Title: Gen. Nelson A. Miles Writes Story of the Great Conspiracy

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He Pen Pictures What the Moving Pictures Will Vividly Portray This Week for the Denver Public to Enjoy — A Wonderful Tale of Superstition, Frontier Terror, Bravery, Military Skill and the Final Surrender of the Turbulent Indians to the White Race — The Gallant General Brought About the Triumph of Civilization by Splendid Diplomacy and Hard Fighting — He Now Joins His Old Generals in Securing for the Films and The Government a Perfect Reproduction of Those Fading Historical Scenes.

The following graphic pen picture of the Indian wars occurring within the last quarter of a century is from the facile and brilliant pen of Lieutenant General Nelson A. Miles, great soldier and Indian fighter, who led the white army, and brought about the triumph of civilization. It is a magnificently written, yet simply told narrative, which The Denver Post first presents to the people of this country. Taken in connection with the Indian war pictures to be presented in this city this week, and which have the official indorsement of the government at Washington, the story of General Miles, the hero of those stirring times, is of singular moment. The general gives the history of the supposed coming of "The Messiah," as the Indians understood it; the battle which resulted in the death of Sitting Bull; the uprising and the final surrender in which the power and majesty of the white race was splendidly demonstrated. The portrayal of the end of the Indian wars, the fetching description of that dreary country about the "Bad Lands," when, enveloped in the white mantle of winter, the pacification of the turbulent red men was accomplished largely through the efforts of General Miles is told with the grace and felicity of true literature. It was here there was cast forever into oblivion, all hatred, animosity and revenge between the races. The Post takes pride in presenting, for the first time, the real history of the great conspiracy, the last Indian uprising and the true story of the close of the Indian wars in America.


Never in history was there recorded a more desperate heroic defense made by a people for their country than the Indians made for theirs against the overwhelming numbers and aggressions of the white race. For more than two hundred years the red men struggled to retain what they held most sacred — the land of their fathers — an inheritance they prized dearer than life itself. The close of that prolonged and most eventful drama was shadowed in pathos, phantasm and tragedy. The threatened general uprising of all the Indian tribes of the great Middle West in 1890 extended over a great area of country and embraced many thousand more Indians than any other in the history of our country. The confederation of the Six Nations by the Prophet and led by the famous Tecumseh, or the conspiracy of Pontiac, was less formidable than that which threatened the country twenty-two years ago.

The Indians in their native condition were a contented and happy people. They had but one religion; with universal accord they worshiped the Great Spirit. They were grateful that nature supplied them with an abundance of food, raiment and shelter. They appreciated, enjoyed and revered the wonderful works of nature.


The history of that widespread conspiracy, involving the peace of half a continent, is best told in the reports of the government officials. In his annual report of 1891 General Miles, commanding the military division, mentions "three causes for the disaffection among the Indians at that time, and what occasioned their hostility toward the white race and the government.

"First — Insufficient food resulting from failure of the government to fulfill its treaty obligations.

"Second — Utter failure of the Indian crops for that and the preceding year.

"Third — Religious fanaticism and false prophecies engendered by designing white men and the delusions of a man pretending to be the Messiah."

General Miles further states:

"The fact that the Indians had not received sufficient food was admitted by the Indian agents and the officers of the government who had the best opportunity of knowing.

"The unfortunate failure of the crops in the plains country during the years of 1889 and 1890 added to the distress and suffering of the Indians. This created a feeling of discontent even among the loyal and well disposed, and added to the feeling of hostility with the element opposed to every process of civilization."

The general also quotes from the report of Brigadier General Ruger, commanding the Department of Dakota, in which he says:

"The commanding officer at Fort Yates, N. D., at the time the Messiah delusion was approaching a climax, says in reference to the disaffection of the Sioux Indians at Standing Rock agency, it is due to the following causes:

"Failure of the government —

"First — To establish an equitable boundary for their reservation.

"Second — To expend a just proportion of the money received from the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad company for the right of way privileges for the benefit of the Indians.

"Third — To issue the certificates of title to allotments as required in the treaty of 1868.

"Fourth — To provide allowance of seeds and agricultural implements to Indians.

