people?
NEVA. There are none except Keith, who is now in the store at Fort Larned.
COLONEL CHIVINGTON. I am not a big war chief, but all the soldiers in this country are at my command. My rule of fighting white men or Indians is to fight them until they lay down their arms and submit to military authority. They are nearer Major Wynkoop than any one else, and they can go to him when they get ready to do that.
The council then adjourned.
I certify that this report is correct and complete; that I took down the talk of the Indians in the exact words of the interpreter, and of the other parties as given to him, without change of phraseology or correction of any kind whatever.___________
Statement of Mrs. Ewbanks, giving an account of her captivity among the Indians. She was taken by the Cheyennes, and was one of the prisoners proposed to be given up by Black Kettle, White Antelope and others, in the council at Denver.
JULESBURG,--COLORADO TERRITORY, June 22, 1865.
Mrs. Lucinda Ewbanks states that she was born in Pennsylvania; is 24 years of age; she resided on the Little Blue, at or near the Narrows. She says that on the 8th day of August, 1864, the house was attacked, robbed, burned, and herself and two children, with her nephew and Miss Roper, were captured by the Cheyenne Indians. Her eldest child, at the time, was three years old; her youngest was one year old; her nephew was six years old. When taken from her home was, by the Indians, taken south across the Republican, and west to a creek the name of which she does not remember. Here, for a short time, was their village or camping place. They were travelling all winter. When first taken by the Cheyennes she was taken to the lodge of an old chief whose name she does [not] recollect. He forced me, by the most terrible threats and menaces, to yield my person to him. He treated me as his wife. He then traded me to Two Face, a Sioux, who did not treat me as a wife, but forced me to do all menial labor done by squaws, and he beat me terribly. Two Face traded me to Black Foot, (Sioux,) who treated me as his wife, and because I resisted him his squaws abused and ill-used me. Black Foot also beat me unmercifully, and the Indians generally treated me as though I was a dog, on account of my showing so much detestation towards Black Foot. Two Face traded for me again. I then received a little better treatment. I was better treated among the Sioux than the Cheyennes--that is, the Sioux gave me more to eat. When with the Cheyennes I was often hungry. Her purchase from the Cheyennes was made early last fall, and she remained with them until May, 1865. During the winter the Cheyennes came to buy me
and the child, for the purpose of burning us, but Two Face would not let them have me. During the winter we were on the North Platte the Indians were killing the whites all the time and running off their stock. They would bring in the scalps of the whites and show them to me and laugh about it. They ordered me frequently to wean my baby, but I always refused; for I felt convinced if he was weaned they would take him from me, and I should never see him again. They took my daughter from me just after we were captured, and I never saw her after. I have seen the man to-day who had her; his name is Davenport. He lives in Denver. He received her from a Dr. Smith. She was given up by the Cheyennes to Major Wynkoop, but from injuries received while with the Indians, she died last February. My nephew also was given up to Major Wynkoop, but he, too, died at Denver. The doctor said it was caused by bad treatment from the Indians. While encamped on the North Platte, Elston came to the village, and I went with him and Two Face to Fort Laramie. I have heard it stated that a story had been told by me to the effect that Two Face's son had saved my life. I never made any such statement, as I have no knowledge of any such thing, and I think if my life had been in danger he would not have troubled himself about it.___________
J. H. TRIGGS, 1st Lieut. Comd'g Co. D, 7th Iowa Cavalry.
E. B. ZABRISKIE, Capt. lst Cav. Nev. Vol., Judge Advocate Dis't of the Plains.
SENATOR: Since you were here I have had another talk with Major Anthony, who was in command of Fort Lyon at the time Colonel Chivington arrived there, having relieved Major Wynkoop. He says, among a great many other things.:___________
"As I told you before, but two days before Colonel Chivington came down, they [Cheyennes] sent word to me, after I had fired on them, that if that little G-d d-----d red-eyed [Major Anthony's eyes and eyelids are red from having had the scurvy] chief wanted a fight out of them, if he would go up to their camp they would give him all he wanted."
