A MILITARY EXPEDITION.
A day or two after my return to Fort Lyon, the Fifth Cavalry were ordered to the Department of the Platte, and took up their line of march for Fort McPherson, Nebraska. We laid over one day at Fort Wallace, to get supplies, and while there I had occasion to pass General Bankhead's headquarters. His orderly called to me, and said the General wished to see me. As I entered the General's office he extended his hand and said: "I hope you have no hard feelings toward me, Cody, for having you arrested when you were here. I have just had a talk with General Carr and Quartermaster Hays, and they informed me that you had their permission to ride the horse and mule, and if you had stated this fact to me there would have been no trouble about the matter whatever." "That is all right, General," said I; "I will think no more of it. But I don't believe that your quartermaster's agent will ever again circulate false stories about me."
"No," said the General; "he has not yet recovered from the beating that you gave him."
From Fort Wallace we moved down to Sheridan, where the command halted for us to lay in a supply of forage which was stored there. I was still messing with Major Brown, with whom I went into the village to purchase a supply of provisions for our mess; but unfortunately we were in too jolly a mood to fool away money on "grub." We bought several articles, however, and put them into the ambulance and sent them back to the camp with our cook. The Major and myself did not return until reveille next morning. Soon afterwards the General sounded "boots and saddles," and presently the regiment was on its way to McPherson.
It was very late before we went into camp that night, and we were tired and hungry. Just as Major Brown was having his tent put up, his cook came to us and asked where the provisions were that we had bought the day before.
"Why, did we not give them to you—did you not bring them to camp in the ambulance?" asked Major Brown.
"No, sir; it was only a five-gallon demijohn of whiskey, a five-gallon demijohn of brandy, and two cases of Old Tom-Cat gin," said the cook.
"The mischief!" I exclaimed; "didn't we spend any money on grub at all?"
"No, sir," replied the cook.
"Well, that will do for the present," said Major Brown.
It seems that our minds had evidently been running on a different subject than provisions while we were loitering in Sheridan, and we found ourselves, with a two hundred and fifty mile march ahead of us, without anything more inviting than ordinary army rations.
At this juncture Captain Denny came up, and the Major apologized for not being able to invite him to take supper with us; but we did the next best thing, and asked him to take a drink. He remarked that that was what he was looking for, and when he learned of our being out of commissary supplies, and that we had bought nothing except whiskey, brandy and gin, he said, joyously:
"Boys, as we have an abundance, you can eat with us, and we will drink with you."
It was a satisfactory arrangement, and from that time forward we traded our liquids for their solids. When the rest of the officers heard of what Brown and I had done, they all sent us invitations to dine with them at any time. We returned the compliment by inviting them to drink with us whenever they were dry. Although I would not advise anybody to follow our example, yet it is a fact that we got more provisions for our whiskey than the same money, which we paid for the liquor, would have bought; so after all it proved a very profitable investment.
On reaching the north fork of the Beaver and riding down the valley towards the stream, I suddenly discovered a large fresh Indian trail. On examination I found it to be scattered all over the valley on both sides of the creek, as if a very large village had recently passed down that way. Judging from the size of the trail, I thought there could not be less than four hundred lodges, or between twenty-five hundred and three thousand warriors, women and children in the band. I galloped hack to the command, distant about three miles, and reported the news to General Carr, who halted the regiment, and, after consulting a few minutes, ordered me to select a ravine, or as low ground as possible, so that he could keep the troops out of sight until we could strike the creek.
We went into camp on the Beaver, and the General ordered Lieutenant Ward to take twelve men and myself and follow up the trail for several miles, and find out how fast the Indians were traveling. I was soon convinced, by the many camps they had made, that they were traveling slowly, and hunting as they journeyed. We went down the Beaver on this scout about twelve miles, keeping our horses well concealed under the banks of the creek, so as not to be discovered.
At this point, Lieutenant Ward and myself, leaving our horses behind us, crawled to the top of a high knoll, where we could have a good view for some miles distant down the stream. We peeped over the summit of the hill, and not over three miles away we could see a whole Indian village in plain sight, and thousands of ponies grazing around on the prairie. Looking over to our left on the opposite side of the creek, we observed two or three parties of Indians coming in, loaded down with buffalo meat.
"This is no place for us, Lieutenant," said I; "I think we have important business at the camp to attend to as soon as possible."
"I agree with you," said he, "and the quicker we get there the better it will be for us."
We quickly descended the hill and joined the men below. Lieutenant Ward hurriedly wrote a note to General Carr, and handing it to a corporal, ordered him to make all possible haste back to the command and deliver the message. The man started off on a gallop, and Lieutenant Ward said: "We will march slowly back until we meet the troops, as I think the General will soon be here, for he will start immediately upon receiving my note."
In a few minutes we heard two or three shots in the direction in which our dispatch courier had gone, and soon after we saw him come flying around the bend of the creek, pursued by four or five Indians. The Lieutenant, with his squad of soldiers and myself, at once charged upon them, when they turned and ran across the stream.
"This will not do," said Lieutenant Ward, "the whole Indian village will now know that soldiers are near by.
"Lieutenant, give me that note, and I will take it to the General," said I.
He gladly handed me the dispatch, and spurring my horse I dashed up the creek. After having ridden a short distance, I observed another party of Indians also going to the village with meat; but instead of waiting for them to fire upon me, I gave them a shot at long range. Seeing one man firing at them so boldly, it surprised them, and they did not know what to make of it. While they were thus considering, I got between them and our camp. By this time they had recovered from their surprise, and, cutting their buffalo meat loose from their horses, they came after me at the top of their speed; but as their steeds were tired out, it did not take me long to leave them far in the rear.
I reached the command in less than an hour, delivered the dispatch to General Carr, and informed him of what I had seen. He instantly had the bugler sound "boots and saddles," and all the troops—with the exception of two companies, which we left to guard the train—were soon galloping in the direction of the Indian camp.
We had ridden about three miles when we met Lieutenant Ward, who was coming slowly towards us. He reported that he had run into a party of Indian buffalo-hunters, and had killed one of the number, and had had one of his horses wounded. We immediately pushed forward and after marching about five miles came within sight of hundreds of mounted Indians advancing up the creek to meet us. They formed a complete line in front of us. General Carr, being desirous of striking their village, ordered the troops to charge, break through their line, and keep straight on. This movement would, no doubt, have been successfully accomplished had it not been for the rattle-brained and dare-devil French Lieutenant Schinosky, commanding Company B, who, misunderstanding General Carr's orders, charged upon some Indians at the left, while the rest of the command dashed through the enemy's line, and was keeping straight on, when it was observed that Schinosky and his company were surrounded by four or five hundred red-skins. The General, to save the company, was obliged to sound a halt and charge back to the rescue. The company, during this short fight, had several men and quite a number of horses killed.
All this took up valuable time, and night was coming on. The Indians were fighting desperately to keep us from reaching their village, which being informed by couriers of what was taking place, was packing up and getting away. During that afternoon it was all we could do to hold our own in fighting the mounted warriors, who were in our front and contesting every inch of the ground. The General had left word for our wagon train to follow up with its escort of two companies, but as it had not made its appearance he entertained some fears that it had been surrounded, and to prevent the possible loss of the supply train we had to go back and look for it. About 9 o'clock that evening we found it, and went into camp for the night.
Next morning we passed down the creek and there was not an Indian to be seen. They had all disappeared and gone on with their village. Two miles further on we came to where a village had been located, and here we found nearly everything belonging or pertaining to an Indian camp, which had been left in the great hurry to get away. These articles were all gathered up and burned. We then pushed out on the trail as fast as possible. It led us to the northeast towards the Republican; but as the Indians had a night the start of us we entertained but little hope of overtaking them that day. Upon reaching the Republican in the afternoon the General called a halt, and as the trail was running more to the east, he concluded to send his wagon train on to Fort McPherson by the most direct route, while he would follow on the trail of the red-skins.
Next morning at daylight we again pulled out and were evidently gaining rapidly on the Indians for we could occasionally see them in the distance. About 11 o'clock that day while Major Babcock was ahead of the main command with his company, and while we were crossing a deep ravine, we were surprised by about three hundred warriors who commenced a lively fire upon us. Galloping out of the ravine on to the rough prairie the men dismounted and returned the fire. We soon succeeded in driving the enemy before us, and were so close upon them at one time, that they abandoned and threw away nearly all their lodges and camp equipages, and everything that had any considerable weight. They left behind them their played-out horses, and for miles we could see Indian furniture strewn along in every direction. The trail became divided, and the Indians scattered in small bodies, all over the prairie. As night was approaching and our horses were about giving out, a halt was called. A company was detailed to collect all the Indian horses running loose over the country, and to burn the other Indian property.
The command being nearly out of rations I was sent to the nearest point, Old Fort Kearney, about sixty miles distant for supplies.
Shortly after we reached Fort McPherson, which continued to be the headquarters of the Fifth Cavalry for some time. We remained there for ten days, fitting out for a new expedition to the Republican river country, and were reinforced by three companies of the celebrated Pawnee Indian scouts, commanded by Major Frank North; his officers being Captain Lute North, brother of the Major, Captain Cushing, his brother-in-law, Captain Morse, and Lieutenants Beecher, Matthews and Kislandberry. General Carr recommended at this time to General Augur, who was in command of the Department, that I be made chief of scouts in the Department of the Platte, and informed me that in this position I would receive higher wages than I had been getting in the Department of the Missouri. This appointment I had not asked for.
