Mr. Moore put the spurs to his horse and galloped out of sight. What my impression was of Mr. Moore could hardly be expressed. I certainly had not the slightest feeling of awe—that one of the passengers said he felt for the man, but I do not know whether or not I felt any great confidence in him. However, when I came to know him, as I did by being in his society every day for a year, I found him to be a man of many sterling qualities.
Mr. Barnum returned with me from Santa Fe to Ft. Union and went up to the store with me. Mr. Barnum told me that he regretted that I wanted to leave his employ, but that if it was to my benefit, he would have to take the coach in for me and get a man in my place, "but," he added, "I do not think I will be able to find a man who can make peace with the Indians, as you have always done." Mr. Barnum told Mr. Moore that he had never lost a life since I had been doing the driving, and that I had not only saved the lives of passengers, but that I had saved him money and time.
When Mr. Barnum prepared to leave the store, he had the coach driven up and my things taken off and put in the store, then he turned to me and held out his hand, saying, "Billy, in making the treaties with the Indians, such as you have, you have not only saved the lives of many passengers and won the title of the second William Penn, but you have endeared yourself to me and to the other boys in this company, and to all the settlers between Kansas City and Santa Fe." I was greatly agitated and impressed by his impressive speech, and I thanked him for his kind words of praise for the services I had given in my small way.
The morning after Mr. Barnum left, I was feeling a little lonely among my new surroundings, and Kit Carson sauntered into the room. As soon as I looked into his kindly eyes I knew I had met a friend, and I also knew in a moment that it was Kit Carson, of whose fame as an Indian fighter I had often read.
I told him that I had heard many tragic tales of his wonderful heroism among the unfriendly Indians, and he told me that I had heard many a "da—er lie," too, he reckoned. He never killed an Indian in cold blood in his life. He told me that if the Indians had not been trespassed upon, that the great Indian wars would not have become a thing of history.
The enormous trade at the "sutler's store" kept us four counter jumpers continually on the jump for a year. There was no five cent picture shows to keep the clerks out with their girls there, and the only amusement we had was to either play cards or billiards, or to sit around and watch Kit Carson and the boss play. Kit was a fine card player and seldom ever lost a game, but he would not put up very much. To see him play billiards was one sport, every time he hit a ball, he would kick his foot up and say, "A boys, ay."
This store of Moore's was built like a fort. The walls a 150-foot square and built of brick. Every thing in New Fort Union was of brick. It was a two story concern with a rotunda or plaza in the center. Here the wagons drove in to unload and reload. The front of the store was near the big gate. It had a safe room, an office and the store room proper.
One trip per year was made to Kansas City with large mule trains to get goods to stock these three stores. These trips were sometimes full of suffering and hardships. Many a freighter left his wife and babies never to return to them more. They were often killed by Indians who had come to their trains to get food, but were repulsed by the poor policy of the wagon bosses who have often ordered the ox drivers to "pull down on the red devils" and so start trouble, which was often disastrous for the whites, in view of the fact that the Indians on those plains were numerous while the white men were few and straggling.
Sometimes the old Indian squaws would come to the store to buy sugar, candy, nuts, tobacco or coffee. She would come riding in on her pony as slowly as her quick footed pony would carry her, greatly interested in all her eyes beheld. She was greatly attracted by the bright colors of the calicos and I have often made treaties with the Indians by offering their squaws some bits of bright ribbon or calico.
The Mexican women were very fond of bright colors. Their dresses did not amount to much. They wore a short skirt and rebosa. Their head-dress covered their hair and came together in front under the chin and hung to the belt. What dress she wore must be very bright and gaudy and I have known a pretty Mexican girl with about $2.50 worth of dress on come in and purchase an $8.00 pair of shoes. If she wanted an extra nice pair of shoes she said she wanted a pair of shoes "made out of Spanish leather." Such a pair as would look nice on the dancing floors at their fandangoes. The serapa takes the place of the American woman's bonnet.
In 1866 when the war was coming to an end, trade began to get dull. I had been wanting to get out of the store and "try my wings" at something else. When I began to cast my eyes about for something different from the routine of store work, I met a certain Mr. Joe Dillon, who offered me the opportunity I was seeking.
Joe Dillon and I Go to Montana With Sheep.
Along about the 15th of March, Joe Dillon, who had been a quartermaster in the Union army, left the army at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the possessor of $60,000 and a mule train of fifteen wagons, which he had obtained some way or other, the Devil knows how. He was a peculiar man and totally unable to keep a man in his employ. He was abusive, bossy and altogether uncongenial.
With his train loaded with goods which he got in Kansas City and Independence, he started with a wagon boss and several men across the Old Trail to New Mexico, early in the spring of '65, but he had so many altercations with his teamsters—some quit him, others would do as they pleased, and altogether he had such a bad time of it that he did not arrive at Maxwell's ranch until after the snow fell the following winter.
Every wagon that passed him brought news of Joe Dillon's troubles to the fort. When Mr. Dillon came to me in the spring of 1866, I knew him pretty well by reputation. He approached me and told me that he had bought 4000 sheep from Lucien Maxwell and wanted to get me to go with him to Montana to take them. I told him I would like to go, but that I did not know whether I could get away or not. I would see Mr. Moore.
"Alright," he said. "I think I will see Mr. Moore, and tell him I want you to go and boss my crew." I replied that he must do nothing of the sort, for if he did, Mr. Moore would not let me off willingly. I explained to him that if I went to Mr. Moore and told him I wanted off, and gave him a plausible reason, he would let me off without hesitation. However, Mr. Dillon thought he had about made a "deal" with me and he went into the office, and told Mr. Moore that he had "hired your clerk" to go to Montana with his sheep. Mr. Moore told him that "he guessed not."