And Major Anthony says to me: "I told Colonel Chivington I was glad he had come; that I would have gone before and cleaned out the sons of guns if I had had force enough; but there were some of them I should have saved if possible."
Again, he says: "This whole row has been caused by jealous officers and civilians who conspired to get 'Old Chiv.' out of the way."
I have no note or comment to make on this, only that it is a repetition of what the major said to me on the cars last spring, between Atchison and Leavenworth, and accords with what officers in Denver say he told them before the battle.
Hon. J. R. DOOLITTLE, U. S. Senate.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, DECEMBER, 1864.
Despatch from Colonel Chivington.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF COLORADO,
Denver, December 7, 1864.
EDITORS NEWS: The following despatch has been received at this office and forwarded to department headquarters:
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF COLORADO, IN THE FIELD,
Cheyenne Country, South Bend, Big Sandy, November 29.
GENERAL: In the last ten days my command has marched three hundred miles--one hundred of which the snow was two feet deep. After a march of forty miles last night, I, at daylight this morning, attacked a Cheyenne village of one hundred and thirty lodges, from nine hundred to one thousand warriors strong. We killed chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Little Robe, and between four and five hundred other Indians; captured between four and five hundred ponies and mules. Our loss is nine killed and thirty-eight wounded. All did nobly. I think I will catch some more of them about eighty miles on Smoky Hill. We found a white man's scalp, not more than three days old, in a lodge.
J. M. CHIVINGTON,
Colonel, Commanding District of Colorado and First Indian Expedition.
Major General S. R. CURTIS, Fort Leavenworth.
I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. A. A. General.
Letter from Colonel Shoup--About the big fight.
[The following private letter from Colonel Shoup was politely handed us for publication.]
SOUTH BEND OF BIG SANDY, BATTLE GROUND,___________
Cheyenne Country, December 3, 1864.
DEAR SIR: I have the pleasure of informing you that we engaged the Indians on yesterday, on the Big Sandy, about forty (40) miles north of Fort Lyon. The engagement commenced at sunrise, and lasted to about 2½ o'clock p. m., completely routing the Indians.
Our loss is eight (8) killed, one missing, and about forty wounded. The Indian loss is variously estimated at from 300 to 500--I think about 300--between 500 and 600 Indian saddles, and over 100 lodges, with all their camp equipage. Black Kettle, White Antelope, One Eye, and other chiefs, are among the killed. I think this the severest chastisement ever given to Indians in battle on the American continent.
Our men fought with great enthusiasm and bravery, but with some disorder. There are plenty more Indians within a few days' march. I fear, however, they will lose their assumed bravery when they hear of the defeat of their allies in arms. The story that Indians are our equals in warfare is nailed. This story may do to tell to down-easters, but not to Colorado soldiers. About one hundred and seventy-five men of the first Colorado, a small detachment of the first New Mexico, and about six hundred and fifty of my regiment were in the engagement. I might, if time would permit, give you many interesting incidents that came under my notice during the battle, but I will have to close. Your son, the lieutenant, behaved well in the fight, and came out without a wound.
GEO. L. SHOUP.
Letter from Major Anthony--About the Indian fight.
[The following from the major to his brother, in this city, we are permitted to publish:]
SAND CREEK, 25 MILES ABOVE FORT LYON,
December 1, 1864.
DEAR WEBB: I am here with the command. We have just had, day before yesterday, an Indian fight. We have nearly annihilated Black Kettle's band of Cheyennes and Left-Hand's Arapahoes.
* * * * * * *
I did my share, and I think my command did as well as any in the whole brigade, notwithstanding I lost one man killed and two slightly wounded; I was one of the first in the fight and among the last to leave, and my loss is less than any other battalion. We have forty-seven persons killed and wounded.
