Title: Success of Picture

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Pine Ridge — Ghost Dance War.



GEN. NELSON A. MILES, "Bear Coat."

COL. W. F. CODY, "Buffalo Bill."

At Pine Ridge — 1891 and 1913. (Photo by Essanay Film Co.)


"Onward and Upward" is the motto of those who do and dare. Determination, courage, with the spirit of the Angel of Chance (if winner, a white winged cherub; if loser, a black winged vampire, a gambler) control largely the action of the propogandists [sic] of progression. These, aided by faith in merit of subject, value of results, excellence of execution backed by historic truth animating an endeavor to achieve success, hatches out the eagle of victory.

This is true of the old Napoleon of the arena, Buffalo Bill, whose Elba since Denver was not a road to Waterloo and St. Helena, but a vacation and a recreation with the Prince of Monaco on a delightful hunting trip.

Also a re-direction of Charley Gates' footsteps to the hunter's paradise in the Yellowstone, with the rugged scenic temples of the Rockies to commune with, and the last home of big game to teach the joys of the chase, as a by-product of time, while arranging his grand re-union of veteran warriors, red and white, at Pine Ridge, as factors in reproducing history, preserving characters, recording past scenes and episodes of thrilling interest through the medium of the moving picture films.

All in two months of never-say-die action, which was no child's play, but more like the request of the old darkey for celestial assistance at the Charleston earthquake, ending with "Come Yo'sef for this am no child's play," and indeed it has not been.

To secure a sympathetic and helping reply in quick time from Secretary Lane and the Interior Department; from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Secretary Garrison and Gen. Wood, of the War Department, and the Army Board; a response in person from his old commanders, Lieut. General Nelson A. Miles, Major Charles King, Maj. Gen. Jesse M. Lee, Brig. Gen. Frank Baldwin, Brig. Gen. Marion Maus; approval and endorsement from a host of other distinguished army officers, under whom he scouted and fought; co-operation from veteran red warriors of note, who still linger on the scene; from survivors and participants in the story; conjunction of one thousand five hundred Indians and five hundred U. S. soldiers, the kindly assistance of that efficient Indian agent, Major John R. Brennan, the backing of Managers Tammen and Bonfils, and the Essanay producing corps, is the finest tribute possible to the record, the standing and character of the last of the great scouts, Buffalo Bill Cody. And he and his aides, producer Wharton, photographers Kaufman and Lucier and staff, "Johnny" Baker, Cy. Compton, Trooper Finn, and Father Taite, are making good.

Taking this last, and to him, least personally important in personal action campaign, the man glorious in the grandly colosssal [sic] results so long fought for and prayed for as it brought about permanent PEACE.

From the days of the sixties, the Ghost Dance War in 1890 and 1891, thirty years have passed, and to now — 1913 — after twenty-three years, the present activities of the old arena, fifty-four years have been measured by Father Time.

With the Old Guard assembled here he is assisting to patch past facts, accurately staged, correctly costumed, depicting first, the ride of Buffalo Bill to Sitting Bull's camp on a mission for General Miles, Col. Cody having come from Strasburg-on-the-Rhine, 5,900 miles,, [sic] to persuade the old chief (his once foe and then friend) to give up the Messiah Craze, and with his braves "come in" This picture shows the interception of the scout by a counter command from Washington.

The death of Sitting Bull in a fight with the Indian police Bull Head style of warfare of the time, with the scenic backgrounds built and painted by nature, such as the Bad Lands, stronghold of the red raiders; the rolling prairies around the old land mark, Porcupine Butte, and the silvery-winding Wolf Creek, White Clay stream over and on and about where skirmishes, forays and Battle of Wounded Knee occurred, to the valley of the Battle of the Mission, where the last shot was fired in the Red Man's last stand; the long sought peace pow-wow between Major Gen Jesse M. Lee, Major John M. Burke, as commissioners to the final grand council of chiefs and warriors, creating an armistice preliminary to the final terms; completing conditions with Gen. Miles; the surrender; the grand review and departure of Gen. Miles with the self-sacrificing chiefs, "Kicking Bear," "Short Bull," and twenty-three braves and hostages on the 16th of January to Fort Sheridan, which marked the conquering of and ending of centuries of racial strife on our continent with the old scout, Cody, in at the finish. He can now look back to a series of events to be recorded from boy trapper days, the Pony Express in '59, the Civil War as one era, to June 9, 1869, when, in the very important battle in results to Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado, the fight at Summit Springs, under Gen. E. A. Carr; the death of Chief "Tall Bull," with War Bonnet Creek fight and death of Yellow Hand in the 1876 Custer campaign intervening, covering from '69 to now — a period of forty-four years.

Quite a period of action in one man's life for posterity to remember, but now he has the satisfaction of knowing, as does his present confreres, that they will not, like old Rip Van Winkle, "be so soon forgotten when we are gone."

The most important to report is that notwithstanding marches of from sixty to seventy miles, and hours of manouvers and counter manouvers [sic], the experts are delighted. Though the weather was frigid (especially on the horses), when the cameras worked, Old Sol shed his brightest rays as an aid and abettor in the good work and every expert here believes, at this stage of the game, that the W. F. Cody, Buffalo Bill, Historic Film Company has secured splendid pictures, and can deliver the goods and pray the developers may prove it. so may it be — Amen.

Generals Miles, Baldwin and Maus, with detachment of U. S. cavalry and five hundred Indians, left Oct. 20, with Wharton and Johnny Baker, to take scenes in the Bad Lands.

Title: Success of Picture

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, OS Box 50, page 7

Topics: Buffalo Bill on Film

Keywords: The Colonel Wm. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) Historical Pictures Company Essanay Film Manufacturing Company

People: Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821 Albert I, Prince of Monaco, 1848-1922 Gates, Charles G., 1877-1913 Lane, Franklin Knight, 1864-1921 Sells, Cato, 1859-1948 Garrison, Lindley M. (Lindley Miller), 1864-1932 Wood, Leonard, 1860-1927 King, Charles, 1844-1933 Lee, Jesse M. Baldwin, Frank Dwight, 1842-1923 Maus, Marion P. (Marion Perry), 1850-1930 Brennan, John R., 1847-1919 Tammen, Harry Heye, 1856-1924 Bonfils, Frederick Gilmer, 1860-1933 Wharton, Theodore Kaufman, Charles E. Lucier Baker, Lewis H., 1869-1931 Compton, Cy. Finn, Trooper Taite Sitting Bull, 1831-1890 Burke, John M., 1842-1917 Kicking Bear, 1853-1904 Short Bull, -1915 Carr, E. A. (Eugene Asa), 1830-1910 Tall Bull (Lakota Indian chief), 1830-1869 Yellow Hand, 1850?-1876 Custer, George A. (George Armstrong), 1839-1876

Places: Pine Ridge (S.D.) Elba (Italy) Denver (Colo.) Waterloo (Belgium) Saint Helena Yellowstone National Park Charleston (S.C.) Strasbourg (France) Badlands (N.D.) Porcupine Butte (S.D.) White Clay Creek (S.D.) Wounded Knee (S.D.) Fort Sheridan (Ill.) Nebraska Kansas Colorado Summit Springs (Colo.) Warbonnet Creek (Neb.)

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