Title: The Indian War | The Interior Department Makes a Survey of the Ground at Pine Ridge

Periodical: Aberdeen Weekly News

Date: January 9, 1891

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The Interior Department Makes a Survey of the Ground at Pine Ridge. Agent Royer is Summarily Dismissed and His Successor Appointed. Details of the Murder of Lieut. Casey and the Recovery of His Body. Buffalo Bill Arrives on the Scene—Predictions of a Fight Repeated.

THE SEAT OF WAR. The Exact Situation at Pine Ridge—Agent Royer is Removed—Latest Developments.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8.—The situation as summed up at the interior department today is about as follows: There are in all about 20,000 Sioux Indians, men, women and children, on the northern reservations. Of this number 16,500 are accounted for as they are living on the reservations in peace and not taking any part in the present disturbance. This leaves about 3,500 men, women and children to face the earth works, howitzers and 8,000 men now under the command of Gen. Miles. The hostile camp is located about seventeen miles north of the agency and a cordon of troops surround it with the exception of the south side, the object being to drive them into the reservation.

There is a constant communication between the hostile camp and the agency. The hostiles are well supplied with beef, but they have no sugar and coffee, except as they are supplied by the friendlies, as the reservation Indians are called. While the situation is regarded as a hopeless one for the Indians, yet it is believed they have no intention of surrendering. It is predicted by some who are on the ground that there will be a battle on Sunday or Monday. When the hopelessness of the situation of the Indians in fighting against such odds is pointed out the only explanation given is that the Indians are crazy.

From the reports received at the interior department the situation is believed to be tense and the people at the agencies are very much disturbed.


PINE RIDGE, S. D., Jan. 8.—Yankton Charley, one of Buffalo Bill's men, now employed as a scout here, brings particulars of the murder of Lieut. Casey, of the Twenty-second Infantry of Gen. Brooke's command, yesterday near the hostile camp. Lieut. Casey had started out to visit the hostiles to induce the chiefs to come in and talk with Gen. Brooke. He passed a small band of Ogallalas who were butchering and proceeded further, followed, however, by two of the Indians who appeared friendly. He was shortly afterwards met by Pete Richards, the son-in-law of Red Cloud, who had been sent by the latter to warn him not to approach nearer the hostiles, because it was dangerous. Casey said he would ride to the top of a little knoll, whence he would get a view of the hostile camp. Richards dissuaded him, and he and Casey turned around and departed. Just then Richards heard a shot and turning back saw Casey fall from his horse, the bullet passing through the latter's head. The shot was fired by the younger of the two Ogallalas who had followed Casey. Richards would have shot the murderer, but his cartridges did not fit his gun.


PINE RIDGE, S. D., Jan. 8.—Last night Gen. Brooke sent out a detachment under Lieut. Gari to recover the remains of Lieut. Casey. The body was found stripped but not mutilated. It was borne to Oelrichs, whence it will be sent to Fort Keogh, Mont.

Red Cloud came into the agency this morning and Gen. Miles has appointed an hour to hold a conference with him. The old man slipped out of the hostile camp last night and with his wife walked sixteen miles to this place. Gen. Miles is hopeful his example will be followed by others. Col. Kent, inspector general of the department of Dakota, Fifth infantry, and Col. Baldwin are ascertaining all the facts relative to the fight on Wounded Knee creek. This is not as has been stated by the court of inquiry. No charges have been made against Col. Forsythe for his conduct in that engagement nor has he been placed under arrest.


PINE RIDGE, Jan. 8.—The arrival of Red Cloud is condidered evidence of his good faith as is also the effort he made to save Lieut. Casey's life by warning him of the danger. Red Cloud told of a fight between the Ogallalas and Brules shortly succeeding the killing of Casey. The former made an effort to separate from the Brules and return to the agency. The latter objected, firing at them a number of shots, all of which, however, passed over their heads and no one was injured. This morning about 200 of the Ogallalas succeeded in forsaking the Brules and in a light fall of snow came into the agency. Young-man-afraid-of-his-horses, with several members of his band returned today from their friendly visit to the Crows and were granted audience by Gen. Miles.

Isaac Miller, cook of a herder camp, who was brought in yesterday murdered, was buried today.

Buffalo Bill, attended by Buckskin Back, arrived at noon from Rushville. He was warmly greeted by several hundred Indians who thronged about the sutler's store and later called upon Gen. Miles. He bore a letter from Gov. Thayer setting forth Col. Cody's connection with the state militia and assuring the general of the hearty cooperation of the state troops. The latter have extended their lines toward Pine Ridge for ten miles from towns at which they are located and mounted men patrol between the several companies so that no Indians may pass through the lines. Gen. Miles heartily approved of the arrangement.

The wounded, all squaws and papooses, are quartered in the Episcopal church of the Holy Cross and the Catholic school house. One woman, name unknown, died today. She was shot in seven places. The chief surgeon directed amputation of one limb. When the news reached the bucks they protested loudly against amputation. The operation was accordingly abandoned with the above result. Five more of these creatures, it is reported, cannot survive. One of them is the wife of Big Foot, whose command precipitated the fight.

At the suggestion of Buffalo Bill, Gen. Miles tonight sent out scouts to ascertain who the Indians are that have been seen at the head of Snake river, south of Niobrara.

Late tonight it is reported to the Associated Press war correspondent that three hundred Indians, said to be coming, are reported in camp three miles from the agency. The report has been verified.


WASHINGTON, Jan. 8.—The president today appointed Capt. Francis E. Pierce, First infantry, U. S. A., agent of the Indians at Pine Ridge agency vice Royer, removed.


DENVER, Jan. 8.—A Salt Lake City special to the News says: A special from Pocatello says the town is in a great state of excitement over the action of the Shoshone Indians on the reservation, who threaten to go on the war path.