* * * * * * *
I will give particulars when I see you. We start for another band of red-skins, and shall fight differently next time. I never saw more bravery displayed by any set of people on the face of the earth than by those Indians. They would charge on a whole company singly, determined to kill some one before being killed themselves. We, of course, took no prisoners, except John Smith's son, and he was taken suddenly ill in the night, and died before morning.___________
Lieutenant Baldwin, of my command, lost his horse. I had one horse shot under me, but came off with a whole "hide." I did not sleep for three days and two nights until last evening.
S. J. ANTHONY.
Additional about the Indian fight.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF COLORADO, IN THE FIELD,
On Big Bend of Sandy Creek, Colorado Territory, November 29, 1864.
SIR: I have not the time to give you a detailed history of our engagement of to-day, or to mention those officers and men who distinguished themselves in one of the most bloody Indian battles ever fought on these plains. You will find enclosed the report of my surgeon in charge, which will bring to many anxious friends the sad fate of loved ones, who are and have been risking everything to avenge the horrid deeds of those savages we have so severely handled. We made a forced march of forty miles and sur-
prised, at break of day, one of the most powerful villages of the Cheyenne nation, and captured over five hundred animals; killing the celebrated chiefs One Eye, White Antelope, Knock-Knee, Black Kettle, and Little Robe, with about five hundred of their people, destroying all their lodges and equipage, making almost an annihilation of the entire tribe.
I shall leave here, as soon as I can see our wounded safely on the way to the hospital at Fort Lyon, for the villages of the Sioux, which are reported about eighty miles from here on the Smoky Hill, and three thousand strong--so look out for more fighting. I will state for the consideration of gentlemen who are opposed to fighting these red scoundrels, that I was shown by my chief surgeon the scalp of a white man, taken from the lodge of one of the chiefs, which could not have been more than two or three days taken; and I could mention many more things to show how these Indians, who have been drawing government rations at Fort Lyon, are and have been acting.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. CHIVINGTON,
Colonel, Commanding Colorado Expedition against Indians on Plains.
A. A. A. General, Headquarters District of Colorado, Denver.
Colonel Bent sworn:
Having been living near the mouth of the Purgatoire on the Arkansas river in Colorado Territory for the last thirty-six years, and during all that time have resided near or at what is known as Bent's Old Fort, I have had considerable experience in Indian affairs from my long residence in the country. Since I have been there nearly every instance of difficulties between the Indians and the whites arose from aggressions on the Indians by the whites. Some of these aggressions are of recent date. About three years ago the Arapahoes were encamped near Fort Lyon; a soldier had obtained some whiskey and went to the Arapaho village after dark; he met an Indian or two outside and told them he wanted a squaw for the whiskey; that is, he wanted a squaw to sleep with for the whiskey. The Indian told him that if he would give him the whiskey he would get him a squaw; he gave him the whiskey, and the Indian started off and went into a lodge of his friends, and commenced drinking the whiskey with them, without bringing the squaw. The soldier started on a search for the Indian and whiskey, and found them in a lodge. The Indian refused to return the whiskey, when the soldier pulled out his revolver, fired and broke the Indian's arm; the soldier then made his escape and could never be identified by his officers or by the Indians. The matter created great confusion among the Indians, but was finally settled without a fight. I understood from some officers under Colonel Chivington that the hostilities between the Cheyennes and the whites were commenced by Colonel Chivington's orders, who sent an officer down the Platte to see some Indians who, it was said, had stolen some stock, with orders to disarm all the Indians he met. The officer proceeded until he met some Indians coming in with some animals they had found, belonging to the whites; he rode up to the Indians in what they thought to be a friendly manner, and, I think, shook hands with the Indians, and after doing that, he and his men made a grab for the Indians' arms. The Indians tried to run; the soldiers fired at them, wounding two; one fell from his horse, but the Indians rallied and got him off before the whites could get hold of them. This was a party of Cheyennes, I think seven in number. This was the first actual conflict between this tribe and the whites. Very soon after Lieutenant Ayres was sent down to pursue the Cheyennes; to continue down the Republican and Smoky Hill fork to Fort Larned. He met a party of Cheyennes on Smoky Hill, who were going out on a hunt; they had just left Fort Larned. One of the chiefs who had been on to Washington the spring previous was with