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have been settled six feet under the surface.
   It is a defect in the government that the most desirable land is not surveyed before opening for settlement. Before leaving this locality, let me describe it. As last seen Leavenworth was about two-thirds as large as Blair at the present time, but had not as good buildings. Russell and Majors were the moving force. I heard Majors say they had cattle enough, when yoked and strung out, to reach fifty-six miles, to the Kaw river. Their shops were located in Leavenworth. Their great wagons were like schooners, which they loaded with seventy hundred for six yoke of oxen and one bull whacker. Where ever sent, the wagons in town covered about five acres of ground. Ox-yokes, all that would lie on a city block, were piled up, and log chains, two hundred feet square, were piled to a pyramid.
   On the 5th of August, 1855, I was called to the Fort and put in charge of staff, baggage and ordnance train in General Harney's expedition against the Sioux, consisting of Company B, First Artillery as Cavalry, four companies of the Sixth Infantry with a large train. Reaching our camping grounds on the Stranger, twelve miles out, at dark, with many mules given out, the General called me, ordering me to return to the Post and bring out twelve of the best mules. Then I got something to eat and returned for my orders, when he repeated the "best mules." I got there at two in the morning, and it was so dark that nothing could be done. I lay down and slept an hour and at the peep of day was pounding on the door of the Quartermaster. After arousing him, I presented him my order. He sent me for Mr. Wilson, Post wagonmaster, who was ordered to fill the order. Wilson said to me not to take the water team, thereby showing he knew I was to have my choice. Knowing the pride that was taken in that team, I would have been a vandal to have robbed them of it if it had suited me. Getting my mules and three men, we returned to camp. When reporting to the General, I told him that I had heard that the cholera had broken out at Fort Riley; that men were dying very fast, and that the doctor had deserted his post. He broke out in a great rage, swearing he would arrest and cashier him. Reminding him that my news was only rumor, and his mail would soon be in with more definite news, he was pacified. That evening our surgeon was ordered to Fort Riley, and the command proceeded on its way the next day. Crossing the Big



Blue on a small ferry boat, one of the teamsters brought his whip onto the off-wheeler to bring him into place. Harney, seeing him, broke out with the greatest volley of oaths we had ever heard, abusing him outrageously, and he was one of the best teamsters in the command. Afterwards the teamsters were afraid of him and would sooner take their mules a half mile to water than anywhere near his tent.
   Continuing on the old military road, we soon came into the present State, then Territory, of Nebraska. At Kearney, the command was strengthened with four or six companies of infantry, if my memory is right, mounted on ponies, with fifteen scouts, Jim Baker, Joe Laflesh and others whose names have been forgotten. About half of them were Indians. Who was Adjutant, memory fails to say. Captain Van Vleet was Quartermaster; Lieutenant Warren was topographical engineer. We also had a gentleman from Paris, France, who said that in his own country he was a grand count, but in America be was no account at all. But he was mistaken, for he was good to eat putrid chickens. The Kearney troops had for wagonmaster a Sergeant by name of Avery, who now resides in Herman, this county. He has always been a picture to memory, as seen riding along his train. Wm. Drummond was head wagon master. Passing up the Platte to Laramie, we crossed but one stream of running water, and that was the South Platte; and for two or three hundred miles we saw not a tree. At this time there was a trader at O'Fallon's Bluff, and at old Julesburg, and one some five miles below. Crossing at Julesburg we traveled for the North Platte. At the head of Ash Hollow we met a train that had corraled three times that day on account of Indians, who wanted to trade for aims and ammunition; telling them they did not want to fight them, but the soldiers, who were coming. We could see with a spy glass their camp off to the northwest. Passing down the hollow to the river we went into camp at midnight. The troops crossed the river. The cavalry was sent to get around back of them whilst the infantry were to attack them in front. As the infantry got close to their camp they were spied, and Little Thunder, their chief, came out to meet Harney and have a talk. The latter kept him in conversation till he could learn of his cavalry's whereabouts. Gaining his desires, he told the chief be had been sent to fight him,




and he should go and get his men ready. As he started, the troops started to follow. When within hailing distance, he motioned them to run. As they did so, firing was opened on them. As they ran into the cavalry they got it again and then went to fighting for their lives. One, who was supposed dead, and had a death wound, raised up and shot a soldier. Then another soldier went to finish him with his sabre. As the soldier struck at him the Indian threw up and received the blow on his gun, thus breaking the sabre at the hilt. An officer then thought to try his hand and rode up for that purpose, when the Indian grasped the broken sabre and with it nearly severed the leg of the officer's horse. The Indian was at last finished by a revolver ball. Other Indians got in "cache holes" from which they killed the most of those who were killed - thirteen in all. If I remember rightly one hundred and twenty six Indians were slain. Whilst the fight was going on we train men brought our train into corral, making the river the base and forming a half circle with wagons, mules on the inside, front wheel locked in bind wheel ahead. After the fight, I was sent with six or eight wagons out to haul in the plunder from the camp which was about six miles from the river on a nice stream of water called the Blue or Brule. For a the first three miles I met the troops guarding the prisoners, squaws with tepees on ponies and children riding in the usual way. I do not think I saw a dozen bucks amongst them. Bring told that there were two camps, one a mile farther up, I thought to take the upper first and finish at the other as I returned. Passing the lower one a mile or more away, I heard the bugle sound rally on the chief. Turning at right angles, by persevering use of the whip we got the teams into a dog trot and kept it up till we got where, we were wanted. Here were some as pretty tepees as I ever saw; new hides stretching over a circumference of eighteen feet, and running to an apex twenty feet high. Inside were bales of dried buffalo meat in skins piled three feet high all around next the outside. By order of the General we loaded the meat and lodges, as they were taken down by two or, three squaws, into the wagons, and such other things as were to be found, and started on our return to camp. Crossing the river, which had quick-sand bottom, we lost many of those long poles by the jarring and shaking of the wagons, and for which we dared not stop as our wagons would sink, and thus they floated off



