Title: Officials Thrilled by Realistic Films of Indian Battles

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Colonel Cody Holds Audience Spellbound As He Explains Pictures.


Actual Scenes Seem to Flash Before People As Lens Projects Them.

Washington, D. C., Feb. 28 — Official Washington, including members of the cabinet, senators, representatives, chiefs of all departments, tonight fixed their sign of approval on the moving pictures telling the story of historical Indian battles, which were taken under the direction of Col. W. F. Cody.

The private exhibition of these marvelous reels was given at the Home Club, which is a social organization of the interior department, under the patronage of Secretary Lane. His was the idea that the exhibition be given in order that the president and all of officialdom might have a chance to see the wonderful educational value of the pictures, as his was the order by which the Indians were assembled on the Pine Ridge reservation, the scene of those battles that closed 200 years of savagery and brought the red man into friendly relations with his white conqueror.


As head of the army Secretary Garrison equally had been interested in preserving to posterity the vivid records of the accomplishments of the troopers. Both Secretaries Lane and Garrison expressed the deepest satisfaction with the pictures, declaring them to be historically correct in every detail. Secretary Garrison placed troops of the federal cavalry at the disposal of Colonel Cody, and thus to him, as to Secretary Lane, is due much of the credit for these historical documents by which the past ever will be kept alive to those who people the present and the future.

The big feature of the exhibition last night was Colonel Cody, who was introduced by Secretary Lane as the man whose enterprises and genius have given to future generations vivid historical features of great events in the conquest of the West.

Colonel Cody, lithe as youth, straight as the arrows that have whizzed about his noble head on many a hard-fought battlefield, waited until the cheers of greeting subsided and looked with his bright eyes over an audience as distinguished as any he had ever beheld. The National Press club was sponsor for the entertainment and the most noted journalists in the country were present. Sitting here and there in the hall Colonel Cody spied out many of the old Indian fighters who gave him a salvo of applause, then settled to watch the great story unrolled.

Before the lights went out, however, Senator Warren of Wyoming stepped to the platform to say an emphasizing word as to the educational and historical value of the pictures and rail a glowing tribute to Colonel Cody.

"I want to present to your favorable nature," he said, "one of the young men of the young state of Wyoming. He is one of my constituents and while a young man he probably is the oldest and most distinguished of pioneers in America — if not in the world."

"It has been my object and my desire," answered Colonel Cody, in response, "to preserve history by the aid of the camera, with the living participants who took an active part in the closing Indian wars of America. I first preached this subject to Secretary of War Garrison and Secretary of the Interior Lane. They gave me permission for the taking of the pictures on the condition that they would be made historically correct, showing the Indian wars and savagery of the Indian and following his progress to the present time.


Secretary Garrison gave permission for the United States troops to participate in this expedition, and Secretary Lane authorized the mobilization of such Indians as were required for this purpose.

Into a perfect stillness born of great interest Colonel Cody told of how the pictures were the silent witnesses of trailing, finding, fighting; of skirmishes and battles which left traces of blood and conflict over thirty years of our nation's history.

"There is the thrilling victory of General E. A. Carr at Summit Springs in 1869," said Cody in that stirring voice of his. "There I took human life when Chief Tall Bull proved the weaker man of us two.

"Then there is the fight of the War Bonnet with Generals Wesley Merritt and E. Carr's famous ride of '75 made to intercept the Ogallala and Brule Sioux from helping Sitting Bull. There, in a hand to hand duel, I dispatched Chief Yellow Hand to the happy hunting grounds from which he never returned to say what he found there."

Telling of this battle, where soldiers dripped with Indians' blood and Indians washed their hands in soldiers' gore, Cody had the audience spellbound.

Colonel H. C. Stickles and General Nelson A. Miles, with Cody in these campaigns, seemed to live them again in the unrolling films.

"After this," continued Cody, "the Ghost Dance and the Death of Sitting Bull give a high light to another epoch-making incident in our warfare with the Indian.

"Then comes the last stand in the battle of the Wounded Knee and the Mission in 1890. There Captain Wallace, a brave soldier, and Lieutenant Mann, another whose record was without stain, gave their lives. We saw Lieutenants Gurlington, Hawthorne, McKinzie and Father Craft, who never knew fear, go down under the wounding knives and arrows and guns of the red men.

"And having been an actor in these early wars, having played my part with all the courage that was in me, courage kept warm and burning by my love of my country and my hope of a better day, when all men shall stand as brothers under a common flag. I know that the pictures you look at tonight are true to life. They were taken on the actual battleground; they were taken under bright or gray skies, such as lowered or gleamed on those days; they were commanded by men who commanded then and the children of tomorrow and the men and women of today, in these pictures, have history true, faithful, reliable. Lieut. Gen. Nelson Miles — the great "Bear Coat" — leads today as he led when we were trying to force back the frontier. Then, as now, we knew in him the brave pacificator. Maj. Gen. Jesse M. Lee, Maj. Gen. Charles King, Brig. Gen. Frank Baldwin, Brig. Gen. Marion P. Maus, Colonel Sickles, leading and assisting the gallant Twelfth U. S. cavalry appear.


"Then, as now, the red men followed the teachings of Chief Short Bull. Now, as then, we see the Messiah Medicine Man, with the leading warriors of the Red Cloud Sioux.

"And to bring this story out of the past to you of the present, clear, authentic, wonderful, we have used six miles of reels and written a period on three hundred years of hate, antagonism, injustice, heroism, bloodshed, misunderstanding."

Colonel Cody's story of how he gained the services of his old comrades proved no less interesting than his brief narrative of the battles he has fought. The concluding scenes portraying the progress made by the Indians at Pine Ridge and Lawton agencies forms a striking contrast to earlier scenes in which all the red men are shown in savagery. In these last scenes the department chiefs find their justification for being employed by the government to bring the Indian to a new understanding of himself and his place among the citizens of the nation.