the party. He went up to the soldiers, shook hands with them, showed the lieutenant the medal he got from the President, stating that his Great Father, when giving him the medal, told him to be always friendly to the whites. This chief, Lean Bear, was then shot by one of the soldiers; a fight then commenced; there were two other Indians killed, three soldiers killed and ten or twelve wounded. The troops then commenced retreating, and a running fight was kept up for ten or fifteen miles; the Indians finally left them, the soldiers going to Fort Larned. Lieutenant Ayres left his troops at Fort Larned and started for Fort Lyon. I met him on my way to the States, near Fort Lyon. He told me he had had a fight with the Cheyennes, and some Sioux connected with them, on the Smoky Hill, killing some seventeen of them. I continued on my journey the next morning and met an express from the Indian village, where the fight was, stating they had had a fight on the Smoky Hill, but did not know what it was about or for, and that they would like to see me and converse with me on the subject. I sent the express back, stating I would meet the chief on Coon creek. Seven days after this I met the chief
on Coon creek; he stated to me that he did not know the cause of the attack; that it was not his intention or wish to fight the whites; that he wanted to be friendly and peaceable and keep his tribe so. He felt he was not able to fight the whites, and wanted to live in peace. I then asked him if he would prevent his young men from committing any depredations for twenty days, by which time I thought I should be able to go to Leavenworth, see General Curtis, then in command of the department, and return. After leaving the chief I altered my mind, and concluded I could do better by seeing the authorities in Colorado at Fort Lyon. I returned next morning towards Fort Lyon. On my arrival there I met Colonel Chivington, related to him the conversation that had taken place between me and the Indians, and that the chiefs desired to be friendly. In reply he said he was not authorized to make peace, and that he was then on the war path--I think were the words he used. I then stated to him that there was great risk to run in keeping up war; that there were a great many government trains travelling to New Mexico and other points, also a great many citizens, and that I did not think there was sufficient force to protect the travel, and that the citizens and settlers of the country would have to suffer. He said the citizens would have to protect themselves. I then said no more to him. I then went up to my ranch, twenty-five miles from Fort Lyon; was there about seven days, when I received a letter from Major Colley, the Indian agent, stating he wished to see me immediately on business. I went to the fort, and he (Major Colley) showed me Governor Evans's proclamation, also a letter from Governor Evans to him, directing him to get some one to go immediately to the different tribes of Indians and fetch all of the different tribes of Indians into the forts, Lyon and Larned--that is, all who desired to be friendly; that they should be protected by the government of the United States, and at the same time have rations issued to them. Governor Evans at that time was ex-officio superintendent of Indian affairs. I immediately started on my way in search of the Indians, alone; I found all the different tribes in the vicinity of Fort Larned; the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, Comanches, and Apaches. I then immediately brought the Cheyenne chiefs within four miles of Fort Larned, they being at war with the whites; the other tribes were at peace. I had an interview with the Cheyennes--translated to them the governor's proclamation; they expressed a great desire to make peace and to keep it, and appeared to be perfectly well satisfied with the governor's proclamation. They went up with me the next morning and had an interview with the commanding officer of the post, and everything was settled satisfactorily on both sides. The Indians then returned to their villages on the Arkansas, some twenty-five miles from Fort Lyon. I then mentioned to the commanding officer that I thought from the movements and actions of the Kiowas they would break out in a short time, which proved to be the case. In two or three days afterwards the Kiowas went up to Fort Larned and ran off the stock, at the same time wounding a sentinel. They resorted to a stratagem to obtain the stock: the squaws went into the fort and commenced a dance to attract the attention of the troops, while the war party got the horses, and when the alarm was given the squaws jumped on their horses and ran off. The Arapaho chief, Left-Hand, then took twenty-five of his men and went to Fort Larned, with the intention of offering his services to the United States, to assist them in fighting the Kiowas and recovering the stolen stock. He got within four hundred yards of the fort, met a soldier, and sent him to the commanding officer, to state that he wished to have an interview with him, but the first salute he received was a cannon shot fired at himself and party. Left-Hand carried a white flag, and could speak English very well. He was afterwards