BLACK KETTLE'S MASSACRES
Black Kettle, Little Rock and his people all admitted the massacres their warriors had done. But they are still remembered as peaceful chiefs...
edited by David Cornut, author of "Little Big Horn" (France, 2006)
from Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 2, No. 4, December, 1924. THE NINETEENTH KANSAS CAVALRY IN THE WASHITA CAMPAIGN. An Address by Col. Horace L. Moore Before the Twenty-first Annual Meeting of the Kansas State.
"On the 10th of August, 1868, they struck the settlements on the Saline River. On the 12th they reached the Solomon and wiped out a settlement where the city of Minneapolis is now situated. In this raid fifteen persons were killed, two wounded, and five women carried off. On the same day they attacked Wright’s bay camp near Ft. Dodge, raided the Pawnee, and killed two settlers on the Republican. On the 8th of September they captured a train at the Cimarron crossing of the Arkansas River, securing possession of seventeen men, whom burned; and the day following they murdered six men between Sheridan and Ft. Wallace. On the first of September, 1868, the Indians killed four men at Spanish Fork, in Texas, and outraged three women. One of those women was outraged by thirteen Indians and afterward killed and scalped. They left her with the hatchet still sticking in her head. Before leaving, they murdered her four little children. Of the children carried off by the Indians from Texas in 1868, fourteen were frozen to death in captivity. The total of losses from September 12, 1868, to Febuary 9, 1869, exclusive of casualties incident to military operations, was 158 men murdered, sixteen wounded and forty-one scalped. 3 scouts were killed, 14 women outraged, 1 man was captured, 4 women and 24 children were carried off."
from "The Indians to be Thrashed", The Daily Kansas State Journal, Lawrence, Kansas, Saturday Morning, 29 August 1868, Vol. IV, No. 37, p. 1, col. 2.
"The Indian Bureau has received advices from Superintendent Murphy dated Atchison, Kansas, August 22d. He says he fully concurs in the views expressed in Agent Wynkoop's report that the innocent Indians who are trying to keep good faith to the treaty pledges, should be pardoned, while he recommends that the Indians who have committed the recent outrages should be turned over to the military and be severely punished."
from Brill, Charles J., Conquest of the Southern Plains; Uncensored Narrative of the Battle of the Washita and Custer's Southern Campaign, Oklahoma City, OK, Golden Saga Publishers, 1938, pp. 289-290.Immediately, upon hearing of said outrages, I was anxious to have the guilty punished, and by that means save those of the different tribes who did not deserve punishment. I saw two of the principal chiefs of the Cheyennes, viz., Medicine Arrow and Little Rock (second-in-command of Black Kettle's village) and demanded that they deliver up the perpretators. (Indian Agent Edward Wynkoop's report, October 7, 1868)
from "The Indians. Gen. Sherman's Report--The Indian War--Its Cause and Extent--What Should be Done With the Tribes," The New York Times, New York, Saturday, 21 November 1868, p. 1.
"About this time, viz, Aug. 3 or 4, a party of Indians, composed of 200 Cheyennes, four Arapahoes and twenty Sioux, are known to have started from their camps on Pawnee Fork on a war expedition, nominally to fight the Pawnees. On the 10th they appeared on the Saline, north of Fort Harker, where the settlers received them kindly. They were given food and coffee, but, pretending to be offended because it was in tin cups, they threw it back in the faces of the women, and began at once to break up furniture and set fire to the houses. They seized the women and ravished them, perpetrating atrocities which could only have been the result of premeditated crime. Here they killed two men; thence they crossed over to the settlements on the Solomon where they continued to destroy the houses and property, to ravish all females, and killed thirteen men. Going on to the Republican they killed two more men, and committed other acts of similar brutal atrocity. As soon as intelligence of this could be carried to Fort Hawker troops were sent in pursuit, who succeeded in driving them away, rescuing some captive children, and killing but few Indians, by reason of their fast ponies and familiarity with the country." (General Sherman's report, November 20, 1868}
from "Black Kettle", by Historian Gregory Michno, Wild West, December 2005
"In October 1868, Cheyennes attacked a wagon train along the Arkansas River in eastern Colorado Territory and captured Clara Blinn and her little boy Willie. The raiders took their captives to Black Kettle's camp on the Washita River. The Indians believed they had good bargaining chips with which to deal for peace, much as they had attempted to do with their captives in the late summer of 1864. Blinn wrote a letter pleading for someone to rescue them, and it reached Colonel William B. Hazen, in charge at Fort Cobb. On November 20, Black Kettle, Big Mouth and a number of chiefs representing the Cheyennes and Arapahos, came to see Hazen to discuss peace and talk about ransoming the white captives. Since these tribes were currently at war with the United States, Hazen, unlike Major Wynkoop in 1864, knew he could not make a separate peace with them. Although Black Kettle was ostensibly at Fort Cobb to discuss peace, he did say, as Hazen recorded it, "that many of his men were then on the war path, and that their people did not want peace with the people above the Arkansas." Hazen directed them to go back to their villages and deal directly with General Sheridan."
from "Lo, the Poor Indian," Leavenworth Evening Bulletin, September 17, 1868
The news from the Western frontier continues to be exciting. The noble red man is getting hungry and out of powder--wants more Peace Commissioners with blankets, guns and ammunition, in order to be better prepared to take the war path; we think, however, that the days of Peace Commissioners, with all their foolish trappings and parades has passed into history, not adding anything to the laurels of any person connected with them. "