I made the acquaintance of Major Frank North,[B] and I found him, and his officers, perfect gentlemen, and we were all good friends from the very start. The Pawnee scouts had made quite a reputation for themselves as they had performed brave and valuable services, in fighting against the Sioux, whose bitter enemies they were; being thoroughly acquainted with the Republican and Beaver country, I was glad that they were to be with the expedition, and they did good service.
[Footnote B: Major North is now my partner in a cattle ranch in Nebraska.]
During our stay at Fort McPherson I made the acquaintance of Lieutenant George P. Belden, known as the "White Chief," whose life was written by Colonel Brisbin, U.S. army. I found him to be an intelligent, dashing fellow, a splendid rider and an excellent shot. An hour after our introduction he challenged me for a rifle match, the preliminaries of which were soon arranged. We were to shoot ten shots each for fifty dollars, at two hundred yards, off hand. Belden was to use a Henry rifle, while I was to shoot my old "Lucretia." This match I won and then Belden proposed to shoot a one hundred yard match, as I was shooting over his distance. In this match Belden was victorious. We were now even, and we stopped right there.
While we were at this post General Augur and several of his officers, and also Thomas Duncan, Brevet Brigadier and Lieutenant Colonel of the Fifth Cavalry, paid us a visit for the purpose of reviewing the command. The regiment turned out in fine style and showed themselves to be well drilled soldiers, thoroughly understanding military tactics. The Pawnee scouts were also reviewed and it was very amusing to see them in their full regulation uniform. They had been furnished a regular cavalry uniform and on this parade some of them had their heavy overcoats on, others their large black hats, with all the brass accoutrements attached; some of them were minus pantaloons and only wore a breech clout. Others wore regulation pantaloons but no shirts on and were bareheaded; others again had the seat of the pantaloons cut out, leaving only leggins; some of them wore brass spurs, but had no boots or moccasins on. They seemed to understand the drill remarkably well for Indians. The commands, of course, were given to them in their own language by Major North, who could talk it as well as any full-blooded Pawnee. The Indians were well mounted and felt proud and elated because they had been made United States soldiers. Major North, has had for years complete power over these Indians and can do more with them than any man living. That evening after the parade was over the officers and quite a number of ladies visited a grand Indian dance given by the Pawnees, and of all the Indians I have seen, their dances excel those of any other tribe.
Next day the command started; when encamped, several days after, on the Republican river near the mouth of the Beaver, we heard the whoops of Indians, followed by shots in the vicinity of the mule herd, which had been taken down to water. One of the herders came dashing into camp with an arrow sticking into him. My horse was close at hand, and, mounting him bare-back, I at once dashed off after the mule herd, which had been stampeded. I supposed certainly that I would be the first man on the ground. I was mistaken, however, for the Pawnee Indians, unlike regular soldiers, had not waited to receive orders from their officers, but had jumped on their ponies without bridles or saddles, and placing ropes in their mouths, had dashed off in the direction whence the shots had come, and had got there ahead of me. It proved to be a party of about fifty Sioux, who had endeavored to stampede our mules, and it took them by surprise to see their inveterate enemies—the Pawnees—coming at full gallop towards them. They were not aware that the Pawnees were with the command, and as they knew that it would take regular soldiers sometime to turn out, they thought they would have ample opportunity to secure the herd before the troops could give chase.
We had a running fight of fifteen miles, and several of the enemy were killed. During this chase I was mounted on an excellent horse, which Colonel Royal had picked out for me, and for the first mile or two I was in advance of the Pawnees. Presently a Pawnee shot by me like an arrow and I could not help admiring the horse that he was riding. Seeing that he possessed rare running qualities, I determined if possible to get possession of the animal in some way. It was a large buckskin or yellow horse, and I took a careful view of him so that I would know him when I returned to camp.
After the chase was over I rode up to Major North and inquired about the buckskin horse.
"Oh yes," said the Major, "that is one of our favorite steeds."
"What chance is there to trade for him?" I asked.
"It is a government horse," said he, "and the Indian who is riding him is very much attached to the animal."
"I have fallen in love with the horse myself," said I, "and I would like to know if you have any objections to my trading for him if I can arrange it satisfactorily with the Indian?"
He said: "None whatever, and I will help you to do it; you can give the Indian another horse in his place."
A few days after this, I persuaded the Indian, by making him several presents, to trade horses with me, and in this way I became the owner of the buckskin steed, not as my own property, however, but as a government horse that I could ride. I gave him the name of "Buckskin Joe" and he proved to be a second Brigham. That horse I rode on and off during the summers of 1869, 1870, 1871 and 1872, and he was the horse that the Grand Duke Alexis rode on his buffalo hunt. In the winter of 1872, after I had left Fort McPherson, Buckskin Joe was condemned and sold at public sale, and was bought by Dave Perry, at North Platte, who in 1877 presented him to me, and I still own him. He is now at my ranch on the Dismal river, stone blind, but I shall keep him until he dies.
The command scouted several days up the Beaver and Prairie Dog rivers, occasionally having running fights with war parties of Indians, but did not succeed in getting them into a general battle. At the end of twenty days we found ourselves back on the Republican.
Hitherto the Pawnees had not taken much interest in me, but while at this camp I gained their respect and admiration by showing them how I killed buffaloes. Although the Pawnees were excellent buffalo killers, for Indians, I have never seen one of them who could kill more than four or five in one run. A number of them generally surround the herd and then dash in upon them, and in this way each one kills from one to four buffaloes. I had gone out in company with Major North and some of the officers, and saw them make a "surround." Twenty of the Pawnees circled a herd and succeeded in killing only thirty-two.
"While they were cutting up the animals another herd appeared in sight. The Indians were preparing to surround it, when I asked Major North to keep them back and let me show them what I could do. He accordingly informed the Indians of my wish and they readily consented to let me have the opportunity. I had learned that Buckskin Joe was an excellent buffalo horse, and felt confident that I would astonish the natives; galloping in among the buffaloes, I certainly did so by killing thirty-six in less than a half-mile run. At nearly every shot I killed a buffalo, stringing the dead animals out on the prairie, not over fifty feet apart. This manner of killing was greatly admired by the Indians who called me a big chief, and from that time on, I stood high in their estimation."
A DESPERATE FIGHT.
On leaving camp, the command took a westward course up the Republican, and Major North with two companies of his Pawnees and two or three companies of cavalry, under the command of Colonel Royal, made a scout to the north of the river. Shortly after we had gone into camp, on the Black Tail Deer Fork, we observed a band of Indians coming over the prairie at full gallop, singing and yelling and waving their lances and long poles. At first we supposed them to be Sioux, and all was excitement for a few moments. We noticed, however, that our Pawnee Indians made no hostile demonstrations or preparations towards going out to fight them, but began swinging and yelling themselves. Captain Lute North stepped up to General Carr and said:
"General, those are our men who are coming, and they have had a fight. That is the way they act when they come back from a battle and have taken any scalps."
The Pawnees came into camp on the run. Captain North calling to one of them—a sergeant—soon found out that they had run across a party of Sioux who were following a large Indian trail. These Indians had evidently been in a fight, for two or three of them had been wounded and they were conveying the injured persons on travois. The Pawnees had "jumped" them and had killed three or four more of them.
Next morning the command, at an early hour, started out to take up this Indian trail which they followed for two days as rapidly as possible; it becoming evident from the many camp fires which we passed, that we were gaining on the Indians. Wherever they had encamped we found the print of a woman's shoe, and we concluded that they had with them some white captive. This made us all the more anxious to overtake them, and General Carr accordingly selected all his best horses, which could stand a hard run, and gave orders for the wagon train to follow as fast as possible, while he pushed ahead on a forced march. At the same time I was ordered to pick out five or six of the best Pawnees, and go on in advance of the command, keeping ten or twelve miles ahead on the trail, so that when we overtook the Indians we could find out the location of their camp, and send word to the troops before they came in sight, thus affording ample time to arrange a plan for the capture of the village.
After having gone about ten miles in advance of the regiment, we began to move very cautiously, as we were now evidently nearing the Indians. We looked carefully over the summits of the hills before exposing ourselves to plain view, and at last we discovered the village, encamped in the sand-hills south of the South Platte river at Summit Springs. Here I left the Pawnee scouts to keep watch, while I went back and informed General Carr that the Indians were in sight.
The General at once ordered his men to tighten their saddles and otherwise prepare for action. Soon all was excitement among the officers and soldiers, every one being anxious to charge the village. I now changed my horse for old Buckskin Joe, who had been led for me thus far, and was comparatively fresh. Acting on my suggestion, the General made a circuit to the north, believing that if the Indians had their scouts out, they would naturally be watching in the direction whence they had come. When we had passed the Indians and were between them and the Platte river, we turned to the left and started toward the village.
By this manoeuver we had avoided discovery by the Sioux scouts, and we were confident of giving them a complete surprise. Keeping the command wholly out of sight, until we were within a mile of the Indians, the General halted the advance guard until all closed up, and then issued an order, that, when he sounded the charge, the whole command was to rush into the village.
As we halted on the top of the hill overlooking the camp of the unsuspecting Indians, General Carr called out to his bugler: "Sound the charge!" The bugler for a moment became intensely excited, and actually forgot the notes. The General again sang out: "Sound the charge!" and yet the bugler was unable to obey the command. Quartermaster Hays—who had obtained permission to accompany the expedition—was riding near the General, and comprehending the dilemma of the man, rushed up to him, jerked the bugle from his hands and sounded the charge himself in clear and distinct notes. As the troops rushed forward, he threw the bugle away, then drawing his pistols, was among the first men that entered the village.
