Title: Indians Remain Out | They Show Little Disposition to Come Into the Agency

Periodical: Philadelphia Inquirer

Date: January 14, 1891

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They Show Little Disposition to Come Into the Agency. GENERAL BROOKE CLOSING IN

His Command Now Only Five Miles From Pine Ridge—Some Definite Action Will Probably Be Taken To-Day.

PINE RIDGE AGENCY, Jan. 13.—The Post-Dispatch staff correspondent this morning telegraphed his paper as follows:

The Indians are in camp within full view of the North fortifications. The right of their column rests there and the line extends northeasterly, running up a gulch behind the bluffs.

The view from the fortifications is grandly picturesque. Behind them is a natural amphitheatre, a rugged, broken slope two hundred feet to the crest. It is just a mile from the agency, and White Clay creek runs beside it. On the plain are tepees by the hundred, pitched irregularly, huddled together in groups here and scattered widely apart there. Moving among the tepees, a field glass shows the bucks and squaws with their children and dogs. Such a spectacle imprints itself on the mind with startling clearness, for it is huge in its grandeur, strikingly unique and wonderfully suggestive to the imagination.

Just between the plain and the agency, perched on a hill behind earthworks, is a three-inch rifle, which is trained on the camp. It seems to stare grimly down on the village of half-crazed Barbarians and to warn them of the awful horror that will follow one rash act.

For a while yesterday everybody in Pine Ridge waited anxiously, feeling that every moment the roar of that gun might be heard, and every one was expectant. General Miles had notified Father Jules that he would not consent to a council.


Captain Dougherty, commanding the infantry company at the fortifications, had thrown out pickets a quarter of a mile beyond the lines. The Indians were known to be just beyond a hill, about 1,800 yards distant. Major Baker, the paymaster, visited the fortifications to pay off the company, and all of the men were in the camp a hundred yards away except one, who was left as a guard near the guns. Suddenly two Indians were seen on the crest of a hill but a short distance between the other pickets. Then others appeared on the hills to the northwest. For a moment more than a dozen were seen on the various elevations, and then a body of more than a hundred bucks rose to the crest of the hill, behind which the hostiles were. The number was steadily increased to 400 by accessions of bands ranging in numbers from five to twenty-five. Captain Dougherty was immediately notified. He dispatched a courier to headquarters to notify General Miles of the movement. Then hurrying to the fortifications, he had the gun prepared for action. The range finder adjusted his sights and the cave in which the ammunition was stored was opened. A line of skirmishers were sent out beyond the fortifications on the crests of the hills. The activity at headquarters was stirring. Orders were sent to the cavalry to saddle and be in readiness to move southwest of the camp.


General Miles, accompanied by Buffalo Bill and his staff, rode to the fortifications and made a circuit of the camp. Extra ammunition was issued and when everything was in readiness the troops waited a movement. After two hours General Miles received word that the Indians did not mean to make any advance, but they would like to talk with him. The general sent them word to go quietly into camp and he would receive ten of their chief men. Then the warriors disappeared from the hill top and an hour later they were camped with the end of their column on the plain. This camp is more than three miles long and there are seven thousand Indians in it, twenty-five hundred of whom are warriors. By the southeast trail they have been communicating with the friendlies and the horsemen have been riding continually between the two camps.

Captain Maus, General Miles' chief of staff, says that these communications have been between relatives. The friendlies held a council late last night and decided that they wanted none of the hostiles in their camp. They have dug rifle pits, and say that if even a solitary warrior comes along them and causes any trouble they will arrest him and if he resists they will kill him. Still this does not give a feeling of security. The ground upon which they camp is between the agency and retreat.

If a fight takes place no one will know a friendly from a hostile, and the fight may become simply a battle between all the Indians and the whites. If the hostiles could be sure of thus dragging in the 2,500 friendlies they would be sure to fight. The ten chiefs did not come in yesterday, and they are expected this morning, but there are fears there will be a day or two before they can be induced to come to the agency. Frank Giraud, Captain Taylor's chief Indian scout, says the young men are mad and the old ones excited, though they are all [?] afraid. The squaws are silent and the warriors sullen.


"I cannot tell," said he, "what they will do, but I hear that there are several hundred young men who want to fight. They have their war paint on, and they are ready for a fight if one occurs."

The friendly camp is now an unsafe place, because the hostiles are riding in there constantly, and it is difficult to get even couriers to go through it late in the evening. General Brooke is coming slowly towards the agency. He is encumbered with a number of wounded, which makes his progress slow.

Title: Indians Remain Out | They Show Little Disposition to Come Into the Agency

Periodical: Philadelphia Inquirer

Date: January 14, 1891

Keywords: American Indians Artillery Dogs Horsemen Horses Indian children Indian women Indians of North America Military maneuvers Sioux Nation Tipis United States. Army. Indian Scouts United States. Army. Infantry United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Pine Ridge Agency Wounded Knee Massacre, S.D., 1890

People: Grouard, Frank, 1850-1905 Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925

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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