killed in the massacre on Sand creek. This was the commencement of the Arapaho war. The Arapahoes, who had committed no hostile acts previously, now commenced and committed more depredations than the Cheyennes. From information, I know of what occurred in the Sand creek fight; I had two sons in the village, and one who acted as guide and interpreter for the government, and was with Colonel Chivington. The attack at Sand creek on the Indians produced great excitement among them; they even deposed their head chief, Black Kettle, stating that he had brought them in there to be betrayed; they also stated that they had always heard that white men would not kill women and children, but they had now lost all confidence in the whites. Since that time the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, and a portion of the Comanches, have been at war with the whites. I have no doubt but for the firing on the Arapahoes at Fort Larned, and the affair at Sand creek, we might have had peace with all the Indians on the Arkansas. I have no doubt if proper persons (and by proper persons I mean those who would be honest and not try to defraud the Indians or the government, and they should be acquainted with the Indian character) were appointed agents, and if officers from the regular army, with troops from the same, were stationed at the posts near the Indians, I think there would be no difficulty. Volunteer officers, the Indians can see, have no control over their men--no discipline, and the soldiers cannot be punished for abusing the Indians. The last great difficulty previous to the one I have mentioned, grew out of the Sioux war. This war originated as follows:
Some Mormons on their way to Salt lake were driving some stock; either a cow or an ox
gave out, the Indians killed the animal, and the Mormons reported the fact to the commanding officer at Fort Laramie; the officer sent down for the Indian who killed the animal, but the Indians refused to send him, as he was not present and could not be found, offering at the same time to pay for the animal killed; the officer then sent Lieutenant Grattan, with eighteen men, to the Indian camp, where there were some three hundred warriors, to fetch the Indian away; he demanded that the Indian should be delivered in fifteen minutes, or he would fire on them; the Indian not being forthcoming at the time, Lieutenant Grattan fired on the Indians, and in a few minutes he and his command were all massacred. This occurred in 1854, and was the commencement of the Sioux war, which lasted some time, the Cheyenne band of the North Platte becoming involved in it. Two campaigns were carried on against them; one under General Harney, and the other under Colonel Sumner. In answer to your inquiry, I must say there have been a good many goods sent by the government to the Indians which never were delivered. These goods are withheld in various ways. For instance, an Indian will come in and make the agent a present of a poney another will make him a present of a mule, another will present four or five buffalo robes, all of which the agent will receive to himself, when he has no right to. The agent then pays these Indians out of the annuity goods, which causes a great deal of dispute among the other Indians, who see the goods which ought to come to them given in payment to other Indians. The Indians never make presents without expecting to receive something more than its value in return, so in the long run it is nothing more nor less than a trade. I believe there are agents, or agents' relatives, in this country who have made very good speculations. The son of Major Colley, the Indian agent of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, was an Indian trader for the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, and Comanches. He came to this country the fall after his father was appointed agent. When he first came here he could not have had property of the value to exceed fifteen hundred dollars, which consisted of some thirty or forty head of cows. From what he said to me he must have made twenty-five or thirty thousand dollars in the two or three years he was trading with the Indians. John Smith acted as the Indian trader, and was considered as a partner in the business. It is hard to identify Indian goods, but I am satisfied that a portion of the goods traded with the Indians were annuity goods. From comparison of the goods traded and the annuity goods, I am satisfied they were identically the same goods. The Indians knew they were purchasing their own goods, but did not complain about it. At the time I was trading in the same village with Mr. Colley, one of my men went into his lodge and brought back to me a top of a box marked "U. S. Upper Arkansas Agency." I have heard it stated that sometimes agents give the Indian goods to white traders in the country to trade them on shares. To procure vouchers for the goods the agent will send out to have the tribe come in and get their annuity goods. The goods thought proper to be given them are piled in a heap on the prairie, the Indians sit round in a large circle, and the agent then tells them, "There are your annuity goods--divide them among yourselves." The agent then gets four or