The Indians had just driven up their horses and were preparing to make a move of the camp, when they saw the soldiers coming down upon them. A great many of them succeeded in jumping upon their ponies, and, leaving every thing behind them, advanced out of the village and prepared to meet the charge; but upon second thought they quickly concluded that it was useless to try to check us, and, those who were mounted rapidly rode away, while the others on foot fled for safety to the neighboring hills. We went through their village shooting right and left at everything we saw. The Pawnees, the regular soldiers and the officers were all mixed up together, and the Sioux were flying in every direction.
General Carr had instructed the command that when they entered the village, they must keep a sharp look out for white women, as he was confident the Indians had some captives. The company which had been ordered to take possession of the village after its capture, soon found two white women, one of whom had just been killed and the other wounded. They were both Swedes, and the survivor could not talk English. A Swedish soldier, however, was soon found who could talk with her. The name of this woman was Mrs. Weichel, and her story as told to the soldier was, that as soon as the Indians saw the troops coming down upon them, a squaw—Tall Bull's wife—had killed Mrs. Alderdice, the other captive, with a hatchet, and then wounded her. This squaw had evidently intended to kill both women to prevent them from telling how cruelly they had been treated.
The attack lasted but a short time, and the Indians were driven several miles away. The soldiers then gathered in the herd of Indian horses, which were running at large over the country and drove them back to the camp. After taking a survey of what we had accomplished, it was found that we had killed about one hundred and forty Indians, and captured one hundred and twenty squaws and papooses, two hundred lodges, and eight hundred horses and mules. The village proved to be one of the richest I had ever seen. The red-skins had everything pertaining to an Indian camp, besides numerous articles belonging to the white settlers whom they had killed on the Saline. The Pawnees, as well as the soldiers, ransacked the camp for curiosities, and found enough to start twenty museums, besides a large amount of gold and silver. This money had been stolen from the Swedish settlers whom they had murdered on the Saline. General Carr ordered that all the tepees, the Indian lodges, buffalo robes, all camp equipage and provisions, including dried buffalo meat, amounting to several tons, should be gathered in piles and burned. A grave was dug in which the dead Swedish woman, Mrs. Alderdice, was buried. Captain Kane, a religious officer, read the burial service, as we had no chaplain with us.
While this was going on, the Sioux warriors having recovered from their surprise, had come back and a battle took place all around the camp. I was on the skirmish line, and I noticed an Indian, who was riding a large bay horse, and giving orders to his men in his own language—which I could occasionally understand—telling them that they had lost everything, that they were ruined, and he entreated them to follow him, and fight until they died. His horse was an extraordinary one, fleet as the wind, dashing here and there, and I determined to capture him if possible, but I was afraid to fire at the Indian for fear of killing the horse.
I noticed that the Indian, as he rode around the skirmish line, passed the head of a ravine not far distant, and it occurred to me that if I could dismount and creep to the ravine I could, as he passed there, easily drop him from his saddle without danger of hitting the horse. Accordingly I crept into and secreted myself in the ravine, reaching the place unseen by the Indians, and I waited there until Mr. Chief came riding by.
When he was not more than thirty yards distant I fired, and the next moment he tumbled from his saddle, and the horse kept on without his rider. Instead of running toward the Indians, however, he galloped toward our men, by one of whom he was caught. Lieutenant Mason, who had been very conspicuous in the fight and who had killed two or three Indians himself, single-handed, came galloping up to the ravine and jumping from his horse, secured the fancy war bonnet from the head of the dead chief, together with all his other accoutrements. We both then rejoined the soldiers, and I at once went in search of the horse; I found him in the possession of Sergeant McGrath, who had caught him. The Sergeant knew that I had been trying to get the animal and having seen me kill his rider, he handed him over to me at once.
Little did I think at that time that I had captured a horse which, for four years afterwards was the fastest runner in the state of Nebraska, but such proved to be the fact.
I jumped on his back and rode him down to the spot where the prisoners were corraled. One of the squaws among the prisoners suddenly began crying in a pitiful and hysterical manner at the sight of this horse, and upon inquiry I found that she was Tall Bull's wife, the same squaw that had killed one of the white women and wounded the other. She stated that this was her husband's favorite war-horse, and that only a short time ago she had seen Tall Bull riding him. I gave her to understand that her liege lord had passed in his mortal chips and that it would be sometime before he would ride his favorite horse again, and I informed her that henceforth I should call the gallant steed "Tall Bull," in honor of her husband.
Late in the evening our wagon train arrived, and placing the wounded woman, Mrs. Weichel, in the ambulance—she having been kindly attended to by the surgeons,—and gathering up the prisoners—the squaws and papooses—and captured stock, we started at once for the South Platte River, eight miles distant, and there went into camp.
Next morning General Carr issued an order that all the money found in the village should be turned over to the adjutant. About one thousand dollars was thus collected, and the entire amount was given to Mrs. Weichel. The command then proceeded to Fort Sedgwick, from which point the particulars of our fight, which took place on Sunday, July 11th, 1869, were telegraphed to all parts of the country.
We remained at this post for two weeks, during which General Augur, of the Department of the Platte, paid us a visit, and highly complimented the command for the gallant service it had performed. For this fight at Summit Springs General Carr and his command were complimented not only in General Orders, but received a vote of thanks from the Legislatures of Nebraska and Colorado—as Tall Bull and his Indians had long been a terror to the border settlements—and the resolutions of thanks were elegantly engrossed and sent to General Carr.
The wounded white woman was cared for in the hospital at this post, and after her recovery she soon married the hospital steward, her former husband having been killed by the Indians.
Our prisoners were sent to the Whetstone Agency, on the Missouri River, where Spotted Tail and the friendly Sioux were then living. The captured horses and mules were distributed among the officers, scouts and soldiers. Among the animals that I thus obtained were my Tall Bull horse, and a pony which I called "Powder Face," and which afterwards became quite celebrated, as he figured prominently in the stories of Ned Buntline.
One day, while we were lying at Fort Sedgwick, General Carr received a telegram from Fort McPherson stating that the Indians had made a dash on the Union Pacific Railroad, and had killed several section-men and run off some stock near O'Fallon's Station; also that an expedition was going out from Fort McPherson to catch and punish the red-skins if possible. The General ordered me to accompany the expedition, and accordingly that night I proceeded by rail to McPherson Station, and from thence rode on horseback to the fort. Two companies, under command of Major Brown, had been ordered out, and next morning, just as we were about to start, Major Brown said to me:
"By the way, Cody, we are going to have quite an important character with us as a guest on this scout. It's old Ned Buntline, the novelist."
Just then I noticed a gentleman, who was rather stoutly built, and who wore a blue military coat, on the left breast of which were pinned about twenty gold medals and badges of secret societies. He walked a little lame as he approached us, and I at once concluded that he was Ned Buntline.
"He has a good mark to shoot at on the left breast," said I to Major Brown, "but he looks like a soldier." As he came up, Major Brown said:
"Cody, allow me to introduce you to Colonel E.B.O. Judson, otherwise known as Ned Buntline."
"Colonel Judson, I am glad to meet you," said I; "the Major tells me that you are to accompany us on the scout."
"Yes, my boy, so I am," said he; "I was to deliver a temperance lecture to-night, but no lectures for me when there is a prospect for a fight. The Major has kindly offered me a horse, but I don't know how I'll stand the ride, for I haven't done any riding lately; but when I was a young man I spent several years among the fur companies of the Northwest, and was a good rider and an excellent shot."
"The Major has given you a fine horse, and you'll soon find yourself at home in the saddle," said I.
The command soon pulled out for the South Platte River, which was very wide and high, owing to recent mountain rains, and in crossing it we had to swim our horses in some places. Buntline was the first man across. We reached O'Fallon's at eleven o'clock, and in a short time I succeeded in finding the Indian trail; the party seemed to be a small one, which had come up from the south. We followed their track to the North Platte, but as they had a start of two days, Major Brown abandoned the pursuit, and returned to Fort McPherson, while I went back to Fort Sedgwick, accompanied by Buntline.
During this short scout, Buntline had asked me a great many questions, and he was determined to go out on the next expedition with me, providing he could obtain permission from the commanding officer. I introduced him to the officers—excepting those he already knew—and invited him to become my guest while he remained at the post, and gave him my pony Powder Face to ride.
By this time I had learned that my horse Tall Bull was a remarkably fast runner, and therefore when Lieutenant Mason, who was quite a sport and owned a racer, challenged me to a race, I immediately accepted it. We were to run our horses a single dash of half a mile for one hundred dollars a side. Several of the officers, and also Reub. Wood, the post-trader, bantered me for side bets, and I took them all until I had put up my last cent on Tall Bull.
The ground was measured off, the judges were selected, and all other preliminaries were arranged. We rode our horses ourselves, and coming up to the score nicely we let them go. I saw from the start that it would be mere play to beat the Lieutenant's horse, and therefore I held Tall Bull in check, so that none could see how fast he really could run. I easily won the race, and pocketed a snug little sum of money. Of course everybody was now talking horse. Major North remarked that if Tall Bull could beat the Pawnees' fast horse, I could break his whole command.
The next day the troops were paid off, the Pawnees with the rest, and for two or three days they did nothing but run horse-races, as all the recently captured horses had to be tested to find out the swiftest among them. Finally the Pawnees wanted to run their favorite horse against Tall Bull, and I accordingly arranged a race with them. They raised three hundred dollars and bet it on their horse, while of course, I backed Tall Bull with an equal amount, and in addition took numerous side bets. The race was a single dash of a mile, and Tall Bull won it without any difficulty. I was ahead on this race about seven hundred dollars, and the horse was fast getting a reputation. Heretofore nobody would bet on him, but now he had plenty of backers.