"Fifth — To issue to such Indians the full number of domestic animals as provided in treaty of 1868.

"Sixth — To provide comfortable dwellings.

"Seventh — To issue to the Indians full ration as provided in the treaty of 1876.

"Eighth — To issue full annuity supplies as provided in treaty of 1876.

"Ninth — To have clothing and other supplies ready for trade on Aug. 1.

"Tenth — To appropriate money for the payment of Indians for the ponies taken from them by the authority of the government of 1876.


"The same disregard of the government in the matter of rations, etc., was experienced at the other Indian agencies, with the inevitable result that the Indians were forced to steal and commit other depredations in order to sustain life.

"In this condition of affairs the Indians, realizing the inevitable and seeing their numbers gradually diminishing and their power weakening, very naturally prayed to their God for some supernatural power to aid them in the restoration of their former independence and the destruction of their enemies. When driven to desperation they were willing to entertain the [pretentions?] and superstitions of deluded, fanatical white men living west of the Rocky mountains. The deep, laid conspiracy and plot to arouse all the hatred and animosity of the savage race against the scattered settlements over that vast area of country is fully recorded in the report by Mr. James Mooney, published by Professor J. W. Powell in the fourteenth annual report of the bureau of ethnology, 1890-1891, in which he gives an account of the white men and Indians concerned in this conspiracy, and also republishes the prophecy of Joseph Smith, Jr., made on the April 2, 1847, in which he proclaimed 'that the Messiah would reveal Himself to man in mortality, in 1890.' Doctrine and Covenants 130, 14, 17 which reads: 'I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man when I heard a voice speak the following.

"'Joseph, My son: if thou livest until thou art 85 years old, thou shall see the face of the Son of Man.'"


The man who claimed to be the Christ, or Messiah, was an Indian half breed by the name of "Wovoka." His father, Tavtho or Waughseewaughher, who claimed to be a prophet, was a man of visionary ideas — a dreamer. Following his example, the son became the pliant instrument of designing white men and Indian conspirators. Their emissaries first secretly appeared among the Indians prior to 1889, informing them that in answer to their prayers and in fulfillment of the religious prophecies that had been taught them, the Christ had returned to earth and desired representatives from the different tribes to come to meet him near Pyramid lake, Nevada. "It was not, however, until the autumn of that year that the widespread conspiracy assumed serious character. The instigators first aroused the curiosity of the Indians by some secret method scarcely realized or comprehended by the savages themselves, and persuaded delegations from different tribes of Indians to leave their reservation in November, 1889, and travel toward the setting sun until the Messiah should be revealed to them in human form.


"It is remarkable that by concerted actions the delegations from the different tribes left their various reservations, some starting from points a thousand miles apart from others and some traveling fourteen hundred miles into a country unknown to them and in which they had never been before. The delegation from the Sioux, Cheyenne and other tribes secretly leaving their reservations, met at and traveled through the Arapahoe and Shoshone reservations in Wyoming, and thence via the Union Pacific railroad, passed into Utah and there joined by the Gros Ventres, Utes, Snakes, Piegans, Bannocks, Pi-Utes and others, until they came to a large conclave of whites and Indians near Pyramid lake in Nevada, where not less than sixteen of the principal tribes of Indians were represented. With simplicity, yet reserved formality, the Pretender appeared to them, surrounded by a few of his followers, all robed in white in a manner to impress the unsuspecting natives with a feeling of awe and profound veneration. The delegates were told that 'those present were all believers in a new religion; that they were an oppressed people; that the whites and the Indians were all the same, and that the Messiah had returned to them.' So well was this deception played by men masquerading and impersonating the Christ that they made these superstitious savages believe that the so-called Christ could speak all languages, that the whites, who were not of their faith, were to be destroyed, and that all who had faith in the 'new religion' would occupy the earth; that the Messiah would cover the earth with dust and would then 'renew everything as it used to be and make it better.' He told them that all of their dead would be restored to life and come back to earth again; that in [1890?] He would move east, driving before Him vast herds of wild horses, buffalo, elk, deer, antelope, and convert the earth into a happy hunting ground, an ideal Indian heaven; and they must so inform all the people they met. He said that those remaining on earth were to be all good hereafter and they must all be friends to one another; that in the fall of the year (1890) the youth of all the good people would be renewed so that nobody would be more than [40?] years old and after that time the youth of everyone would be renewed in the spring and that 'they would also live forever.' That if any man disobeyed, his tribe would be wiped from the face of the earth; that He would know their thoughts and actions wherever they might be.