in the current. The river was near half a mile wide and not over a foot deep in any place. It was after dark when we got to camp.
   The next morning Harney came to me inquiring after the buffalo robes, saying he wanted them for his old regiment and that I should get them. Thinking my turn had now come for a cursing, I says, "- - how many, General?" and he turns off and says "no more." But he had scared a nice large robe out of one of the teamsters, who brought it to me. I searched the wagons but found no more, neither had I seen any put in the wagons. They had buried our dead whilst I was on the battlefield, a little to the west of Ash Hollow and not far from the bluff, on rising ground. Learning that a man by the name of McDonald, with whom I had served two years in the first dragoons, was buried there, I went to pay my last respects to his grave, which was marked with a cedar post. Leaving two companies here with the largest number of prisoners, to build a post, which was called Fort Grafton, after a Lieutenant by that name, who was sent with eighteen men to punish them for killing a Mormon's cow. They proved too many for him, killing his whole party but one, and he was wounded. This was the year previous - 1855. Passing on to Laramie, there was nothing unusual except in the vicinity of Courthouse Rock, where we had encamped about 3 o'clock on a clear, bright day with a gentle breeze from the south. We had our first sight of grass-hoppers. An hour after camping the ground was covered one inch thick with them. At every step we would tread numbers of them. The air was full of them so you could hardly discern the sun. Before night there was not a spear of grass left for our animals.
   Whilst passing up the Platte some of the Indians, twelve in number, who had saved themselves, were ahead of us, and coming into Laramie as if on a trading expedition. They got between the herd and the Mexican herders, who were along the walls of the Fort. They raised a yell, swinging their blankets, and stampeded one hundred and fifty animals. The post wagon-master being saddled, mounted and put after them and saved a good many. Major How who was up the Laramie nine miles, with four companies of cavalry, was sent for; he followed them two days and returned. When he reported to Harney, it was better than any tragedy Shakespeare ever wrote. He cursed him and swore till everything was blue. I think




he was put under arrest; at last be was taken to Fort Pierre. After remaining ten days to rest the animals, he took all the spare troops, leaving some prisoners there. We started out to build a fort on White River. The first day we camped on Running Water river. The next we went down a dry draw till we came to water, the head of White River, which we followed down three days, and then abandoned the building of the fort, the Laramie. Our troops were sent back, and with the infantry we started for Pierre on the ninth of October. Here on the head of the river we had snow twelve inches deep, and had frost every night for a month. The snow soon disappeared, but it left our mules weak. Every morning we would have to help some of them up before putting the harness on them; they would travel fifteen or twenty miles a day. I should be pardoned if I swore here, for we crossed this stream thirteen times in one day. At every crossing there would be a lot of soldiers to help the teams across, they standing on the bank yelling and doing no earthly good. We soon after bid adieu to White River, and passing up a long gradual slope for ten miles, we camped on a high piece of ground with, a swale on it with good grass and water. The next morning we had to let our wagons down from this hill with both wheels locked, and long ropes attached, with men to hold them back. This hill was sand, three or four hundred feet high, the descent being about sixty degrees. At the bottom we found ourselves in the Bad Lands which it took us two days to cross. How many men found a road through them is a question to me. Here were brought to the train many specimens of petrifications, amongst which was a turtle three feet long; it looked as if it might have been just caught on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. We had a night's camp on alkali water that looked like strained honey, which we could not drink without mixing with coffee. After getting out of these lands we came to a more beautiful country, which is destined to be a great wheat field. Two days more brought us to Pierre, in a cold rain, when our mules wore turned loose with picket ropes dragging. In the morning, going to look after them, I found a great many of them dead; on the ends of the ropes were frozen three to five hundred pounds of mud which was gathered as they dragged them. Some could no longer pull their ropes and were anchored. These were fine Kentucky mules, but too young