five of the principal chiefs to come in and sign the vouchers; as a matter of course the Indians do not know what or how much they are signing for. I would suggest that the Indians be allowed by law to select some white man to be present at the distribution, with power to examine all bills and vouchers, and see that the Indians are not defrauded. All the agents on the Arkansas have been in the habit of distributing the goods in the manner above described, and the poor and needy Indians do not get their share, which falls to the richer and more powerful ones. If the matter were left to me I would guarantee with my life that in three months I could have all the Indians along the Arkansas at peace, without the expense of war. These would include the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, Comanches, and Apaches. Some Cheyennes in whom I have confidence stated to me that they had no confidence in Major Colley, knowing he was swindling them out of their goods, and they did not care to come in and receive them, but when Major Fitzpatrick was their agent they had confidence and always came in for their annuities. There was a treaty made between the Cheyennes and Arapahoes and Colonel Boone. In my opinion the reservation now set apart for the Cheyennes and Arapahoes is not suitable. The best place for a reservation for them, in my opinion, would be on Beaver creek, between the Smoky Hill and the Republican. This would be in their own country, where the buffalo abound, and where they will probably last be seen. This reservation would be off from all the roads and all the great thoroughfares, and distant from all settlements. The land would be suitable for them, but not for the whites, and contains no minerals. On this reservation the agency should be established, and the agent should always be with them; grass and timber abound.___________
Robert Bent sworn:
I am twenty-four years old; was born on the Arkansas river. I am pretty well acquainted with the Indians of the plains, having spent most of my life among them. I was employed as guide and interpreter at Fort Lyon by Major Anthony. Colonel Chiving-
ton ordered me to accompany him on his way to Sand creek. The command consisted of from nine hundred to one thousand men, principally Colorado volunteers. We left Fort Lyon at eight o'clock in the evening, and came on to the Indian camp at daylight the next morning. Colonel Chivington surrounded the village with his troops. When we came in sight of the camp I saw the American flag waving and heard Black Kettle tell the Indians to stand round the flag, and there they were huddled--men, women, and children. This was when we were within fifty yards of the Indians. I also saw a white flag raised. These flags were in so conspicuous a position that they must have been seen. When the troops fired the Indians ran, some of the men into their lodges, probably to get their arms. They had time to get away if they had wanted to. I remained on the field five hours, and when I left there were shots being fired up the creek. I think there were six hundred Indians in all. I think there were thirty-five braves and some old men, about sixty in all. All fought well. At the time the rest of the men were away from camp, hunting. I visited the battle-ground one month afterwards; saw the remains of a good many; counted sixty-nine, but a number had been eaten by the wolves and dogs. After the firing the warriors put the squaws and children together, and surrounded them to protect them. I saw five squaws under a bank for shelter. When the troops came up to them they ran out and showed their persons to let the soldiers know they were squaws and begged for mercy, but the soldiers shot them all. I saw one squaw lying on the bank whose leg had been broken by a shell; a soldier came up to her with a drawn sabre; she raised her arm to protect herself, when he struck, breaking her arm; she rolled over and raised her other arm, when he struck, breaking it, and then left her without killing her. There seemed to be an indiscriminate slaughter of men, women, and children. There were some thirty or forty squaws collected in a hole for protection; they sent out a little girl about six years old with a white flag on a stick; she had not proceeded but a few steps when she was shot and killed. All the squaws in that hole were afterwards killed, and four or five bucks outside. The squaws offered no resistance. Every one I saw dead was scalped. I saw one squaw cut open with an unborn child, as I thought, lying by her side. Captain Soulé, afterwards told me that such was the fact. I saw the body of White Antelope with the privates cut off, and I heard a soldier say he was going to make a tobacco-pouch out of them. I saw one squaw whose privates had been cut out. I heard Colonel Chivington say to the soldiers as they charged past him, "Remember our wives and children murdered on the Platte and Arkansas." He occupied a position where he could not have failed to have seen the American flag, which I think was a garrison flag, six by twelve. He was within fifty yards when he planted his battery. I saw a little girl about five years of age who had been hid in the sand; two soldiers discovered her, drew their pistols and shot her, and then pulled her out of the sand by the arm. I saw quite a number of infants in arms killed with their mothers. There were trading in the village at the time John Smith, a soldier named Louderback, and a teamster of young Colley's named Clark. They were trading goods said to belong to Dexter Colley and John Smith. The goods traded were similar to those they had been in the habit of trading before. I have heard the Indians charge Major Colley with trading their own goods to them.___________