I also made a race for my pony Powder Face, against a fast pony belonging to Captain Lute North. I selected a small boy, living at the post to ride Powder Face, while an Indian boy was to ride the other pony. The Pawnees as usual wanted to bet on their pony, but as I had not yet fully ascertained the running qualities of Powder Face, I did not care about risking very much money on him. Had I known him as well then as I did afterwards I would have backed him for every dollar I had, for he proved to be one of the swiftest ponies I ever saw, and had evidently been kept as a racer.
The race was to be four hundred yards, and when I led the pony over the track he seemed to understand what he was there for. North and I finally put the riders on, and it was all I could do to hold the fiery little animal after the boy became seated on his back. He jumped around and made such quick movements, that the boy was not at all confident of being able to stay on him. The order to start was at last given by the judges, and as I brought Powder Face up to the score and the word "go" was given, he jumped away so quickly that he left his rider sitting on the ground; notwithstanding he ran through and won the race without him. It was an easy victory, and after that I could get up no more races. Thus passed the time while we were at Fort Sedgwick.
General Carr having obtained a leave of absence, Colonel Royal was given the command of an expedition that was ordered to go out after the Indians, and in a few days—after having rested a couple of weeks—we set out for the Republican; having learned that there were plenty of Indians in that section of the country. At Frenchman's Fork we discovered an Indian village, but did not surprise it, for its people had noticed us approaching, and were retreating when we reached their camping-place. We chased them down the stream, and they finally turned to the left, went north, and crossed the South Platte river five miles above Ogallala. We pushed rapidly after them, following them across the North Platte and on through the sand-hills towards the Niobrara; but as they were making much better time than we, the pursuit was abandoned.
While we were in the sand-hills, scouting the Niobrara country, the Pawnee Indians brought into camp, one night, some very large bones, one of which a surgeon of the expedition pronounced to be the thigh-bone of a human being. The Indians claimed that the bones they had found were those of a person belonging to a race of people who a long time ago lived in this country. That there was once a race of men on the earth whose size was about three times that of an ordinary man, and they were so swift and powerful that they could run along-side of a buffalo, and taking the animal in one arm could tear off a leg and eat the meat as they walked. These giants denied the existence of a Great Spirit, and when they heard the thunder or saw the lightning they laughed at it and said that they were greater than either. This so displeased the Great Spirit that he caused a great rain-storm to come, and the water kept rising higher and higher so that it drove those proud and conceited giants from the low grounds to the hills, and thence to the mountains, but at last even the mountain tops were submerged, and then those mammoth men were all drowned. After the flood had subsided, the Great Spirit came to the conclusion that he had made man too large and powerful, and that he would therefore correct the mistake by creating a race of men of smaller size and less strength. This is the reason, say the Indians, that modern men are small and not like the giants of old, and they claim that this story is a matter of Indian history, which has been handed down among them from time immemorial.
As we had no wagons with us at the time this large and heavy bone was found, we were obliged to leave it.
On returning to Fort McPherson we found that Brevet Major General W.H. Emory, Colonel of the Fifth Cavalry, and Brevet Brigadier General Thomas Duncan, Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, had arrived there during our absence. General Emory had been appointed to the command of the District of the Republican, with headquarters at Fort McPherson. As the command had been continually in the field, it was generally thought that we were to have a long rest; and it looked as if this post was to be my home and headquarters for some time to come. I accordingly sent to St. Louis for my wife and daughter to join me there. General Emory promised to build a house for me, but before the building was completed my family arrived.
During the fall of 1869 there were two or three scouting expeditions sent out; but nothing of very great importance was accomplished by them. I found Fort McPherson to be a lively and pleasant post to be stationed at, especially as there was plenty of game in the vicinity, and within a day's ride there were large herds of deer, antelope and elk.
During the winter of 1869-70 I spent a great deal of time in pursuit of game, and during the season we had two hunting parties of Englishmen there; one party being that of Mr. Flynn, and the other that of George Boyd Houghton, of London—the well known caricaturist. Among their amusements were several horse races, which I arranged, and in which Tall Bull and Powder Face were invariably the winners. Tall Bull by this time had such a reputation as a running horse, that it was difficult to make a race for him. I remember one however, in which he ran against a horse in Captain Spaulding's Company of the Second Cavalry.
This race was rather a novel affair. I had made a bet that Tall Bull would beat the Second Cavalry horse around a one mile track, and, during the time that he was running, I would jump off and on the horse eight times. I rode the horse bareback; seized his mane with my left hand, rested my right on his withers, and while he was going at full speed, I jumped to the ground, and sprang again upon his back, eight times in succession. Such feats I had seen performed in the circus and I had practiced considerably at it with Tall Bull, so that I was certain of winning the race in the manner agreed upon.
Early one morning, in the spring of 1870, the Indians, who had approached during the night, stole some twenty-one head of horses from Mr. John Burke—a Government contractor—Ben. Gallagher and Jack Waite. They also ran off some horses from the post; among the number being my pony Powder Face. The commandant at once ordered out Lieutenant Thomas with Company I of the Fifth Cavalry, and directed me to accompany them as trailer. We discovered the trail after some little difficulty, as the Indians were continually trying to hide it, and followed it sixty miles, when darkness set in.
We were now within about four miles of Red Willow Creek and I felt confident the Indians would camp that night in that vicinity. Advising Lieutenant Thomas to halt his company and "lay low" I proceeded on to the creek, where, moving around cautiously, I suddenly discovered horses feeding in a bend of the stream on the opposite side. I hurried back to the troops with the information, and Lieutenant Thomas moved his company to the bank of the creek, with the intention of remaining there until daylight, and then, if possible, surprise the Indians.
Just at break of day we mounted our horses, and after riding a short distance we ascended a slight elevation, when, not over one hundred yards distant, we looked down into the Indian camp. The Indians, preparing to make an early start, had driven up their horses and were in the act of mounting, when they saw us charging down upon them. In a moment they sprang upon their ponies and dashed away. Had it not been for the creek, which lay between us and them, we would have got them before they could have mounted their horses; but as it was rather miry, we were unexpectedly delayed. The Indians fired some shots at us while we were crossing, but as soon as we got across we went for them in hot pursuit. A few of the red-skins had not had time to mount and had started on foot down the creek toward the brush. One of these was killed.
A number of our soldiers, who had been detailed before the charge to gather up any of the Indian horses that would be stampeded, succeeded in capturing thirty-two. I hurriedly looked over them to see if Powder Face was among them; but he was not there. Starting in pursuit of the fugitives I finally espied an Indian mounted on my favorite, dashing away and leading all the others. We continued the chase for two or three miles, overtaking a couple who were mounted upon one horse. Coming up behind them I fired my rifle, when about thirty feet distant; the ball passed through the backs of both, and they fell headlong to the ground; but I made no stop however just then, for I had my eye on the gentleman who was riding Powder Face. It seemed to be fun for him to run away from us, and run away he did, for the last I saw of him was when he went over a divide, about three miles away. I bade him adieu. On my way back to the Indian camp I stopped and secured the war bonnets and accoutrements of the pair I had killed, and at the same time gently "raised their hair."
We were feeling rather tired and hungry, as we had started out on the trail thirty-six hours before without a breakfast or taking any food with us; but not a murmur or complaint was heard among the men. In the abandoned Indian camp, however, we found enough dried buffalo meat to give us all a meal, and after remaining there for two hours, to rest our animals, we started on our return to Fort McPherson, where we arrived at night, having traveled 130 miles in two days.
This being the first fight Lieutenant Thomas had ever commanded in, he felt highly elated over his success, and hoped that his name would be mentioned in the special orders for gallantry; sure enough when we returned both he, myself and the whole command received a complimentary mention in a special order. This he certainly deserved for he was a brave, energetic, dashing little officer. The war bonnets which I had captured I turned over to General Carr, with the request that he present them to General Augur, whose daughters were visiting at the post at the time.
Shortly after this, another expedition was organized at Fort McPherson for the Republican river country. It was commanded by General Duncan, who was a jolly, blustering old fellow, and the officers who knew him well, said that we would have a good time, as he was very fond of hunting. He was a good fighter, and one of the officers said that an Indian bullet never could hurt him, as he had been shot in the head with a cannon ball which had not injured him in the least; another said the ball glanced off and killed one of the toughest mules in the army.
The Pawnee scouts who had been mustered out of service, during the winter of 1869 and '70, were reorganized to accompany this expedition. I was glad of this, as I had become quite attached to one of the officers, Major North, and to many of the Indians. The only white scout we had at the post, besides myself at that time, was John Y. Nelson, whose Indian name was Cha-Sha-Cha-Opoyeo,[C] which interpreted means Red-Willow-Fill-the-Pipe. This man is a character in his way; he has a Sioux squaw for a wife, and consequently a half-breed family. John is a good fellow, though as a liar he has but few equals and no superior.
[Footnote C: Since traveled with me in my Dramatic Combination as interpreter for Sioux Indians.]
We started out from the post with the regimental band playing the lively air of "The Girl I Left Behind Me." We made but a short march that day, and camped at night at the head of Fox Creek. Next morning General Duncan sent me word by his orderly that I was to bring up my gun and shoot at a mark with him; but I can assure the reader that I did not feel much like shooting anything except myself, for on the night before, I had returned to Fort McPherson and spent several hours in interviewing the sutler's store, in Company with Major Brown. I looked around for my gun, and found that I had left it behind. The last I could remember about it was that I had it at the sutler's store. I informed Major Brown of my loss, who said that I was a nice scout to start out without a gun. I replied that that was not the worst of it, as General Duncan had sent for me to shoot a match with him, and I did not know what to do; for if the old gentleman discovered my predicament, he would very likely severely reprimand me.