for the trip, many only two years old. This day the Quartermaster told me the General wanted me to stay with him. I told him I would do so for sixty-five dollars a month. He thought it was more than they could pay. I felt a little sore, as I had done my own duty and a good deal of the head wagon-master's, for which he received the pay, my pay being only forty-five dollars. After spending a week above Pierre, in crossing the Missouri, I was sent after, but I declined the call and have not regretted it. Pierre was an old trading post built of adobe brick, half a mile from the river, and eight miles from timber, a desolate, bleak looking place. I left there without going back to bid the General farewell, who had always treated me with respect, I think from the fact that we had traveled a good deal over Florida, known to each other. With Quartermaster Van Vleet, his brother, teamsters, and fourteen teams, we started down the north side of the river, crossing Jim River about fifty miles north of its month. Then taking a southeast course we came to the Big Sioux, west of Sioux City. We continued on to Leavenworth, where we were paid off and sent into Platt county, Mo., with a herd of mules to winter. Here, in the early March, of 1856, I made up my mind to quit the government employ, and going to the Fort drew my pay. Being asked where I was going, I told them twenty miles beyond the last white settlement up the Missouri, thinking I should hardly go so far, but I went one hundred. At Sioux City I took a contract of Frame & Rustin to get out thirty thousand rails at thirty dollars per thousand, in Dakota county, Nebraska. Employing two men, I went to where we were to board, got mauls and wedge timber from the bluff at St. Johns, and was ready for work. The next morning, seeing a grove of timber off to the southwest, and thinking we might as well have a claim apiece, we started for it. After walking two or three miles we found ourselves on low ground with water on it, but pushing on through snow and water till it came above our boots, and finding ourselves still a mile from the objective point, we had to beat a retreat, returning to our boarding places tired out and weary. Here all was confusion; the beds out and things torn up generally. On making inquiries, the lady told us (and she was a lady) that she could not keep us. With tears in her eyes she pointed out the lice in her beds. She had a boarder whom she called Posey, an Indianian, for




a week, who had inoculated the whole house. Sioux City was a lousy place, but I and my men had changed our clothes and put on some new ones before leaving there. She gave us something to eat and we wormed ourselves back over six long miles. I threw up my contract. I then pulled at an oar on the first ferry that crossed the river here, and made the acquaintance of Melchisadeck Huddleson, by same called Hairie, by others Harry. As I may have considerable to say of him, I will give big description: A man six feet two inches tall, straight as a soldier, with dark complexion, brown eyes, long heavy beard which he had a habit of pulling frequently; he was of a quiet and peaceful habit and weighed a bout one hundred and seventy-five or eighty pounds, and as strong as an ox; he was between thirty-five and forty years of age at that time. My next employ was to hold down a claim for Joe Holman which he turned into Pacific City. I built the first frame of a house in Dakota county, for him. Whilst doing so, and working round the saw mill there, I would frequently attend Father Martin's prayer meetings and listen to his Sabbath discourses. He had bought thirteen acres of timberland nearby, calculating to get from it so many thousand feet of lumber and two hundred cords of wood. The wood would be worth six hundred dollars an acre, to say nothing of the lumber. I happened to be in Sioux City when he arrived by steamer, and was amused to see him hunting for a barrel of soft soap while his family were standing on the bank waiting for him. He found it, and has been using it for many years on the people of Dakota county through the columns of the Eagle. In November there was a claim meeting called at Sioux City, of claim holders of the Niobrara, consisting of B. Y. Shelly, Judge Hubbard, Frank West, George Detwilder, Treadway, Holman and some others. Huddleson, I believe, had taken one on the Bazill. I had none, but was hired to go up and hold the claims at sixty-five dollars per month, with grub, by the town company, and was elected recorder of the club. We had a constitution and bylaws, which allowed me one dollar for recording a claim. But I never charged and was glad to see people come in. Buying nine pair of fine large white bed blankets of Holman, and one hundred pounds of sugar, some coffee and beads to trade on, and loading some provisions of the company's, Harry Huddleson, Vogleson, Smith and myself, with a yoke of oxen, started for our destined



home. At St. Johns, on the Dakota bottom, was an Irish colony of Catholics. After that there was neither a settlement nor a house for a hundred miles. Following an Indian trail, we crossed Iowa Creek, where Ponca is now located; following up the west branch to its head we crossed to the Lime Creek hills, passing on to Bean where we camped for the night. These valleys are the best part of North Nebraska. The next night we were at Secre Grove, and the last night we lay out on a hill about eight miles from our destination with the wind blowing a gale; all our bed clothes would not keep us warm, At dawn of day we proceeded, keeping an Indian trail which we had followed from the Dakota bottom. Harry had been over the route in August previous and had assisted in putting up a cabin and stable, which we were to occupy. Arriving at our destination we found ourselves on a bottom five miles long, one and a half wide, bounded on the west by the Running Water, or Niobrara; Missouri river on the north, Bazill on the cast and high bluffs an the south. The cabin was situated about central, close to a willow bed and two hundred yards from the Missouri. It was built three logs on a side and four on ends, one across the top, and covered with willows, grass, and a foot of earth. The logs would average about two and a half feet in diameter. A twelve-light window of 7x9 glass, placed horizontally in the south, with a good strong door at the east, completed the house. Inside the dimensions were 14x16 foot, and banked up with earth three feet high. Three or four rods to the east was the stable, I would not have been so descriptive here, but as there have been some high and almost tragic scenes taken place which nothing but unbounded courage and good judgment could or did avoid. Here we were in a village of one thousand hostile savages camped all around us, claiming the country. The old settlers who, Mr. Draper, in his history, says, were burned out and took refuge in the old Fort, were R. R. Cowan and James Small, the ashes of whose houses were never seen. If Cowan had been there in '53, he must have been a Mormon. The only evidence of their having been there was a pair of mill buhrs out in scientific form from a boulder, about two feet and a half in diameter.
   After a day or two Cowan, not liking the situation left, I believe, on foot and alone, for Sioux City, leaving five of us them to contend with the Indiana; they became more ugly each day. But we went