Colonel Kit Carson sworn:
I have heard read the statement of Colonel Bent, and his suggestions and opinions in relation to Indian affairs coincide perfectly with my own. I came to this country in 1826, and since that time have become pretty well acquainted with the Indian tribes, both in peace and at war. I think, as a general thing, the difficulties arise from aggressions on the part of the whites. From what I have heard, the whites are always cursing the Indians, and are not willing to do them justice. For instance, at times large trains come out to this country, and some man without any responsibility is hired to guard the horses, mules, and stock of the trains; these cattle by his negligence frequently stray off; always, if anything is lost, the cry is raised that the Indians stole it. It is customary among the Indians, even among themselves, if they lose animals, as Indians go everywhere, if they bring them in they expect to get something for their trouble. Among themselves they always pay; but when brought in to this man, who lost them through his negligence, he refuses to pay, and abuses the Indians, striking or sometimes shooting them, because they do not wish to give up the stock without pay; and thus a war is brought on. That is the way in which difficulties frequently arise. I have heard read the statement of how the Sioux war arose, which agrees word for word with what I have heard, and what I believe to be the facts. And in relation to the war with the Cheyennes, I have heard it publicly stated that the authorities of Colorado, expecting that their troops would be sent to the Potomac, determined to get up an Indian war, so that the troops would be compelled to remain. I know of no acts of hostility on the part of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes committed previous to the attacks made upon them, as stated by
Colonel Bent. In 1830, or '31, I was one of a party who made peace with the Arapahoes, and since that time I know of no difficulty with them until that described by Colonel Bent. I know of no other great difficulties on the Arkansas route than the Sioux war and the present war. I think the Kiowas are hostile against the government without cause. The other tribes, I think are rather compelled to be so. Most of the Comanches, I think, are friendly disposed. I think if proper men were appointed and proper steps taken, peace could be had with all the Indians on and below the Arkansas, without war. I believe that, if Colonel Bent and myself were authorized, we could make a solid, lasting peace with those Indians. I have much more confidence in the influence of Colonel Bent with the Indians than in my own. I think if prompt action were taken the Indians could be got together by the tenth of September. I know that even before the acquisition of New Mexico there had about always existed an hereditary warfare between the Navajoes and Mexicans; forays were made into each other's country, and stock, women, and children stolen. Since the acquisition, the same state has existed; we would hardly get back from fighting and making peace with them before they would be at war again. I consider the reservation system as the only one to be adopted for them. If they were sent back to their own country to-morrow, it would not be a month before hostilities would commence again. There is a part of the Navajoes, the wealthy, who wish to live in peace; the poorer class are in the majority, and they have no chiefs who can control them. When I campaigned against them eight months I found them scattered over a country several hundred miles in extent. There is no suitable place in their own country--and I have been all over it--where more than two thousand could be placed. If located in different places, it would not be long before they and the Mexicans would be at war. If they were scattered on different locations, I hardly think any number of troops could keep them on their reservations. The mountains they live in in the Navajo country cannot be penetrated by troops. There are cañons in their country thirty miles in length, with walls a thousand feet high, and when at war it is impossible for troops to pass through these cañons, in which they hide and cultivate the ground. In the main Cañon de Chelly they had some two or three thousand peach trees, which were mostly destroyed by my troops. Colonel Sumner, in the fall of 1851, went into the Cañon de Chelly with several hundred men and two pieces of artillery; he got into the cañon some eight or ten miles, but had to retreat out of it at night. In the walls of the cañon they have regular houses built in the crevices, from which they fire and roll down huge stones on an enemy. They have regular