"Indian delegates who saww [sic] the so-called Messiah described Him in different ways, some as an Indian, others as a white man. There were undoubtedly several masquerading in the same robes and disguised as one person. They stated that the Messiah taught them various religious ceremonies and incantations, and a sacred dance, and to chant weird and solemn music as:

"'My father has much pity for us,
My father has much pity for us.
I hold out my hands toward him and cry,
I hold out my hands toward him and cry.
The father says this as he comes,
The father says this as he comes.
You shall live, he says, as he comes,
You shall live, he says, as he comes.'

"They were to wear a fight garment like a hunter's frock which, after being sanctified, was believed to be bullet-proof.

"These ceremonials lasted sometimes for four or five days and the warriors were fully initiated in the mysteries of the new faith as taught by the so-called Messiah.

"These men all returned to their various reservations proclaiming the glad tidings that the Messiah had returned to earth and they had met Him face to face; they announced to their relatives and friends what they had learned, fully convinced themselves and convincing others that what they had seen and heard was true. Nothing could so thrill the very souls of an oppressed people as these glad tidings from the Messiah, brought to them by their own trusted messengers. These revelations were received by the Indian tribes with unspeakable joy and thanksgiving; with the wildest demonstrations they manifested their gratitude to the Great Spirit.


"The Indians fully believed that after years of woe and suffering their prayers had been heard, their sacrifices atoned for and rewarded and that they were to enter into a life of happiness for which they believed nature had originally intended them. The fanaticism and superstition of these people was taken advantage of by their disaffected and designing leaders to encourage them to assume hostilities toward the government and white people.

"When this doctrine reached the waiting tribes of Indians on the return of their emissaries, such persistent enemies of the white race as Sitting Bull and other hostile war chiefs immediately prepared not only to carry out the designs of the so-called Messiah, but to assemble large bodies of Indians and move toward the setting sun to welcome Him in His triumphant march of devastation across the continent. Sitting Bull, the great war chief and head center of the hostile element, sent runners to all the different tribes in the Northwest and even into Canada, notifying them of the design for a general uprising of all Indian tribes, and calling upon them to assemble in the Bad Lands of South Dakota known as the 'Man Values Terror.' That district of country was an ideal Indian stronghold more than 190 square miles in area, the roughest, most precipitous and inaccessible of any on the continent, the object being to make that the general rendezvous for all the hostile Indians of the great Northwest country. This was to be followed by a righteous crusade over the country moving toward the setting sun, devastating the scattered settlements and opening the way for the coming of the Messiah as He moved east in accordance with His premise. The conspiracy had spread over a vast extent of country and the most serious Indian war of our history was imminent. In fact, the peace of an area of country equal to an [empire?] was in peril. The states of Nebraska, the two Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Nevada were liable to be overrun by a hungry, wild horde of savages. The Indians would have, in what they believed to be a righteous crusade, looted the scattered homes and lived and traveled upon the domestic stock of the settlers. Pillage would have been followed by raping and devastation.


"The religious excitement, aggravated by almost starvation, was bearing fruit. The Indians said they had better die fighting than die a slow death from starvation. They had traded almost everything they had for arms and ammunition.

A good part of the available force of the army having been placed under the command of General Miles, as well as the Indian agencies, he was entrusted with the conduct of the campaign and the suppression of the Indian war.

"The disaffection had developed into a wild frenzy of hostility throughout the different tribes. So general was the alarm of the citizens, the officials of the general government, governors of the states and the press of that part of the country, that all earnestly appealed for aid and protection for the settlements. About 4,000 troops of infantry, cavalry and artillery were assembled from different parts of the country under the command of General J. R. Brooks, Colonels Merriam, Shafter, Carr, Forsyth, Wheaton, Sumner, Tilford; Lieutenant Colonels Polard, Henry, Sanford, Ottley and Caprun.