on with our work, paying no attention to them, getting our logs for the purpose of building a double log house. We would cut them sixteen or eighteen feet long, two or more feet in diameter, to be split and hewn to seven inches; we thus had quite a log yard near our cabin. When the Indians appeared to be very much excited, every once and awhile one would make, a speech, going through camp; Hot knowing a word of what be said, but by his gestures and emphasis and modulation of voice, I could imagine a Cicero on the stage. Afterwards numbers of them would walk and stand in our way. I walked round a number of them, when one came up and stopped, stiffened himself so I saw it was design. I gave him a push and sent. him about a rod. The whole tribe, I noticed, were on the watch. They did not bother me any more that day. The next day we had a visit from Michel Whip Hard-Walker, Antoine Bear-Claws, and maybe one more, at our cabin. They came in, we offered them seats as far as we could. They sat down remaining quiet for sometime. I noticed that they felt elated. When Michel pulled out a big envelope and looking around he at last handed it to me. I took it, looked at the address and saw it was addressed to R. R. Cowan, below the Running Water. I made him understand, that it was for the man who had gone to Sioux City. I wanted him to take it to him or send it. He would not. Then he wanted me to open it. I gave him to understand, that I dare not. I could see him getting mad, and I handed it back to him and told him to open it. It nonplussed him. He remained quiet for some time, then got up, laying the letter on the table, and they all left. Knowing by intuition that there was something in it that we should know, after consultation, it was agreed it should be opened. Doing so I read it, finding it a very abusive document, ordering us away, signed Col. Lee, Commanding Fort Randal. Handing it to Small I called Harry out; we took our axes and worked near each other. I told him the contents and what I thought best to do. Smith was so scared that his eyes protruded from their sockets; and thinking it would probably get us into worse trouble, I sent him and Vogleson down with it. He thought Smith might take it alone. Going in, I told Small to read the letter to Harry, Smith and Vogleson; to watch that no Indians came around. After a general talk, my proposition was accepted; they left early the next morning. On Cowan's receiving the letter, it was ported to



the Bluffs, where one of the company resided, a relative of the Secretary of the Interior, and by him sent to Washington, where it kicked up a fuss with Secretary of War Davis, who ordered Lee to countermand his order and apologize for the language it contained. This order and apology, I never saw, but was told of it. The Indians, who had been delayed from going on their fall hunt by our presence, now started out, leaving an old squaw to die of old age. She fixed herself a hut and was comfortable, until some young bucks came along, and destroyed it. She fixed up again and we gave her some provisions.
   We were now at peace, three of us alone. On the first, second and third of December, 1866, there was one of the most terrific blizzards, ever known to this country. We hewed down the inside of our cabin for fuel. Snow fell four feet on the bottom, and ravines were piled in places twenty feet deep. Prior to this the weather had been warm and pleasant. We had to shovel our cattle out, although their stable was warm, and melt snow for them, till we could shovel a road to the river. In a couple of days, we got things straightened out, and started out to see what we could do, one going ahead awhile, then the other. I would frequently have to butt the snow with my shoulder to get through. After going to where we knew some logs lay, we returned tired out. Not giving up we made a log sled, and when the snow settled a little, we went to pulling logs in, with the view to have on hand what we wanted before the Indians returned. About the twentieth of December an officer and a man came along on their way. to the Fort, traveling on the river, where the snow was not so deep. They stopped and had some dinner with. us, relating their experience which was that they had got west of Jim River with corn for Fort Randal, when the storm struck them. Some of their animals froze, and others were turned loose. What fire they could keep up was made out of shelled corn. After the storm, they abandoned the train. I remarked that it would make corn dear with them. Replying be said, every bushel cost them four dollars and ten cents delivered. After discussing the news, Harry remarked that east of Peoria, Ill., they sometimes raised one hundred bushels to the acre; one man would plough the ground and cultivate forty acres. Taking my pencil I went to figuring; $16,400.00. That is better than town-site speculation, I replied, and I would take a claim and




