Washita, 139 years ago...

Publié le par custerwest

Delos G. Sanbertson was scalped at Washita by a warrior but survived
STORY OF A PRIVATE

Private Delos G. Sanbertson : "I was scalped at Washita"

"When it was fully daylight, we all gave a big yell and charged right down into camp. The lodges were all standing yet, and lots of Indians in them. As we ran through the alleys a big red jumped out at me from behind a tent, and before I could shorten up enough to run him through with my bayonet, a squaw grabbed me around the legs and twisted me down. The camp was then full of men fighting, and everybody seemed yelling as loud as he could. When I fell I went over backward, dropping my gun, and I had just got part way up again, the squaw yanking me by the hair, when the Indian clubbed my gun and struck me across the neck. He might just as well have run me through, but he wasn't used to the bayonet, or didn't think.

The blow stunned me; it didn't hurt me the least, but gave me a numb feeling all over. I couldn't have got to my feet then if all alone, while the squaw kept screeching and pulling my hair out by the handful.
I heard some of our boys shouting close by, and the squaw started and ran - one of the boys killing her not three rods off.

The Indian stepped one foot on my chest, and with his hand gathered up the hair near the crown of my head. He wasn't very tender about it, but jerked my head this way and that and pinched like Satan. My eyes were partially open, and I could see the bead work and trimming on his leggings. Suddenly I felt the awfulest biting, cutting flesh go on round my head, and then it seemed to me just as if my whole head had been jerked clean off.

I never felt such pain in all my life; why it was like pulling your brains right out. I didn't know anymore for two or three days, and then I came to, to find that I had the sorest head of any human being that ever lived. If the boys killed the viper, they didn't get back my scalp; perhaps it got lost in the snow.


I was shipped down to Laramie after a bit, and all the nursing I got haint made the hair grow out on this spot yet."

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