"Well, Cody," said he, "the best you can do is to make some excuse, and then go and borrow a gun from some of the men, and tell the General that you lent yours to some man to go hunting with to-day. While we are waiting here, I will send back to the post and get your rifle for you."
I succeeded in obtaining a gun from John Nelson, and then marching up to the General's headquarters I shot the desired match with him, which resulted in his favor.
This was the first scout the Pawnees had been out on under command of General Duncan, and in stationing his guards around the camp he posted them in a manner entirely different from that of General Carr and Colonel Royal, and he insisted that the different posts should call out the hour of the night thus:
"Post No. 1, nine o'clock, all is well! Post No. 2, nine o'clock, all is well!" etc.
The Pawnees, who had their regular turns at standing upon guard, were ordered to call the hour the same as the white soldiers. This was very difficult for them to do, as there were but few of them who could express themselves in English. Major North explained to them that when the man on post next to them should call out the hour, they must call it also as near like him as possible. It was very amusing to hear them do this. They would try to remember what the other man had said on the post next to them. For instance, a white soldier would call out: "Post No. I, half-past nine o'clock, all is well!" The Indian standing next to him knew that he was bound to say something in English, and he would sing out something like the following:
"Poss number half pass five cents—go to ——! I don't care!"
This system was really so ridiculous and amusing that the General had to give it up, and the order was accordingly countermanded.
Nothing of any great interest occurred on this march, until one day, while proceeding up Prairie Dog Creek,[D] Major North and myself went out in advance of the command several miles and killed a number of buffaloes. Night was approaching, and I began to look around for a suitable camping ground for the command. Major North dismounted from his horse and was resting, while I rode down to the stream to see if there was plenty of grass in the vicinity. I found an excellent camping spot, and returning to Major North told him that I would ride over the hill a little way, so that the advance guard could see me. This I did, and when the advance came in sight I dismounted and laid down upon the grass to rest.
[Footnote D: Near the lonely camp where I had so long been laid up with a broken leg, when trapping years before with Dave Harrington.]
Suddenly I heard three or four shots, and in a few moments Major North came dashing up towards me, pursued by eight or ten Indians. I instantly sprang into my saddle, and fired a few shots at the Indians, who by this time had all come in sight, to the number of fifty. We turned our horses and ran, the bullets flying after us thick and fast—my whip being shot from my hand and daylight being put through the crown of my hat. We were in close quarters, when suddenly Lieutenant Valkmar came galloping up to our relief with several soldiers, and the Indians seeing them whirled and retreated. As soon as Major North got in sight of his Pawnees, he began riding in a circle. This was a sign to them that there were hostile Indians in front, and in a moment the Pawnees broke ranks pell-mell and, with Major North at their head, started for the flying warriors. The rest of the command pushed rapidly forward also, and chased the enemy for three or four miles, killing three of them.
But this was a wrong move on our part, as their village was on Prairie Dog Creek, while they led us in a different direction; one Indian only kept straight on up the creek—a messenger to the village. Some of the command, who had followed him, stirred up the village and accelerated its departure. We finally got back to the main force, and then learned that we had made a great mistake. Now commenced another stern chase.
The second day that we had been following these Indians we came upon an old squaw, whom they had left on the prairie to die. Her people had built for her a little shade or lodge, and had given her some provisions, sufficient to last her on her trip to the Happy Hunting grounds. This the Indians often do when pursued by an enemy, and one of their number becomes too old and feeble to travel any longer. This squaw was recognized by John Nelson who said that she was a relative of his wife. From her we learned that the flying Indians were known as Pawnee, Killer's band, and that they had lately killed Buck's surveying party, consisting of eight or nine men; the massacre having occurred a few days before on Beaver Creek. We knew that they had had a fight with surveyors, as we found quite a number of surveying instruments, which had been left in the abandoned camp. We drove these Indians across the Platte river and then returned to Fort McPherson, bringing the old squaw with us, from there she was sent to the Spotted Tail Agency.
During my absence, my wife had given birth to a son, and he was several weeks old when I returned. No name had yet been given him and I selected that of Elmo Judson, in honor of Ned Buntline; but this the officers and scouts objected to. Major Brown proposed that we should call him Kit Carson, and it was finally settled that that should be his name.
During the summer we made one or two more scouts and had a few skirmishes with the Indians: but nothing of any great importance transpired. In the fall of 1870, while I was a witness in a court martial at Fort D.A. Russell I woke up one morning and found that I was dead broke;—this is not an unusual occurrence to a frontiersman, or an author I may add, especially when he is endeavoring to kill time—to raise necessary funds I sold my race horse Tall Bull to Lieutenant Mason, who had long wanted him.
In the winter of 1870 and 1871 I first met George Watts Garland, an English gentleman, and a great hunter, whom I had the pleasure of guiding on several hunts and with whom I spent some weeks. During the winter I also took several parties out on the Loupe River country, hunting and trapping. Although I was still chief of scouts I did not have much to do, as the Indians were comparatively quiet, thus giving me plenty of time for sporting.
In the spring of 1871 several short scouting expeditions were sent out from Fort McPherson, but all with minor results.
About this time General Emory was considerably annoyed by petty offenses committed in the vicinity of the post, and as there was no justice of the peace in the neighborhood, he was anxious to have such an officer there to attend to the civilians; one day he remarked to me that I would make an excellent justice.
"General, you compliment me rather too highly, for I don't know any more about law than a government mule does about book-keeping," said I.
"That doesn't make any difference," said he, "for I know that you will make a good 'Squire." He accordingly had the county commissioners appoint me to the office of justice of the peace, and I soon received my commission.
One morning a man came rushing up to my house and stated that he wanted to get out a writ of replevin, to recover possession of a horse which a stranger was taking out of the country. I had no blank forms, and had not yet received the statutes of Nebraska to copy from, so I asked the man:
"Where is the fellow who has got your horse?"
"He is going up the road, and is about two miles away," replied he.
"Very well," said I, "I will get the writ ready in a minute or two."
I saddled up my horse, and then taking my old reliable gun, "Lucretia," I said to the man: "That's the best writ of replevin that I can think of; come along, and we'll get that horse, or know the reason why."
We soon overtook the stranger who was driving a herd of horses, and as we came up to him, I said:
"Hello, sir; I am an officer, and have an attachment for that horse," and at the same time I pointed out the animal.
"Well, sir, what are you going to do about it?" he inquired.
"I propose to take you and the horse back to the post," said I.
"You can take the horse," said he, "but I haven't the time to return with you."
"You'll have to take the time, or pay the costs here and now," said I.
"How much are the costs?"
"Here's your money," said he, as he handed me the greenbacks.
I then gave him a little friendly advice, and told him that he was released from custody. He went on his way a wiser and a poorer man, while the owner of the horse and myself returned to the fort. I pocketed the twenty dollars, of course. Some people might think it was not a square way of doing business, but I didn't know any better just then. I had several little cases of this kind, and I became better posted on law in the course of time, being assisted by Lieutenant Burr Reilly, of the Fifth Cavalry, who had been educated for a lawyer.
One evening I was called upon to perform a marriage ceremony. The bridegroom was one of the sergeants of the post. I had "braced up" for the occasion by imbibing rather freely of stimulants, and when I arrived at the house, with a copy of the Statutes of Nebraska, which I had recently received, I felt somewhat confused. Whether my bewilderment was owing to the importance of the occasion and the large assembly, or to the effect of Louis Woodin's "tanglefoot," I cannot now distinctly remember—but my suspicions have always been that it was due to the latter cause. I looked carefully through the statutes to find the marriage ceremony, but my efforts were unsuccessful. Finally the time came for the knot to be tied. I told the couple to stand up, and then I said to the bridegroom:
"Do you take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife, to support and love her through life?"
"I do," was the reply.
Then addressing myself to the bride, I said, "Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband through life, to love, honor and obey him?"
"I do," was her response.
"Then join hands," said I to both of them; "I now pronounce you to be man and wife, and whomsoever God and Buffalo Bill have joined together let no man put asunder. May you live long and prosper. Amen."
This concluded the interesting ceremony, which was followed by the usual festivities on such occasions. I was highly complimented for the elegant and eloquent manner in which I had tied the matrimonial knot.
During the summer of 1871, Professor Marsh, of Yale College, came out to McPherson, with a large party of students to have a hunt and to look for fossils. Professor Marsh had heard of the big bone which had been found by the Pawnees in the Niobrara country, and he intended to look for that as well as other bones. He accordingly secured the services of Major Frank North and the Pawnees as an escort. I was also to accompany the bone-hunters, and would have done so had it not been for the fact that just at that time I was ordered out with a small scouting party to go after some Indians.
The day before the Professor arrived at the fort, I had been out hunting on the north side of the North Platte River, near Pawnee Springs, with several companions, when we were suddenly attacked by Indians, who wounded one of our number, John Weister. We stood the Indians off for a little while, and Weister got even with them by killing one of their party. The Indians, however, outnumbered us, and at last we were forced to make a run for our lives. In this we succeeded, and reached the fort in safety. The General wanted to have the Indians pursued, and said he could not spare me to accompany Professor Marsh.
However, I had the opportunity to make the acquaintance of the eminent Professor, whom I found to be not only a well-posted person but a very entertaining gentleman. He gave me a geological history of the country; told me in what section fossils were to be found; and otherwise entertained me with several scientific yarns, some of which seemed too complicated and too mysterious to be believed by an ordinary man like myself; but it was all clear to him. I rode out with him several miles, as he was starting on his bone-hunting expedition, and I greatly enjoyed the ride. His party had been provided with Government transportation and his students were all mounted on Government horses.