go to growing corn, and as soon as I could, I climbed the highest hills south of the town-site. Finding a level piece of ground, I stuck my stake and recorded my claim. Now the Indians began to come back from a poor hunt, tired and starved. After a week they all arrived but Hard-Walker, a chief, who was found a month or six weeks later on an island in the Niobrara, starved to skin and bones, he was carried in by his tribe to his tepee, where they all brought him something to eat. Wanting to be in fashion, I took a pint of sugar and went to his tepee, and gave it to him. He was the best looking one of them all when in health and would weigh two hundred pounds. When leaving I thought I could see gratitude in his eyes. From now on our cabin window was darkened with squaws watching Small cook. Studying their signs and learning some of their words I began to trade with them. During the winter I got three hundred dollars worth of furs. When they wanted to trade, they would cross their fingers and say swap. Letting them in they would stay till I told them to go. Sometimes they would get saucy and refuse. I would open the door arid tell them to "git;" if they stiffened themselves up, I would grab them and throw them through it, their heads striking the top. Harry who was bothered by their stealing his cattle ropes, found, one day, a young buck with one under his blanket. He took it from him, the Indian trying to hold it. Small came up, handed out a pistol and told him to shoot him. Harry says "You take that thing in the house." I had never seen him so mad before. It took a couple of days to work off, and I don't think he ever after felt the same friendship for Small. Another day we were hewing logs when the Indians put a mark on the tree and went to shoot at it. From where they shot we were not more than eight feet from the line of sight. Not liking balls coming quite so close, I told them to go farther away, and if they did not I would knock them down. One who was, I should judge, about twenty-five years old came up out of the willows and blazed away. I went up to him and struck him hard in the mouth with my glove on, knocking his front teeth out but not flooring him. He got on a high mole with his gun raised in the most awkward position to strike, tears running from his eyes. Laughing at him I told him to go to his tepee. He went while the whole tribe were looking on. This shooting was a design, either to intimidate us or to shoot us and then say



it was an accident. Our last fracas was with Antoine. He got drunk. Where he got his liquor, I don't know, unless some Frenchman came along. There had been a couple passing during the winter who told us if we did not go away from there the Indians would scalp us and that we had no right there. Asking them how they knew we had no right there, their reply would be Maj. Sarpy said so. This was a Frenchman, a trader, who lived at St. Mary's, opposite Bellevue. Antoine was tall and wild. We could hear him yell every once in awhile. At last he made a break for our cabin, with an old sword and three or four Indians after him. We shut the door and he pounded at it with his sword till he broke it; then the others got him away. Fred Vogleson got back about the first of February, how I do not remember. We were glad to see him; bet the poor fellow had frozen his feet so badly that he could not get around; when they began to slough the stench was sickening in the cabin. He bore his suffering with fortitude, and we could do nothing for him. Through January and February, I do not think there was a cloud in the sky, yet the snow did not melt on the south side of the cabin. We were living on soda-bread, salt pork which had become rusty, beans and coffee. About the last of the month I was taken with scurvy in my knee. Looking at it, I found it was blue. Thinking that I had strained it and that it would soon get well, I did not pay it attention for some time; but it became more painful. I examined it and found it more black. I put cold water on it, which I continued to do a week, it getting worse all the time. Then I poulticed it, all to no effect. The other knee commenced in the same way. Not knowing what to do, I commenced to consult the Indians. They would wash their mouths and chew up roots and spit on it, making signs, continuing the same treatment every day for three weeks, when they came to the conclusion that it would have to be scarrified and the bad blood taken out. Antoine was chief doctor.
   I made up my mind to bear it till we could get away. In March the snow began to go away, the river rising surrounded us with water; the Indians fled to the bluffs. On the first of April, a steamboat came up loaded for Fort Randal, but not being able to stem the current, she unloaded opposite to us, and sent her yawl over. It came within ten feet of our door. I think Detwilder and one other man came in it. Our baggage was loaded on; Harry, Volgeson and I




bidding good bye to the boys were soon on the boat. The captain examined me and pronounced my disease scurvy, and supplied me with canned fruit to eat between meals. Within an hour after eating a few peaches, I became very sick. On the following day we arrived at Sioux City, where the town turned out as was the custom, on the arrival of a boat. As soon as we were seen, they greeted us with cheers. When the boat landed it was hand-shaking for some time, they giving us a regular ovation. I was cared for tenderly, taken to the Hagy House which was the Terrific when we left. Here we held a levee, receiving congratulations and telling our story. Doctors Cook and Shelly amputated Fred's toes at the first joint and prescribed a vegetable diet with vinegar for me. Raw potatoes I could not eat, but onions and vinegar were palatable. Vegetables were scarce, but the boys vied with each other in hunting them up. Every once in awhile, I could hear the leaders of my arms snap, as they were straightened out. Inside of three weeks I threw my crutches away; Harry and myself took stage to Council Bluffs, where I disposed of my furs; he and I went to look for a team. Finding a man who would sell us two yoke of oxen, a wagon and a load of corn, we bought them; and driving to a livery stable, we put up there and sold the liveryman two thirds of the corn. Buying a breaking plow, four bushels of potatoes - paying twenty dollars for them - a bushel of beans, one hundred pounds of bacon, a keg of molasses, one of vinegar, one hundred pounds of sugar, coffee and garden seeds, axes, spades, ammunition, and whatever we thought we should need for the season, we started on our return to Nebraska. At the Little Sioux we bought three bushels more potatoes and some butter; at Sioux City we got an augur or two and a whetstone, the half of it I have yet, and a little cook stove. Taking Fred and our blankets we proceeded on our way, crossing all streams on snow bridges the tenth of May. On the 12th we arrived at our destination on the Bazill, in a snow storm; the snow covered the ground four inches deep, but went off that night. The following day, we put up our cabin. After getting the things partially fixed, we went to the town-site, leaving Fred at our camp. Meeting the Indians first who appeared surprised to see me, we would shake hands and say "How, How." Going to the cabin we found Small all right, with five or six others. After exchanging news, which took the greater