In November, 1890, hostilities were assumed by more than 2,000 Indians leaving their reservation, destroying their habitations and agricultural implements, and moving to the Bad Lands of South Dakota preparatory to the assembling of all the hostile Indians and a general crusade against the white settlements. To counteract this movement a strong cordon of troops was thrown around the Bad Lands to hold the hostiles in check and prevent reinforcements reaching them, as it was the design of General Miles to anticipate the movements of the Indians and arrest or overpower them in detail before they had time to concentrate in one large body; and it was deemed advisable to secure, if possible, the principal leaders and organizers and remove them for a time from that country. This was successfully accomplished. To this end authority was given Nov. [25?] , 1890,, to William F. Cody, a reliable frontiersman, an experienced chief of scouts, to go to Sitting Bull's camp and induce him to come in. If not successful in this, to arrest and remove him to the nearest military station. He was authorized to take a few trusted men with him for that purpose. His mission was suspected or made known to friends of Sitting Bull who prevented the arrest.


"The first measure for the arrest of Sitting Bull having failed, orders were given on December 19, 1890, directing Colonel Drum, the commanding officer, Fort Yates, to make it his personal duty to secure the arrest of Sitting Bull without delay. He directed certain troops of his command under Captain Fechet to make a night march of thirty-five miles to Sitting Bull's camp, and the remainder of the troops to be held in readiness for service.

"The Indian agent selected a body of police composed of Indians in whom he had confidence, who were ordered to the camp of Sitting Bull to make the arrest, to be followed and supported by the troops under Captain Fechet. Had Sitting Bull submitted to the arrest he would have been unharmed and probably alive today. Although urged to submit quietly by the men of his race, clothed with authority of the government, acting as police, he resisted and made a determined effort to avoid going with them, raised a cry of revolt which gathered around him a strong force of his warriors; these opened fire upon the police and a desperate fight ensued in which Sitting Bull and seven of his warriors were killed, and many wounded; not, however, without serious loss to the brave Indian policemen. Six of their number were killed and others seriously wounded. In fact, the whole number would have been massacred had it not been for the timely arrival of Captain Fechet, who quickly made proper exposition of his command and, with his   mounted men and one Hotchkiss gun, drove the warriors surrounding the police, and pursued them through the wooded country for several miles.

"The action of Captain Fechet was gallant, judicious and praiseworthy; going and returning his command marched seventy miles, fought and pursued the Indians, all within seventeen hours, and had the effect of striking the first and most serious blow to the hostile element and of totally destroying it on that reservation.

"Regarding the death of Sitting Bull, his tragic fate was but the ending of a tragic life. Since the days of Pontiac, Tecumseh and Red Jacket, no Indian has had the power of drawing to him so large a following of his race, and moulding and wielding it against the authority of the United States, or of inspiring it with greater animosity against the white race and civilization. In his earlier years he gained a reputation by constantly organizing and leading war and raiding parties and, although not a hereditary chief, was the recognized head of the disaffected element when the Sioux were at war, and in his person was the exponent of the hostile element around which gathered the young, ambitious warriors of the different tribes; and his death, for which he alone was responsible, was a great relief to the country in which he had been the terror for many years. His followers who were not killed were pursued by the troops; a portion surrendered at the Standing Rock agency; the others, with the exception of thirty, went to the reservation to the south, where they were intercepted, and, surrendering their arms, were taken to Forts Bennett and Sully, and kept there for several months under military surveillance. The death of Sitting Bull was most fortunate and opportune, as two hundred trusted warriors with their war ponies and packed equipments were in his camp ready to move the next morning to the Bad Lands, where he would have become the head of the hostile element.

"The next important event was the removal of Hump, who had become disaffected on the Cheyenne river reservation, which was accomplished without violence. For seven years Captain Ewers, Fifth United States infantry, had charge of this chief and his followers, and had gained their confidences and respect.