fortifications, averaging from one to two hundred feet from the bottom, with portholes for firing. No small-arms can injure them, and artillery cannot be used. In one of these crevices I found a two-story house. I regard these cañons as impregnable. General Canby entered this cañon, but retreated out the next morning. When I captured the Navajoes I first destroyed their crops, and harassed them until the snow fell very deep in the cañons, taking some prisoners occasionally. I think it was about the 6th of January, after the snow fell, that I started. Five thousand soldiers would probably keep them on reservations in their own country. The Navajoes had a good many small herds when I went there. I took twelve hundred sheep from them at one time, and smaller lots at different times. The volunteers were allowed one dollar per head for all sheep and goats taken, which were turned over to the commissary. I think General Carleton gave the order as an encouragement to the troops. I think from fifteen hundred to two thousand could subsist themselves in the Valley de Chelly. At this point it took me and three hundred men most one day to destroy a field of corn. I think probably fifteen hundred could subsist on the northeastern slope of the Tunacha mountain. I know of no other place near by where any considerable number could subsist themselves. I was in the valley of the San Juan, but can give no idea of the number that could subsist themselves in it. While I was in the country there was continual thieving carried on between the Navajoes and Mexicans. Some Mexicans now object to the settlement of the Navajoes at the Bosque, because they cannot prey on them as formerly. I am of the opinion that, in consequence of the military campaign and the destruction of their crops, they were forced to come in. It appears to me that the only objection to the Bosque is on account of the wood, which consists of mesquite roots; but I am not sufficiently acquainted with the character of it to give an opinion of it, and the time it would last, but it is rather hard to dig. Many of the Apaches understand farming, and they should be put on a reservation. I think the Jicarrilla Apaches would object to being put on the Bosque. The Apaches in Arizona, I think, would make very little objection to being placed on a reservation. With the Utes it would be more difficult, as they know nothing of planting, and when spoken to on the subject have invariably objected. They are a brave, warlike people; they are of rather small size, but hardy, and very fine shots. I would advise, however, that they be put on a reservation, as they cannot live much longer as now; they are generally hungry, and killing cattle and sheep, which will bring on a war. They are now at peace, and it would be the wiser
policy to remain at peace with them. I think there is a good place for a reservation north of the San Juan in Utah. I think that justice demands that every effort should be made to secure peace with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes before any war was prosecuted against them, in view of the treatment they have received.___________
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO,
Santa Fé, New Mexico, October 22, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to enclose for the information of the congressional committee, of which you are the chairman, letters of instruction and advice from myself to various commanders and to different departments of the public service in relation to Indians, Indian wars, &c., &c., within my official jurisdiction and controlled by myself.
Among these letters will be found two or three relating to the wealth of this part of the country in precious metals. These are sent to you in order that the committee may see the national importance of settling Indians upon reservations, so that the country now inhabited by many bands of them may be left open to the enterprise and skill of the miner. The Indians will not themselves work the mines: they should not be permitted to lie in wait to murder the prospector who comes with much toil and many privations to explore their country for its hidden wealth. This they will surely do unless they are exterminated or placed upon reservations. The miners will go to their country, and the question which comes up is, shall the miners be protected and the country be developed, or shall the Indians be suffered to kill them and the nation be deprived of its immense wealth?
In all that I have had to do in this command, so far as the Indians are concerned, I have endeavored to treat them justly, and I point to this record of over three years of anxiety and toil, mostly on their account, as one of which I do not feel ashamed.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES H. CARLETON.
Brigadier General, Commanding
Hon. JAMES R. DOOLITTLE,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.
United States. Congress., Joint Special Committee to Inquire Into the Condition of the Indian Tribes., "Chivington Massacre," Condition of the Indian Tribes. Report of the Joint Special Committee, Appointed Under Joint Resolution of March 3, 1865. With An Appendix, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1867, pp. 1-10, Appendix: pp. 26-98.