Title: Buffalo Bill's Indians

Periodical: Inter Ocean

Date: January 6, 1891

Author: G.E.B.

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BUFFALO BILL'S INDIANS.

PINE RIDGE, S. D., Jan. 3.—Special Correspondence.—On the same night that the first detachment of infantry started from Rushville for Pine Ridge another party, who excited great curiosity everywhere, started over the same road with the same destination. It was a company of fifty-two full blooded Indians on their way home from a two years' European trip with Buffalo Bill. It was a strange sight and contrast. Here at the depot were soldiers on their way to fight against savage Indians. There in the road are over half a hundred Indians dressed in white men's clothes, with "boiled shirts," stand-up collars, handsome neckties, costly overcoats, and many with neatly fitting gloves.

I have watched them individually and collectively ever since and must say that the knowledge gained by their extended travels has done more to civilize them than twenty years on any reservation would do. Rocky Bear, one of the chiefs, went alone to visit Two Strike nearly a month ago; then he went a second time with a party of fifty, accompanied by Black Heart, Long Wolf, Stand First, and White Horse, and was subjected to every indignity. Guns were fired over his head and the peace pipe was shot into pieces.

For the third time Rocky went out, this time with 114 in his party, including those already named, and Dog's Ghost and Little Old Long Wolf. They staid with the hostiles and brought them in to the Catholic Mission, where they were at the time of the Wounded Knee battle. After the battle these friendlies had to escape as best they could from the camp of the enraged enemy.

Red Shirt, often called the handsome Sioux, with six or eight more of Cody's men, belong to Captain Taylor's scouts. Little Chief, Lone Wolf, Strike Plenty, Stand Still, Black Heart and several others are doing good service in the agency police. Black Heart, at the risk of his life, saved two half-breed boys last Tuesday at the Catholic Mission. Captain Sword, of the police, was one of the bravest of the brave Indian fighters, and is now equally devoted to the whites. He was the first man taken by Cody from this agency. I was present at the official examination when they all testified that they had received prompt pay, plenty to eat, kind treatment everywhere, and all necessary medical attendance. They corroborate this testimony in private conversations. In talking with their people they tell them that the white race are like the sands of the hills around the agency.

These men realize that the white race is too great for them; that it is better to make money out of the white men than to fight them. This war will cost the government a million of money. Would it be such a wild scheme after all to let the leaders see something of the size of the world?

The average Indian on the reservation has very much the same idea of the magnitude of the world as the down South negro who made a trip of 300 miles, and on his return always wound up his story of Adventures by exclaiming; "I tell what it am, brudders, if dis here world is as big toder way as dat it's a whopper."

Major Burke has remained all through the troubles, and while we enjoy him as a jolly good fellow—if he could talk French—we appreciate still more highly his active and untiring influence in the interests of peace among the Indians, with whom he has the greatest influence.

Title: Buffalo Bill's Indians

Periodical: Inter Ocean

Date: January 6, 1891

Author: G.E.B.

Keywords: African Americans American Indians Firearms French language Indian reservation police Indian scouts Indians of North America Sioux Nation United States. Army. Infantry Wounded Knee Massacre, S.D., 1890

People: Burke, John M., -1917 Red Shirt, 1845?-1925 Rocky Bear Two Strike, 1832-1915

Place: Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (S.D.)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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