"At the request of the division commander, Captain Ewers was ordered from Texas to South Dakota and directed to put himself in communication with Hump. That Indian chief was regarded as one of the most dangerous Indians in that part of the country; in fact, so formidable was he considered that the civil agents did not think it possible for Captain Ewers to communicate with him. Captain Ewers promptly acted upon his instructions, proceeded to Fort Bennett and thence with Lieutenant Hale without troops, sixty miles to Hump's camp; he learned that Hump was twenty miles away, and a runner was sent for him. Immediately upon learning that Captain Ewers was in the vicinity, he came to him and was told that the division commander desired him to take his people away from the hostiles and bring them to the nearest military post. He replied that "If General Miles sent for him he would do whatever was desired." He immediately brought his people into Fort Bennett and complied with all the orders and instructions given him, and subsequently rendered valuable service for peace; thus an element regarded as maong [sic] the most dangerous was removed.

"All except thirty of Hump's following returned with him and Captain Ewers to Fort Bennett. The remaining thirty broke away and joined big Foot's band, which, with the addition of twenty or thirty that had escaped from Sitting Bull's camp at Standing Rock agency, increased his following to 116 warriors. Orders were then given for the arrest of this band under Big Foot, which was accomplished by the troops under Lieutenant Colonel Sumner on Dec. 22, 1890. Under the pretense that they (the Indians) would go to their agency at the mouth of the Cheyenne river, on the night of Dec. [23?] , they eluded the troops and started south toward the Indian rendezvous in the Bad Lands, near White river, about forty miles west of the Pine Ridge agency.

"While the hostile Indians were held in the Bad Lands by a strong body of troops, every effort was made to create diversion in the camp, dissuade them from their religious fanatacism [sic] and induce them to return to their allegiance to the government. At the same time the Indians were notified that if they complied with the orders of the military, their rights and interests would be protected.

"The measures taken were having a most desirable effect upon the hostiles, for it was reported in their camp that Sitting Bull and his immediate following had been killed; that Big Foot had been arrested, and that Hump had returned to his allegiance. This discouraged them and with the presence of a strong cordon of troops gradually forcing them back to the agency, and the strong influence brought to bear through the aid of friendly Indians from Pine Ridge, caused them to break camp on December 27, 1890, leave their stronghold and move toward the agency by slow marches.

"The troops under Colonel Carr and Lieutenant Colonels Offley and Sanford were slowly following in communicating and supporting distance; in fact the fires of the Indians were still burning in their camps behind them when the troops moved in to occupy the same grounds.


"Although the camp of Big Foot had escaped the troops on the Cheyenne river, the troops on the south were moved so as to prevent them joining the hostile element, and orders were given to the troops under Colonel Carr and General Brooks, not only to intercept the movement of Big Foot and his band, but to cause their arrest. On the 28th day of December, 1890, Lieutenant Colonel Whitside met Big Foot one and one-half miles west of Porcupine creek and demanded his surrender. The band submitted without resistance and moved with the troops seven miles, where they were directed to camp, which they did in position as the commanding officer directed. In order to have sufficient troops on the ground, Colonel Forsyth was ordered to join Lieutenant Colonel Whitside with four troops of cavalry, which, with the company of scouts under Lieutenant Taylor, eight troops of cavalry and four pieces of light artillery, made a force of [...?] fighting men as against [...?] warriors then present in Big Foot's band.

"The unfortunate affair at Wounded Knee the following day, December 29, in which thirty officers and soldiers and 200 Indians (men, women and children) were killed or mortally wounded, prolonged the campaign and made a successful termination more difficult.

"A number of the Indians that had remained peaceable at the Pine Ridge agency became greatly alarmed on learning what had befallen the band of Big Foot, and some of the young warriors went to their assistance. These, on returning with the intelligence of what had occurred, caused a general alarm which resulted in over 2,000 leaving the camps located about the agency to join the hostiles and assume a threatening attitude.

"The Indians from the Bad Lands, under Short Bull and Kicking Bear, would have camped that night of December 29 within four miles of the agency, but on hearing the news of the Big Foot disaster, turned back and reassumed a hostile attitude on White Clay creek, about seventeen miles from the Pine Ridge agency. Thus, instead of camping within a short distance from the agency, the next day, December 20 [sic], found the hostile camp augmented by nearly 1,000 additional Indians.