As we rode along he delivered a scientific lecture, and he convinced me that he knew what he was talking about. I finally bade him good-bye, and returned to the post. While the fossil-hunters were out on their expedition, we had several lively little skirmishes with the Indians. After having been absent some little time Professor Marsh and his party came back with their wagons loaded down with all kinds of bones, and the Professor was in his glory. He had evidently struck a bone-yard, and "gad!"[E] wasn't he happy! But they had failed to find the big bone which the Pawnees had unearthed the year before.
[Footnote E: A favorite expression of the Professor's.]
Early in the month of September, 1871, information was received at Fort McPherson that General Sheridan and a party of invited friends were coming out to the post to have a grand hunt in the vicinity, and to explore the country from McPherson to Fort Hays, in Kansas. On the morning of September 22d they arrived in a special car at North Platte, a station on the Union Pacific, distant eighteen miles from Fort McPherson.
The party consisted of General Sheridan, Lawrence R. Jerome, James Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald; Leonard W. Jerome, Carroll Livingston, Major J.G. Hecksher, General Fitzhugh, General H.E. Davies, Captain M. Edward Rogers, Colonel J. Scuyler Crosby, Samuel Johnson, General Anson Stager, of the Western Union Telegraph Company; Charles Wilson, editor of the Chicago Evening Journal; General Rucker, Quartermaster-General, and Dr. Asch—the two last-named being of General Sheridan's staff. They were met at the station by General Emory and Major Brown, with a cavalry company as escort and a sufficient number of vehicles to carry the distinguished visitors and their baggage.
A brisk drive of less than two hours over a hard and smooth road brought them to the fort, where they found the garrison, consisting of five companies of the Fifth Cavalry, under the command of General Carr, out on parade awaiting their arrival. The band played some martial music, and the cavalry passed very handsomely in review before General Sheridan. The guests were then most hospitably received, and assigned to comfortable quarters.
Lieutenant Hayes, the quartermaster of the expedition, arranged everything for the comfort of the party. One hundred cavalry under command of Major Brown were detailed as an escort. A train of sixteen wagons was provided to carry the baggage, supplies, and forage for the trip; and, besides these, there were three four-horse ambulances in which the guns were carried, and in which members of the party who became weary of the saddle might ride and rest. At General Sheridan's request I was to accompany the expedition; he introduced me to all his friends, and gave me a good send-off.
During the afternoon and evening the gentlemen were all entertained at the post in a variety of ways, including dinner and supper parties, and music and dancing; at a late hour they retired to rest in their tents at the camp which they occupied outside the post—named Camp Rucker in honor of General Rucker.
At five o'clock next morning a cavalry bugle sounded the reveille, and soon all were astir in the camp, preparatory to pulling out for the first day's march. I rose fresh and eager for the trip, and as it was a nobby and high-toned outfit which I was to accompany, I determined to put on a little style myself. So I dressed in a new suit of light buckskin, trimmed along the seams with fringes of the same material; and I put on a crimson shirt handsomely ornamented on the bosom, while on my head I wore a broad sombrero. Then mounting a snowy white horse—a gallant stepper—I rode down from the fort to the camp, rifle in hand. I felt first-rate that morning, and looked well.
The expedition was soon under way. Our road for ten miles wound through a wooded ravine called Cottonwood Canon, intersecting the high ground, or divide, as it is called, between the Platte and Republican Rivers. Upon emerging from the canon we found ourselves upon the plains. First in the line rode General Sheridan, followed by his guests, and then the orderlies. Then came the ambulances, in one of which were carried five greyhounds, brought along to course the antelope and rabbit. With the ambulances marched a pair of Indian ponies belonging to Lieutenant Hayes—captured during some Indian fight—and harnessed to a light wagon, which General Sheridan occasionally used. These little horses, but thirteen hands high, showed more vigor and endurance than any other of the animals we had with us. Following the ambulances came the main body of the escort and the supply wagons.
We marched seventeen miles the first day, and went into camp on Fox Creek, a tributary of the Republican. No hunting had as yet been done; but I informed the gentlemen of the party that we would strike the buffalo country the next day. A hundred or more questions were then asked me by this one and that one, and the whole evening was spent principally in buffalo talk, sandwiched with stories of the plains—both of war and of the chase. Several of the party, who were good vocalists, gave us some excellent music. We closed the evening by christening the camp, naming it Camp Brown, in honor of the gallant officer in command of the escort.
At three o'clock next morning the bugle called us to an early start. We had breakfast at half-past four, and at six were in the saddle. All were eager to see and shoot the buffaloes which I assured them we would certainly meet during the day. After marching five miles, the advance guard, of which I had the command, discovered six buffaloes grazing at a distance of about two miles from us. We returned to the hunters with this information, and they at once consulted with me as to the best way to attack the "enemy."
Acting upon my suggestions, Fitzhugh, Crosby, Lawrence Jerome, Livingston, Hecksher and Rogers, accompanied by myself as guide, rode through a convenient canon to a point beyond the buffaloes, so that we were to the windward of the animals. The rest of the party made a detour of nearly five miles, keeping behind the crest of a hill. We charged down upon the buffaloes, at full gallop, and just then the other party emerged from their concealment and witnessed the exciting chase. The buffaloes started off in a line, single file. Fitzhugh, after a lively gallop, led us all and soon came alongside the rear buffalo, at which he fired. The animal faltered, and then with another shot Fitzhugh brought him to the ground. Crosby dashed by him and leveled another of the herd, while Livingston dropped a third. Those who were not directly engaged in the hunt now came up and congratulated the men upon their success, and Fitzhugh was at once hailed as the winner of the buffalo cup; while all sympathized with Hecksher, whose chance had been the best at the start, but who lost by reason of his horse falling and rolling over him.
The hunt being over, the column moved forward on its march passing through a prairie-dog town, several miles in extent. These animals are found throughout the plains, living together in a sort of society; their numberless burrows in their "towns" adjoin each other, so that great care is necessary in riding through these places, as the ground is so undermined as often to fall in under the weight of a horse. Around the entrance to their holes the ground is piled up almost a foot high; on these little elevations the prairie-dogs sit upon their hind legs, chattering to each other and observing whatever passes on the plains. They will permit a person to approach quite near, but when they have viewed him closely, they dive into their dens with wonderful quickness. They are difficult to kill, and if hit, generally succeed in crawling underground before they can be captured. Rattlesnakes and small owls are generally found in great numbers in the prairie-dog towns, and live in the same holes with the dogs on friendly terms. A few of the prairie-dogs were killed, and were found to be very palatable eating.
A short distance beyond the dog town we discovered a settlement of five white men, who proved to be the two Clifford brothers, Arthur Ruff, Dick Seymour and John Nelson—the latter already referred to in these pages. Each of them had a squaw wife and numerous half-breed children, living in tents of buffalo skins. They owned a herd of horses and mules and a few cattle, and had cultivated a small piece of land. Their principal occupation was hunting, and they had a large number of buffalo hides, which, they had tanned in the Indian manner.
Upon reaching Pleasant Valley, on Medicine Creek, our party divided into two detachments—one hunting along the bank of the stream for elk or deer, and the other remaining with the main body of the escort. The elk hunters met with no success whatever, but the others ran across plenty of buffaloes, and nearly everybody killed one or more before the day was over. Lawrence Jerome made an excellent shot; while riding in an ambulance he killed a buffalo which attempted to cross the line of march.
At about four o'clock P.M., we arrived at Mitchell's Fork of the Medicine, having traveled thirty-five miles during that day, and there we went into camp—calling it Camp Jack Hayes, in honor of Lieutenant Hayes.
On the next morning, the 25th, we moved out of camp at eight o'clock. The party was very successful through the day in securing game, Hecksher, Fitzhugh, Livingston and Lieutenant Hayes; and in fact all did good shooting.
Lawrence Jerome persuaded me to let him ride Buckskin Joe, the best buffalo horse in the whole outfit, and on his back he did wonders among the buffaloes. Leonard Jerome, Bennett and Rogers also were very successful in buffalo hunting.
Our camp of this night was named Camp Asch to commemorate our surgeon, Dr. Asch. The evening was pleasantly spent around the camp fires in relating the adventures of the day.
Upon crossing the Republican river on the morning of the 26th, we came upon an immense number of buffaloes scattered over the country in every direction, as far as the eye could reach and all had an opportunity to do as much hunting as they wished. The wagons and troops moved slowly along in the direction of the next camp, while the hunters went off separately, or by twos and threes, in different directions, and all were rewarded with abundant success. Lawrence Jerome, however, had his career suddenly checked. He had dismounted to make a steady and careful shot, and thoughtlessly let go of the bridle. The buffalo failing to take a tumble, as he ought to have done, started off at a lively gait, followed by Buckskin Joe—the horse being determined to do some hunting on his own account—the last seen of him, he was a little ahead of the buffalo, and gaining slightly, leaving his late rider to his own reflections and the prospect of a tramp; his desolate condition was soon discovered and another horse warranted not to run under any provocation, was sent to him. It maybe stated here that three days afterwards, as I subsequently learned, Buckskin Joe, all saddled and bridled, turned up at Fort McPherson.
We pitched our tents for the night in a charming spot on the bank of Beaver Creek. The game was so abundant that we remained there one day. This stopping place was called. Camp Cody, in honor of the reader's humble servant.