part of the day, we returned. As soon as the ground got a little dry, we went to plowing for a garden and potato patch. After three days bard work, we, had got one and a half acres loosened up in a weed patch at the foot of the ravine. Taking our hoes we leveled off the ground and planted a patch of beans sixty feet square, and beds of various garden vegetables. The balance we planted in potatoes, keeping a few for Sunday dinners. Then we went to breaking sod for corn, I driving, Harry holding the plow. As I had to watch where I was driving, I could not look back, but had to keep whipping all the time, the oxen pulling all they could. When Harry said "Wo," looking at him I saw the sweat streaming from his face. Asking him what was the matter, he said the blamed plow wanted to turn over. We had pulled it sixty rods tolerably straight, cutting three inches deep and sixteen wide. The whole lay under the sod. After he and the cattle had got their wind, I said "Lets go on." He said "You try it;" I took hold of the plow and started. and the plow shoved out of the ground on the land side. Backing up I got it in place again. Putting my back against the land side handle and sizing the other with both bands, we started. I held it up for two rods, when out it came. Talking with him I found out that they generally broke two inches deep, and that be had never broken any himself. We were down three and a half or four inches; setting the gauge wheel down to make it ran shallower, I found that it run easier for the cattle but not much for us. We then thought it too dull. We got an ax and hammer and went to pounding it, and in doing so got the lay bent up a little, and it did better. We got sixteen acres broke and planted in sod corn on Harry's, and two acres on my claim. Result: our corn was frost-bitten, our beans never set till September, the potatoes we had to sit up nights to keep the Indians from stealing. We had onions, radishes and summer truck. I will not go over the history of Knox county any further. Those who wish to know more, I refer to Mr. Draper's history.
   In 1859, we organized a company of about sixty men with twenty teams to go to Pike's Peak. We started out under the commissioner system - three men to choose the road and to have command of the company. This commission consisted of R. N. Day, now of Tecomah, Wm. Benner, and another, whose name I have forgotten. We went up the Running Water, making a road to draw travel through




Knox county. We got along finely till after crossing the Long Pine, we came to the Running Water bottom where we were met by twenty Sioux Indians who said that we should go no further, and that we must go back. Not being of the go-back kind, they were told to get out of the way, when they showed signs of fight. In a moment they were covered by twenty guns, and again ordered off, and they went threatening to meet us further on, but they did not. We crossed the Running Water a little west of where Fort Niobrara now is and lot into the sands west of Valentine. We broke for the mouth of Snake river and recrossed to the south side. Again following it up till we came to Harvey's route, we crossed to the Platte. Our organization was changed at the Snake River; why, I do not know, as everything was going finely. They elected me captain at this point. On the Platte bottom the roads were lined with men and teams; hearing that the ferryboat was gone, and that men were trying to get across in wagon boxes, drove in where there were some fine large cottonwood trees and camped two miles from Laramie. Finding the trees large and hollow for some way up, we cut down the best three and made canoes of them eighteen feet long. Placing timbers across each end and lashing them to the corners, we had a boat that would carry a wagon and its load. After getting some wagons across, we tried to swim our cattle. Some went across, others we had to tow. One man lost his wagon by his cattle getting on the canoes and upsetting them. We followed the Laramie to the Chugwater and then went up it after Majors and Russell. They had broken two hundred acres, but whether it was productive, I can not say. On the Lodge Pole at Cheyenne there were some vacant houses built by the soldiers. A day's journey south we met Mr. Greeley on his famous overland journey. He told us what he saw in the mines: Continuing along the mountains we crossed the Cache le Peau, and the Boulder where we had our Fourth of July dinner; and then we disbanded, going to the mountains in squads of five and ton.  *  *
   *  *  *  *  Denver had about a dozen houses built of cottonwood lumber. One was an express office where you paid twenty-five cents to mail or receive a letter. Aurora was on the west side of Cherry Creek. Starting for the Missouri down the South Platte, I crossed it at Kearney on the Wood River. Dr. Henery had built a good log house at Grand Island. Columbus was a German colony at Loup



Fork. Fremont had two cabins half a mile apart. There I sold four dollars and ninety-five cents worth of gold dust, all I had. I also learned that the Indians were raising the devil on the Niobrara where I had some relatives. Thinking it my duty to return to them I went to Elk City; then striking north-cast I met Judge Bowen; Passing by Colby's on the Pappio, where Swyhart and another man lived, I came in on the hills west of Blair. Coming down to Cuming City, which was the largest place I had seen since leaving Sioux City - continuing to Dakota City, I learned that "all was quiet at Niobrara." This had become as famous a saying at that time as the saying "all is quiet on the Potomac" did afterwards to the people of the northern states. It was late, if not winter, when I arrived at the picket post of civilization in the North-west. Of those who stood guard the first winter, Frederic Vogleson was killed by lightning, on his claim two miles up the Bazill from its mouth, James Small was killed by Indians in a cedar ravine some six miles up the Niobrara, Harry Huddleson is passing his declining years near Ponca. It is unnecessary to say that I am here in the best agricultural county that this sketch describes. Of those who went to Pike's Peak, I know only of R. N. Day and Foster, who resided here in Blair for some time.
   Here you have my story written by request of Mr. Eller, from tablets of memory in the long past. Some are dim whilst others are as vivid as when first painted. Should it prove interesting, instructive, or amusing to its readers, I shall feel paid for the trouble.