"On December 30 a small band of Indians came near the Catholic mission four miles from Pine Ridge, and set fire to one of the small buildings. Colonel Forsyth, with eight troops of the Seventh cavalry and four pieces of artillery, was ordered to go out and drive them away. He moved out, the Indians falling back with some skirmishing until they had proceeded six miles. There the command halted without occupying the commanding hills, and was surrounded by the small force of Indians. Colonel Forsyth sent Lieutenant Guy Preston back for reinforcements. Fortunately, Colonel Henry, with four troops of the Ninth cavalry and one Hotchkiss gun, was in the vicinity, and although the battalion had marched 100 miles within the last twenty-four hours, it moved at once at the sound of the guns. Upon arriving on the ground he made proper disposition of his troops by occupying the adjacent hills, and drove the Indians away, thereby relieving the Seventh cavalry from its perilous position.


"These two affairs, viz., at Wounded Knee and what is known as the Mission fight, seriously complicated the situation and increased the difficulty of suppressing the hostile element.

"On the evening of December 28, everything indicated a settlement without a serious loss of life. The result may be summed up in the loss of more than two hundred killed and wounded, delay in bringing the Indians to terms, and causing three thousand additional Indians to be thrown into a condition of animosity, hatred and revenge. The spirit thus engendered made it more difficult to force back, or restore the confidence of the Indians, and for a time it looked as if the difficulty would be insurmountable.

"On December 30, 1890, the wagon train of the Ninth cavalry was attacked by Indians and repulsed by the troops guarding it. On January 3, 1891, attack was made upon Captain Kerr's troop of the Sixth cavalry, then in position between Colonel Carr and Lieutenant Colonel Offley, and quickly and handsomely repulsed by that officer and his troop, aided by the prompt support of Major Tupper's battalion, followed by Colonel Carr. These repulses had a tendency to check the westward movements of the Indians and hold them in position along the White Clay creek until their intense animosity had to some extent subsided.

"Realizing the importance of restoring confidence to those who were not entirely disposed to assume hostilities, General Miles assumed the immediate command of the troops encircling the hostile camp and took station at Pine Ridge where, with his able staff officers, Generals Maus, Baldwin, Humphreys and Major Cloman, he could not only communicate with the camp, but exercise a general supervision over all the commands.

Having a personal knowledge extending over many years of those Indians, most of whose prominent leaders, including Spotted Eagle, Broad Tail, Little Hawk, Kicking Bear and Short Bull, had surrendered to him on the Yellowstone ten years before, he was enabled to bring them to reason and restored confidence.

"Fortunately congress appropriated funds necessary for complying with the obligations of the Sioux treaties, and the division commander was enabled to assure the Indians that the government would respect their rights and necessities. Messengers were sent to them representing the injudicious policy of contending against the government, and assuring them that there was only one safe road, and that was toward the agency to surrender. They were also advised that the powerful commands were so distributed in the immediate vicinity of their camps and at the most important points as to intercept them should they attempt to break through the lines, but if they would comply with the directions of the division commander, they would be assured of his support in order to obtain their rights and privileges under their treaties with the government.

"While the troops were exercising the utmost vigilance and constant care in inclosing the large camp of Indians, leaving as far as possible, no outlet for them to escape, and steadily pressing them back toward Pine Ridge agency, every effort was made to restore confidence and induce them to return. Fortunately, at that time, a change had been made in the administration of Indian affairs. The supply of food had been increased at the agencies and properly distributed; and officers in whom they had confidence and whom they had known for years, were placed in charge. Captain Hurst was given general supervision at the Cheyenne River agency; Captain Lee at Rosebud agency; Captain Ewers was placed in charge of the Cheyennes, and Captain Pierce and Captain Dougherty in charge of Pine Ridge.

"Under the circumstances, with the assurance of good faith at the agencies and from the government and held by a strong cordon of troops encircling them, on January 15, 1891, the Indians moved up White Clay Creek and encamped within easy range of the guns of the large command at Pine Ridge; the troops under General Brooks following immediately behind them, almost pushing them out of their camps. On the following day they moved further in and encamped under the guns of the command and surrendered their entire camp of four thousand Indians, the remainder moving directly to the places of abode they had formerly abandoned. The troops were moved into three strong camps of easy communication, occupying the three points of a triangle, with the Indian camp in the center in close proximity to the troops.