The next day was spent in hunting jack-rabbits, coyotes, elks, antelopes and wild turkeys. We had a splendid dinner as will be seen from the following:
BILL OF FARE.
SOUP. Buffalo Tail.
FISH. Cisco broiled, fried Dace.
ENTREES. Salmi of Prairie Dog, Stewed Rabbit, Fillet of Buffalo, Aux Champignons.
ROAST. Elk, Antelope, Black-tailed Deer, Wild Turkey.
BROILED. Teal, Mallard, Antelope Chops, Buffalo-Calf Steaks, Young Wild Turkey.
VEGETABLES. Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Green Peas.
DESSERT. Tapioca Pudding.
WINES. Champagne Frappe, Champagne au Naturel, Claret, Whiskey, Brandy, Bass' Ale.
This I considered a pretty square meal for a party of hunters, and everybody did ample justice to it.
In the evening a court-martial was held, at which I presided as chief justice. We tried one of the gentlemen for aiding and abetting in the loss of a government horse, and for having something to do with the mysterious disappearance of a Colt's pistol. He was charged also with snoring in a manner that was regarded as fiendish, and with committing a variety of other less offenses too numerous to mention.
The accused made a feeble defense as to the pistol, and claimed that instead of losing a government horse, the fact was that the horse had lost him. His statements were all regarded as "too thin," and finally failing to prove good character, he confessed all, and threw himself upon the mercy of the court. The culprit was Lawrence Jerome.
As chief justice I delivered the opinion of the court, which my modesty does not prevent me from saying, was done in an able and dignified manner; as an act of clemency I suspended judgment for the time being, remarking that while the camp fire held out to burn, the vilest sinner might return; and in hope of the accused's amendment, I would defer pronouncing sentence. The trial afforded its considerable amusement, and gave me a splendid opportunity to display the legal knowledge which I had acquired while acting as justice of the peace at Fort McPherson.
On the morning of the 28th the command crossed the South Beaver, distant nine miles from Camp Cody, and then striking a fair road we made a rapid march until we reached our camp on Short Nose or Prairie Dog Creek, about 2 P. M., after having made twenty-four miles. The remainder of the afternoon was spent in hunting buffaloes and turkeys. Camp Stager was the name given to this place, in honor of General Stager, of the Western Union Telegraph Company.
The next day we made a march of twenty-four miles, and then halted at about 1 P. M. on the North Solomon River. This day we killed three buffaloes, two antelopes, two raccoons, and three teal ducks. Near our camp, which we named Camp Leonard Jerome, was a beaver dam some six feet high and twenty yards wide; it was near the junction of two streams, and formed a pond of at least four acres.
On the 30th we traveled twenty-five miles, and during the march nine turkeys, two rabbits, and three or four buffaloes were killed. We went into camp on the bank of the South Fork of the Solomon River and called the place Camp Sam Johnson. We were now but forty-five miles from Fort Hays, the point at which General Sheridan and his guests expected to strike the Kansas Pacific Railway, and thence return home. That evening I volunteered to ride to Fort Hays and meet the party next day, bringing with me all the letters that might be at the post. Taking the best horse in the command I started out, expecting to make the trip in about four hours.
The next morning the command got an early start and traveled thirty miles to Saline River, where they made their last camp on the plains. As some of the party were attacking a herd of buffaloes, I rode in from Fort Hays and got into the middle of the herd, and killed a buffalo or two before the hunters observed me. I brought a large number of letters, which proved welcome reading matter.
In the evening we gathered around the camp-fire for the last time. The duty of naming the camp, which was called Camp Davies, having been duly performed, we all united in making that night the pleasantest of all that we had spent together. We had eloquent speeches, songs, and interesting anecdotes. I was called upon, and entertained the gentlemen with some lively Indian stories.
The excursionists reached Fort Hays, distant fifteen miles, on the morning of October 2d, where we pitched our tents for the last time, and named the camp in honor of Mr. Hecksher. That same afternoon General Sheridan and his guests took the train for the East, after bidding Major Browa, Lieutenant Hayes and myself a hearty good-bye, and expressing themselves as greatly pleased with their hunt, and the manner in which they had been escorted and guided.
It will be proper and fair to state here that General Davies afterwards wrote an interesting account of this hunt and published it in a neat volume of sixty-eight pages, under the title of "Ten Days on the Plains." I would have inserted the volume bodily in this book, were it not for the fact that the General has spoken in a rather too complimentary manner of me. However, I have taken the liberty in this chapter to condense from the little volume, and in some places I have used the identical language of General Davies without quoting the same; in fact, to do the General justice, I ought to close this chapter with several lines of quotation marks to be pretty generally distributed by the reader throughout my account of our ten days' hunt.
Soon after the departure of General Sheridan's party, we returned to Fort McPherson and found General Carr about to start out on a twenty days' scout, not so much for the purpose of finding Indians, but more for the object of taking some friends on a hunt. His guests were a couple of Englishmen,—whose names I cannot now remember—and Mr. McCarthy, of Syracuse, New York, who was a relative of General Emory. The command consisted of three companies of the Fifth Cavalry, one company of Pawnee Indians, and twenty-five wagons. Of course I was called on to accompany the expedition.
One day, after we had been out from the post for some little time, I was hunting on Deer Creek, in company with Mr. McCarthy, about eight miles from the command. I had been wishing for several days to play a joke on him, and had arranged a plan with Captain Lute North to carry it into execution. I had informed North at about what time we would be on Deer Creek, and it was agreed that he should appear in the vicinity with some of his Pawnees, who were to throw their blankets around them, and come dashing down upon us, firing and whooping in true Indian style; while he was to either conceal or disguise himself. This programme was faithfully and completely carried out. I had been talking about Indians to McCarthy, and he had become considerably excited, when just as we turned a bend of the creek, we saw not half a mile from us about twenty Indians, who instantly started for us on a gallop, firing their guns and yelling at the top of their voices.
"McCarthy, shall we dismount and fight, or run?" said I.
He didn't wait to reply, but wheeling his horse, started at full speed down the creek, losing his hat and dropping his gun; away he went, never once looking back to see if he was being pursued. I tried to stop him by yelling at him and saying that it was all right, as the Indians were Pawnees. Unfortunately he did not hear me, but kept straight on, not stopping his horse until he reached the camp.
I knew that he would tell General Carr that the Indians had jumped him, and that the General would soon start out with the troops. So as soon as the Pawnees rode up to me I told them to remain there while I went after my friend. I rode after him as fast as possible, but he had arrived at the command some time before me and when I got there the General had, as I had suspected he would do, ordered out two companies of cavalry to go in pursuit of the Indians. I told the General that the Indians were only some Pawnees, who had been out hunting and that they had merely played a joke upon us. I forgot to inform him that I had put up the trick, but as he was always fond of a good joke himself, he did not get very angry. I had picked up McCarthy's hat and gun which I returned to him, and it was some time afterwards before he discovered who was at the bottom of the affair.
When we returned to Fort McPherson we found there Mr. Royal Buck, whose father had been killed with his entire party by Pawnee Killer's band of Indians on the Beaver Creek. He had a letter from the commanding officer of the Department requesting that he be furnished with an escort to go in search of the remains of his father and the party. Two companies of cavalry were sent with him and I accompanied them as guide. As the old squaw, which we had captured, and of which mention is made in a previous chapter, could not exactly tell us the place on Beaver Creek where the party had been killed, we searched the country over for two days and discovered no signs of the murdered men. At last, however, our efforts were rewarded with success. We found pieces of their wagons and among other things an old letter or two which Mr. Buck recognized as his father's handwriting. We then discovered some of the remains, which we buried; but nothing further. It was now getting late in the fall and we accordingly returned to Fort McPherson.
A short time after this the Fifth Cavalry was ordered to Arizona, a not very desirable country to soldier in. I had become greatly attached to the officers of the regiment, having been continually with them for over three years, and had about made up my mind to accompany them, when a letter was received from General Sheridan instructing the commanding officer "not to take Cody" with him, and saying that I was to remain in my old position. In a few days the command left for its destination, taking the cars at McPherson Station, where I bade my old friends adieu. During the next few weeks I had but little to do, as the post was garrisoned by infantry, awaiting the arrival of the Third Cavalry.
HUNTING WITH A GRAND DUKE.
About the first of January, 1872, General Forsyth and Dr. Asch, of Sheridan's staff came out to Fort McPherson to make preparations for a big buffalo hunt for the Grand Duke Alexis, of Russia; and as this was to be no ordinary affair, these officers had been sent by General Sheridan to have all the necessary arrangements perfected by the time the Grand Duke should arrive. They learned from me that there were plenty of buffaloes in the vicinity and especially on the Red Willow, sixty miles distant. They said they would like to go over on the Red Willow and pick out a suitable place for the camp; they also inquired the location of the Spotted Tail, Sioux Indians. Spotted Tail had permission from the Government to hunt the buffalo, with his people during the winter, in the Republican river country. It was my opinion that they were located somewhere on the Frenchman's Fork about one hundred and fifty miles from Fort McPherson.
General Sheridan's commissioners informed me, that he wished me to visit Spotted Tail's camp, and induce about one hundred of the leading warriors and chiefs, to come to the point where it should be decided to locate the Alexis hunting camp, and to be there by the time the Grand Duke should arrive, so that he could see a body of American Indians and observe the manner in which they killed buffaloes. The Indians would also be called upon to give a grand war dance in honor of the distinguished visitor.