   TABOR, IOWA, January 28, 1891.

   DEAR SIR:--Many thanks for your favor of the 17th inst. Your explanation with regard to the nonappearance of my article, is certainly satisfactory.
   You ask that I send you a short account of Samuel Allis which you may print.
   I have re-read his article in the History of Nebraska, and I think of nothing I can write of him which would add to the lustre of his name, so prefer to wait for the proof sheets of eternity to level that portion of his life which lay parallel with mine.




   I mentioned that he was not a Rev. because I supposed you desired to be correct in each particular in your historical records, and judged he had received that title from some one who thought all missionaries sent out by the A. B. C. F. M. were ministers of the Gospel. He is recorded as "Mr. Samuel Allis, teacher," in the Missionary Herald, the organ of the A. B. C. F. M., and never essayed to preach.
   He afterwards was appointed teacher by our government, and it was while acting in that capacity that he made the effort to improve the condition of the Pawnees by permitting the braves to drive their boys and girls in herds to his intellectual pasture grounds, which he records as a failure.
   In his article, Vol. 2, Page 155, of your Historical Records, be has given the date of the attack of the Sioux upon the Pawnees, as occurring in 1845. This does not accord with the date of that attack as given in my article, and I think, if you refer to the report of the Secretary of the Interior, you will find it was in 1843.
   This may have been a misprint, and I am reminded by it to ask, as a special favor, that the proof sheets of my article be sent me, that I may verify their correctness before they appear as permanent record on your pages.

GEO. E. HOWARD,                                          MRS. E. C. PLATT.
Sec'y Neb. State Historical Society.

TABOR, IOWA, February 26, 1891.

   DEAR SIR:--In writing, I would not forget to tender thanks for your report received, though to do this is not my special reason for appearing again before you.
   In reading Mr. Allis' paper, reported by the Nebraska Historical Society, I see he is made to say that among the annuiting goods delivered to the Pawnees were shrouds.
   I judge that the, compositor, not being acquainted with articles of Indian barter, mistook a "t" for an "h" and thus made this most ludicrous error, and I feet impelled to call your attention to it, because it is approved by "The Nebraska Historical Society," whose design no doubt is to be correct in every minute particular.



Strouds, a heavy woolen goods manufactured in the town of Stroud, Gloucestershire, England, is the cloth used by the Indian women for dress goods, and by the men for leggins and waist cloths, and it was no doubt written thus by Mr. Allis. I
   Can this error be corrected so that future readers may not be stumbled by the absurd representation that our government sent shrouds to our wild Indians? Hoping I may not seem intrusive in this, I am Yours


MR. GEO. E. HOWARD.                                           MRS. E. G. PLATT.

LINCOLN, NEB., January 2, 1888.


   Secretary State Historical Society, Lincoln, Neb.

   After the publication last year of my article entitled, "Notes on the Military History of Nebraska," two questions were asked me by a member of your society regarding it.
   The first question was, whether the name "Kearney" (Gen. W. S. Kearney), should not be spelled "Kearny?"
   On examination of the Army Register of the United States from 1876 to 1886, published by L. R. Hammersly, I found the name spelled "Kearny;" but I have since still further investigated the matter and find in the report of the Adjutant Acting General of the army, March 13, 1824, in the Army Register for 1831, and in the report of a committee of Congress on claims, April 9, 1832, (Am. State Papers, "Military Affairs," Vol. 2, Page 7), that the name is spelled "Kearney." It is also found in the report of Gen. Gaines, in 1834, and, finally, his signature to a letter, dated Fort Leavenworth, Ran., June 20, 1837, published in Am. State Papers, "Military Affairs," Vol. 7, Page 961, is printed Stephen W. Kearney, and I infer, in the absence of stronger authority to the contrary, that my original spelling is correct.
   The second question was, why I did not mention Booneville's" expedition.
   This, although not strictly a military expedition, being rather a personal exploration, might well have been mentioned.




   Captain B. L. E. Booneville was granted a leave of absence from the regular army, (being then Captain of the 7th Infantry), from August 3, 1831, to October, 1833, for the purpose of exploration. He left Fort Osage on the Missouri May 1, 1832, with 110 men, most of whom had been in the Indian country, and many being experienced hunters and trappers. He also took with him some Delaware Indians. He reached the main stream of the Nebraska or Platte river about twenty-five miles below the head of Great (Grand) Island, June 2, 1832. He measured the width of the river at this point and found it 2200 yards from bank to bank. Its depth was, at that time, from 3 to 6 feet, and was full of quick sand. Cottonwoods were growing on the numerous islands. On the 11th of the same month, they came to the forks of the Nebraska and resolved to follow the north branch. He states that a few days after this date be ascended a high bluff, and "as far as his eye could reach, the country seemed absolutely blackened by innumerable herds." No language, he says, could convey an adequate idea of the vast living mass thus presented to the eye. His expedition then followed the north fork of the Platte, passed beyond the present boundaries of the state. I have seen no record of it, except the work of Washington Irving. He lived to perform duty in his later days, during the Civil War, and I found his name as mustering officer of Nebraska troops, upon papers now on the in the Adjutant General's office of the state.
   If he made any official report of his expedition, which has been published by the war department, I have not been able to find it.
   The official report of Col. Dodge's expedition, mentioned in the paper, may be found in Am. State Papers, "Military Affairs," Vol. 6, Page 130.
   Since the last meeting of the "Historical Society," I have, under the authority of Governor Thayer and Adjutant General Cole, been at work assorting, collecting and filing, so as to be accessible, papers. relating to the service of the Nebraska troops in the late war. I have discovered many valuable papers, and have so numbered and filed them, that I believe information can hereafter be obtained with comparatively little trouble. Company histories and records have been found, but many of the original papers are not on file. A careful study of each man's record has, however, been made from the