"While in this position they surrendered nearly two hundred rifles and complied with every order given them. Sufficient arms had been surrendered to show their good faith; these arms, together with what had been taken at other places, aggregated in all between six hundred and seven hundred rifles. As an additional guaranty of good faith, the division commander required the persons of Kicking Bear and Short Bull, the two first principal leaders of the hostiles, and twenty other warriors of the same class. These men volunteered to go as hostages for the good faith of their people and as an earnest desire of their disposition to maintain peace in the future. They were placed in wagons and sent twenty-six miles to the railroad and thence by rail to Fort Sheridan, Illinois, there to remain until such time as it might be necessary to guarantee a permanent peace.

"Thus ended what at one time threatened to be the most serious Indian war, and the frontier was again assured of peace and safety from the Indians who, a few weeks prior, had been a terror to all persons living in that sparsely populated country.

"Too much credit cannot be given the troops who endured the hardships and sustained the honor, character and integrity of the government, risking their lives in the effort to restore peace and tranquility, placing themselves between a most formidable body of savages and the unprotected settlements of the frontier in such a way as to avoid the loss of a single life of any of the settlers and establishing peace in that country with the least possible delay. In fact, the time consumed in solving this most difficult problem was remarkably brief, it being but fourteen days from the time Sitting Bull was arrested to the time the Indians were moving in to surrender, and would have encamped within four miles of the agency, had not the disaster of Wounded Knee occurred. Notwithstanding this unfortunate affair, the time occupied was only thirty-two days from the time of the arrest of Sitting Bull until the whole camp of Indians surrendered at Pine Ridge, South Dakota.


"The Brules, the most turbulent of the hostile element, were taken by Captain Lee, in whom they had great confidence, and great reason to respect on account of his thorough justice in the management of their affairs previously, across the country to the Rosebud agency where they belonged, without escort and during the most intense cold of winter.

"The Cheyenne Indians who, but a few days before, were regarded as a most dangerous band, were taken by Captain Ewers, in whom they had not only confidence and respect, but absolute affection, to the north on one of the most difficult journeys ever accomplished in this country, a distance of nearly three hundred miles from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, to the south of Tongue River, Montana, traveling in the intense cold of winter in that desolate country, the ground covered in many places with several feet of snow, and this without an escort of troops. Finally they reached Fort Keogh without loss of life or an Indian committing an unlawful act during that long and perilous journey.

"During the time of intense excitement, the governors of Nebraska and South Dakota placed troops along the line of settlements which gave confidence to the settlers and additional protection to those exposed positions.

"Although the campaign was short, it was not without serious loss. Two excellent officers were killed and one mortally wounded. Captain George D. Wallace, Seventh cavalry, was killed at Wounded Knee, and First Lieutenant Edward W. Casey, Twenty-second infantry, a gallant young officer of great promise, was killed January 7, 1891, near Pine Ridge while making a reconnaissance. First Lieutenant James D. Mann, Seventh cavalry, was mortally wounded at White Clay Creek, December 30, 1890. First Lieutenant Ernest A. Garlington and John C. Greeham, Seventh cavalry, and John J. Kinzie, Second infantry; and Second Lieutenant Harry L. Hawthorne, Second artillery, were wounded at Wounded Knee December 29, 1890. Twenty-eight gallant soldiers were also killed and thirty-eight wounded; some of them have since died."

The last review of the troops before their return to their respective stations was a fitting ceremony to the closing scenes of the war between the races. It was enacted in a dreary country enveloped in its white mantle of midwinter, the cheerless winds sporting with the falling snowflakes or drifting them over the graves of the heroic dead and frozen bodies of the slain, covering in a common oblivion all race animosity, hatred and revenge. Victors and vanquished sleeping the eternal sleep in the solitary, unmarked sepulchre nature alone provided. Deeds of valor and sacrifice were events of the past. The great camp of surrendered Indians stretching for miles along the hillside overlooked the plain where the battalions of infantry, cavalry and artillery were formed. The troops were fully equipped in their winter garb and heavily armed; they presented a formidable appearance and must have impressed the savages with the power and majesty of the white race and the terrible destructive engines of war they had escaped.