Next morning General Forsyth and Dr. Asch, accompanied by Captain Hays, who had been left at Fort McPherson in charge of the Fifth Cavalry horses, taking an ambulance and a light wagon, to carry their tents, and provisions sufficient to last them two or three days; started, under my guidance, with a small escort, for Red Willow Creek, arriving there at night. The next day we selected a pleasant camping place on a little knoll in the valley of the Red Willow. General Forsyth and his party returned to the post the next day while I left for Spotted Tail's camp.
The weather was very cold and I found my journey by no means a pleasant one as I was obliged to camp out with only my saddle blankets; and besides, there was more or less danger from the Indians themselves; for, although Spotted Tail himself was friendly, I was afraid I might have difficulty in getting into his camp. I was liable at any moment to run into a party of his young men who might be out hunting, and as I had many enemies among the Sioux, I would be running considerable risk in meeting them.
At the end of the first day I camped on Stinking Water, a tributary of the Frenchman's Fork, where I built a little fire in the timber; but it was so very cold I was not able to sleep much. Getting an early start in the morning I followed up the Frenchman's Fork and late in the afternoon I could see, from the fresh horse tracks and from the dead buffaloes lying here and there, recently killed, that I was nearing Spotted Tail's camp. I rode on for a few miles further, and then hiding my horse in a low ravine, I crawled up a high hill, where I obtained a good view of the country. I could see for four or five miles up the creek, and got sight of a village and of two or three hundred ponies in its vicinity. I waited until night came and then I succeeded in riding into the Indian camp unobserved.
I had seen Spotted Tail's camp when he came from the north and I knew the kind of lodge he was living in. As I entered the village I wrapped a blanket around my head so that the Indians could not tell whether I was a white or a red man. In this way I rode around until I found Spotted Tail's lodge. Dismounting from my horse I opened his tent door and looked in and saw the old chief lying on some robes. I spoke to him and he recognized me at once and invited me to enter. Inside the lodge I found a white man, an old frontiersman, Todd Randall, who was Spotted Tail's agent and who had lived a great many years with the Indians. He understood their language perfectly and did all the interpreting for Spotted Tail. Through him I readily communicated with the chief and informed him of my errand. I told him that the warriors and chiefs would greatly please General Sheridan if they would meet him in about ten sleeps at the old Government crossing of the Red Willow. I further informed him that there was a great chief from across the water who was coming there to visit him. Spotted Tail replied that he would be very glad to go; that the next morning he would call his people together and select those who would accompany him. I told Spotted Tail how I had entered his camp. He replied that I had acted wisely; that although his people were friendly, yet some of his young men had a grudge against me, and I might have had difficulty with them had I met them away from the village. He directed his squaw to get me something to eat, and ordered that my horse be taken care of, and upon his invitation I spent the remainder of the night in his lodge.
Next morning the chiefs and warriors assembled according to orders, and to them was stated the object of my visit. They were asked:
"Do you know who this man is?"
"Yes, we know him well," replied one, "that is Pa-he-haska," (that being my name among the Sioux, which translated means "Long Hair") "that is our old enemy," a great many of the Indians, who were with Spotted Tail at this time, had been driven out of the Republican country.
"That is he," said Spotted Tail. "I want all my people to be kind to him and treat him as my friend."
I noticed that several of them were looking daggers at me. They appeared as if they wished to raise my hair then and there. Spotted Tail motioned and I followed him into his lodge, and thereupon the Indians dispersed. Having the assurance of Spotted Tail that none of the young men would follow me I started back for the Red Willow, arriving the second night.
There I found Captain Egan with a company of the Second Cavalry and a wagon train loaded with tents, grain, provisions, etc. The men were leveling off the ground and were making preparations to put up large wall tents for the Grand Duke Alexis and his suite, and for General Sheridan, his staff and other officers, and invited guests of the party. Proceeding to Fort McPherson I reported what had been done. Thereupon Quartermaster Hays selected from the five or six hundred horses in his charge, seventy-five of the very best, which were sent to the Red Willow, to be used by Alexis and his party at the coming hunt. In a day or two a large supply of provisions, liquors, etc., arrived from Chicago, together with bedding and furniture for the tents; all of which were sent over to Camp Alexis.
At last, on the morning of the 12th of January, 1872, the Grand Duke and party arrived at North Platte by special train; in charge of a Mr. Francis Thompson. Captain Hays and myself, with five or six ambulances, fifteen or twenty extra saddle-horses and a company of cavalry under Captain Egan, were at the depot in time to receive them. Presently General Sheridan and a large, fine-looking young man, whom we at once concluded to be the Grand Duke came out of the cars and approached us. General Sheridan at once introduced me to the Grand Duke as Buffalo Bill, for he it was, and said that I was to take charge of him and show him how to kill buffalo.
In less than half an hour the whole party were dashing away towards the south, across the South Platte and towards the Medicine; upon reaching which point we halted for a change of horses and a lunch. Resuming our ride we reached Camp Alexis in the afternoon. General Sheridan was well pleased with the arrangements that had been made and was delighted to find that Spotted Tail and his Indians had arrived on time. They were objects of great curiosity to the Grand Duke, who spent considerable time in looking at them, and watching their exhibitions of horsemanship, sham fights, etc. That evening the Indians gave the grand war dance, which I had arranged for.
General Custer, who was one of the hunting party, carried on a mild flirtation with one of Spotted Tail's daughters, who had accompanied her father thither, and it was noticed also that the Duke Alexis paid considerable attention to another handsome red-skin maiden. The night passed pleasantly, and all retired with great expectations of having a most enjoyable and successful buffalo hunt. The Duke Alexis asked me a great many questions as to how we shot buffaloes, and what kind of a gun or pistol we used, and if he was going to have a good horse. I told him that he was to have my celebrated buffalo horse Buckskin Joe, and when we went into a buffalo herd all he would have to do was to sit on the horse's back and fire away.
At nine o'clock next morning we were all in our saddles, and in a few minutes were galloping over the prairies in search of a buffalo herd. We had not gone far before we observed a herd some distance ahead of us crossing our way; after that we proceeded cautiously, so as to keep out of sight until we were ready to make a charge.
Of course the main thing was to give Alexis the first chance and the best shot at the buffaloes, and when all was in readiness we dashed over a little knoll that had hidden us from view, and in a few minutes we were among them. Alexis at first preferred to use his pistol instead of a gun. He fired six shots from this weapon at buffaloes only twenty feet away from him, but as he shot wildly, not one of his bullets took effect. Riding up to his side and seeing that his weapon was empty, I exchanged pistols with him. He again fired six shots, without dropping a buffalo.
Seeing that the animals were bound to make their escape without his killing one of them, unless he had a better weapon, I rode up to him, gave him my old reliable "Lucretia," and told him to urge his horse close to the buffaloes, and I would then give him the word when to shoot. At the same time I gave old Buckskin Joe a blow with my whip, and with a few jumps the horse carried the Grand Duke to within about ten feet of a big buffalo bull.
"Now is your time," said I. He fired, and down went the buffalo. The Grand Duke stopped his horse, dropped his gun on the ground, and commenced waving his hat. When his suite came galloping up, he began talking to them in a tongue which I could not understand. Presently General Sheridan joined the group, and the ambulances were brought up. Very soon the corks began to fly from the champagne bottles, in honor of the Grand Duke Alexis, who had killed the first buffalo.
It was reported in a great many of the newspapers that I shot the first buffalo for Alexis, while in some it was stated that I held the buffalo while His Royal Highness killed it. But the way I have related the affair is the correct version.
It was thought that we had had about sport enough for one day, and accordingly I was directed by General Sheridan to guide the party back to camp, and we were soon on our way thither. Several of the party, however, concluded to have a little hunt on their own account, and presently we saw them galloping over the prairie in different directions in pursuit of buffaloes.
While we were crossing a deep ravine, on our way to camp, we ran into a small band of buffaloes that had been frightened by some of the hunters. As they rushed past us, not more than thirty yards distant, Alexis raised his pistol, fired and killed a buffalo cow. It was either an extraordinary good shot or a "scratch"—probably the latter, for it surprised the Grand Duke as well as everybody else. We gave him three cheers, and when the ambulance came up we took a pull at the champagne in honor of the Grand Duke's success. I was in hopes that he would kill five or six more buffaloes before we reached camp, especially if a basket of champagne was to be opened every time he dropped one.
General Sheridan directed me to take care of the hides and heads of the buffaloes which Alexis had killed, as the Duke wished to keep them as souvenirs of the hunt. I also cut out the choice meat from the cow and brought it into camp, and that night at supper Alexis had the pleasure of dining on broiled buffalo steak obtained from the animal which he had shot himself.
We remained at this camp two or three days, during which we hunted most of the time, the Grand Duke himself killing eight buffaloes.
One day Alexis desired to see how the Indians hunted buffaloes and killed them with bow and arrow; so Spotted Tail, selecting some of his best hunters, had them surround a herd, and bring the animals down, not only with arrows, but with lances. The Grand Duke was told to follow upon the heels of one celebrated Indian hunter, whose name was "Two Lance," and watch him bring down the game; for this chief had the reputation of being able to send an arrow through and through the body of a buffalo. Upon this occasion he did not belie his reputation, for he sent an arrow through a buffalo, which fell dead at the shot, and the arrow was given to Alexis as a souvenir of his hunt on the American Plains.
When the Grand Duke was satisfied with the sport, orders were given for the return to the railroad. The conveyance provided for the Grand Duke and General Sheridan was a heavy double-seated open carriage, or rather an Irish dog-cart, and it was drawn by four spirited cavalry horses which were not much used to the harness. The driver was Bill Reed, an old overland stage driver and wagon master; on our way in, the Grand Duke frequently expressed his admiration of the skillful manner in which Reed handled the reins.