material on hand and a book showing the principal points of the military history of each officer and soldier, is now being prepared for the Adjutant General's office.
   This contains a "Record of Nebraska Volunteers from 1861 to 1869, including therefore, in the later dates troops called into the service of the state only.
   The following are the organizations included in it:
   First Regiment Nebraska Veteran Volunteers.
   First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Volunteers.
   Second Regiment Nebraska Cavalry Volunteers.
   Curtis "Horse," Nebraska Volunteers.
   Company A, First Regiment, First Brigade, Nebraska Militia.
   Companies A, B, C, First Regiment, Second Brigade, Nebraska Militia.
   "Artillery Detachment" Nebraska Militia.
   Company A, Pawnee Scouts.
   Company A, Omaha Scouts.
   Company A, First Regiment Cavalry, Nebraska Militia, 1867.
   Company A, First Cavalry, Nebraska Militia, 1869.
   This book will also show what records are on file, with each organization. In the absence of any fund available for printing of this record of service, this seems to be the best that can be done to preserve these papers from loss and ensure their safety for future use.

I am, yours very truly,

First Lieut. 2nd U. S. Art'y.



Secretary Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, Neb.

DEAR PROF:--I wrote you a few days ago asking for a copy of the third volume of your proceedings. Soon after, I noticed, that you were just holding your annual meeting so that it will be some time before it is published.
   I want to say that the "Roster of Nebraska Volunteers," upon which I was at work for a long time in the Adjutant General's office has, since my departure from the state, been published and it wilt be a valuable addition to your library. I noticed some typographical




errors in it, but have as yet discovered nothing very important, that is wrong. You remember probably, the condition in which the records of this office were in, when I started on this work. The papers accumulated for years were unassorted, except that a few of those of the two or three years prior to that time, were in packages by themselves, but the great mass of papers were "all in a heap." I have tried to fix it so that hereafter, those important records, still on hand, shall not be lost, by putting them together in packages, numbering the package and making a list of them under the head where they most appropriately belong.
   You will see an example of it on the first printed page (page 3) beginning the record. An examination of that list, and following ones, will show you what there is now in existence, from which to draw the History of the First Nebraska Volunteers.
   I regret very much that I was unable to write up the history of this regiment, and in fact to continue the "Notes on the Military History of Nebraska," from the point where I left off in your last proceedings. But the amount of work to do, even what I did do, is inconceivable to any one who has not tried it. The note which appears printed as "preface," indicates something of what I tried to do.
   Another thing I think ought to be mentioned. A large number of desertions are reported - not from the front facing the enemy, but from western Nebraska, - and chiefly of men who enlisted in the 1st Battalion Nebraska Veteran Volunteers. This Batallion instead of being sent to the front was consolidated with the 1st Regiment and put on duty "on the plains." It is evident that this was not what the men who enlisted in it expected, for dissatisfaction appears from the number of desertions which followed. They all, it is to be presumed (and in original records it is shown for many, that they were veterans), had seen prior service and received honorable discharge, so that it must have been a strong cause for dissatisfaction, that would induce them to desert. I infer that it is due to the fact that they felt that the spirit of their contract had not been lived up to, that they had expected to go to the front, and the change of destination, and the placing them under new officers not chosen by them, caused by the consolidation, created the feeling, which led to numerous desertions. Again it was in the closing days of the war when the 1st



Battalion was raised and after its close that the desertions took place - the consolidation taking place July 10, 1865, so that, as they saw or heard of other volunteers going home for discharge, they undoubtedly thought their own service ought to terminate and conceived the idea, perhaps, that they were not being treated rightly, in being kept in service on the plains in Indian warfare.
   One un-explained case occurs, where a bugler, Chas. Slater, Co. "A" 1st Regiment, whose term of service expired June 26, 1865, was retained in service until Jan. 15, 1866, when he "discharged himself," unlawfully of course by "desertion."
   All these circumstances of course constitute no excuse for the crime of desertion. But I felt, that it is due these men, many of whom had previously good war records, and to the regiment, that I should state the impressions made upon me by the examination of these records. So that should you review the book, or others write the history of the regiment, the circumstances might be known.
    Some day, if other and better hands do not undertake it, I hope to be so situated as to complete the work I have begun, and write what can now be ascertained concerning Nebraska's part in preserving the Union during the late war of the rebellion.
   With kindest regards to all, I remain,

 Yours sincerely,

   1st Lieut. 2nd Artillery.

   P. S.--If you desire to do so I shall have no objection to your publishing what I say about the records, of deserters, etc. D.

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