It was an impressive scene: strategy, skill, fortitude and civilization had triumphed.

As the frosts of winter disappeared, the sunshine and springtime of a brighter and more peaceful future dawned upon the natives.

The war factors had disappeared and the elements of peace had prevailed. Education, industry and prosperity have blessed the unfortunate race for nearly a quarter of a century.

Extract from annual report of Major General Schofield, commanding United States army, dated Washington, D. C., September 24, 1891:

"The past year was marked by a disturbance among the Sioux Indians.... which threatened to be far more formidable than any Indian war that had occurred in many years.

"He gives the orders of the president's desire to suppress that trouble as promptly and effectivel yas [sic] possible.... The execution of those orders involved the concentration of nearly one-half of the infantry and cavalry of the army and some artillery.

"These movements were necessarily attended with great expense, but happily the result justified the measures adopted which resulted in the suppression of the uprising."

In his annual report for the year 1891 the honorable secretary of war says:

"Referring to the operations of the army last winter during the troubles with the Sioux Indians, this campaign which was made in midwinter in a severe clime, was conducted in a manner deserving commendation.


Nelson A. Miles

General Miles as He Was When the Indians Surrendered, 23 Years Ago.


The Gallant Old Indian Fighter, Gen. Nelson A. Miles, as He Looks Today.

Title: Gen. Nelson A. Miles Writes Story of the Great Conspiracy

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, OS Box 50, pages 24 — 27

Topics: Buffalo Bill on Film

Keywords: Denver Post Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway Company Union Pacific Railroad Company

People: Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 Wovoka, approximately 1856-1932 Sitting Bull, 1831-1890 Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief, 1768-1813 Pontiac, Ottawa Chief, -1769 Ruger, Thomas Howard, 1833-1907 Mooney, James, 1861-1921 Powell, John Wesley, 1834-1902 Smith, Joseph, Jr., 1805-1844 Jesus Christ Tavibo Brooks, J. R. Merriam, Henry C. (Henry Clay), 1837-1912 Shafter, William Rufus, 1835-1906 Carr, E. A. (Eugene Asa), 1830-1910 Forsyth, James W. (James William), 1836-1906 Wheaton Sumner, Samuel S. (Samuel Storrow), 1842-1937 Tilford Polard Henry, Guy Vernor, 1839-1899 Sanford Offley Caprun Drum Fechet Red Jacket, Seneca chief, approximately 1756-1830 Hump Ewers Hale Big Foot, -1890 Whitside, Samuel M., 1839-1902 Taylor, Charles Short Bull, -1915 Kicking Bear, 1853-1904 Preston, Guy Kerr Tupper, Tullius C. Maus, Marion P. (Marion Perry), 1850-1930 Baldwin, Frank Dwight, 1842-1923 Humphrey, Charles Frederic, 1833-1926 Cloman, Sydney A. (Sydney Amos), 1867-1923 Spotted Eagle Broad Tail Little Hawk Hurst Lee, Jesse M. Pierce Dougherty Wallace, George D., 1849-1890 Casey, Edward W. Mann, James D. Garlington, Ernest A. (Ernest Albert), 1853-1934 Graham, James C. Kinzie, John J. Hawthorne, Harry L. Schofield, John McAllister, 1831-1906

Places: Denver (Colo.) Badlands (N.D.) Fort Yates (N.D.) Chicago (Ill.) Milwaukee (Wis.) Saint Paul (Minn.) Pyramid Lake (Nev.) Wyoming Utah Canada South Dakota Nebraska North Dakota Montana Colorado Idaho Nevada Standing Rock Indian Reservation (N.D. and S.D.) Stanley County (S.D.) Fort Sully (S.D.) Texas Pine Ridge (S. D.) Wounded Knee (S. D.) Cheyenne River Indian Reservation (S.D.) Rosebud (S.D.) White Clay Creek (S. D.) Fort Sheridan (Ill.) Fort Keogh (Mont.) Washington (D.C.)

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