Dillon had agreed with me that he would say nothing to Mr. Moore. So he came to me in the morning of the day after he first spoke to me about the deal and said, "Moore said you couldn't go." I was hot all over in a second. "Mr. Dillon, you agreed not to speak to Mr. Moore about this matter—it was a matter between he and I, and since your word cannot be depended upon, our business relations cease right here." I considered his management bad and his word in honor, worse. Mr. Dillon returned to Maxwell's ranch and I continued in the store.
Finally, Mr. Moore approached me on the subject. "Billy," said he, "thought you were going with Dillon to Montana with his sheep" I then told him how it came about that I had told Dillon I would speak to him about it first. We had made no contract, for without first getting Mr. Moore's consent I would not make any contract with Dillon.
Now I could readily see that trade had fallen off and I knew that some of the boys would have to quit and seek other employment. There was one man there with a large family in the states who received a salary of $1500 a year. I knew that he did not want to be thrown out of a job, and I was eager to "try some new experience." So I told Mr. Moore that I had heard from one of Maxwell's clerks that Dillon did still want me to go with the sheep, and if he was willing to let me off I would make Dillon a proposition. "All right, Billy, you can make a proposition with Dillon and in case you do not carry it out, you need not quit here," said Mr. Moore.
Joe Dillon came up the next Thursday night and began to talk to me there in the store about taking his sheep to Montana. I told him that I would talk to him about the matter as soon as the store closed that night, but that I did not want to hear one word of it until that time.
After the store was closed up I told Mr. Walker to stay with me and hear my proposition with Dillon, and I wanted him to draw up our contract. I told Dillon that I would take charge of his sheep under these stipulations. I would have to have absolute control of the sheep, men, mess wagons, pack horses and everything else. I would employ the men and discharge them. I told him I would furnish $700.00 or $800.00 to properly equip the train, and I would take a bill of sale from him for all the sheep. I also told him that he would have to go on ahead on the stage coach, or do as he chose in the matter, that he must absolutely remain away from our camps and herds while I was in control. After much deliberation, he agreed to my terms, and we signed up.
I filled an ox wagon with bacon, flour, salt, soda, tobacco and saddles. Mr. Dillon watched me put tobacco on the wagon and said I was loading unnecessary stuff on the wagon. I told him that I would need all the bacon and the tobacco, and perhaps several head of sheep to make my treaties with the Indians when I took my sheep through their reservations. Now this little speech brought a sneer to the face of my venerable partner. "No use of making treaties with the Indians; you get a military escort without paying anything out." I told him no military escort would need to travel with me.
About the middle of April I received the 3000 head of sheep from Maxwell's ranch and took my assistant, Mark Shearer to Calhoun's ranch to get the other 1000 head. I had left the camp in good trim there near Maxwell's and everything was progressing nicely with my sheep on the grass with good herders. At Calhoun ranch we were delayed on account of Calhoun having to shear the sheep. However, after four days' delay we started back toward Maxwell's. Joe Dillon met us not far from camp and told me he had discharged four of my men and paid off two in tobacco and the other two men would not take tobacco. He said that he had hired four more in their place. One was a hunter and he had agreed to give him $80 per month to keep the men in provisions. The other was a blacksmith which he thought we might need after we started over the mountains.
"Now, Joe, do you think you can discharge a man without paying him off?" I asked him. "Well," he said, "I didn't have the money on hand to pay him with." I told him that his meddling with these men did not suit me, and that I did not want his four men, moreover, I said, "I will not move a peg from camp with them. I employ my drivers and I discharge them."
When we got into camp the hunter had killed a jack rabbit, all the meat he had provided since he was employed four days before. After reinstating my men and making Mr. Dillon understand that his place was at the other end of the line, where he might as well be enjoying himself until our arrival in Montana, we started on our journey.
Dillon went on the stage to Kansas City and en route to Kansas City he fell in with a sharper at Bent's old fort, and told him that he had a drove of 7000 sheep coming. The sharper had 20 blooded brood mares and a stallion, and bantered Dillon for a trade. They made the trade and Dillon gave the "shark" a bill of sale for the sheep with the provision that I would agree to it.
When we got within nine miles of Denver we camped for dinner. While we sat around our "picnic spread" a couple of men drove up in a buggy and asked if Mr. Ryus was there. I told him to "alight" and take a few refreshments with us, that I was Mr. Ryus. He told me to come out to the buggy, he wanted to talk with me. I told him that "this is my office, out with whatever you've got to say." He then asked me if the sheep were Mr. Dillon's. I told him they certainly were not. They were mine. Then he buckled up. "No, Mr. Ryus, they aren't your sheep, they are mine. I bought them at Bent's old fort from Joe Dillon, and I am going to take possession of those sheep and take them to Denver and sell them." I told him that "maybe he would and maybe he wouldn't; we would see about that." I then asked him what he gave for the sheep. He told me he had traded some blooded horses and a stallion for them. I then asked him if he was dealing for himself or for other parties. He told me he was dealing for himself. "For how much are your horses mortgaged?" I asked him. "Oh, something like $4000," he replied. I told the "horse trader" that it wasn't worth while to take up any more time. As for my part, I had rather think of my buffalo steak right then, and if he didn't want to get out of the buggy and come and eat with us, to "drill on" toward Denver, that me, the boys and the sheep were going to Montana. He said, "Alright, Mr. Ryus, we will drill on, as you say, but we will take possession of those sheep before you get into Denver." I told him to "crack his whip," and to go to that warm place from which no "hoss trader" returned if he wanted to, but for him not to interfere with me or the sheep. Away he went. My temper was at its best and thoroughly under control, so I told the boys to not feel the least alarm, no "yaller backed hoss trader" would get those sheep, without getting into a "considerable tarnatious scrap" with Little Billy.
It seemed that we were destined to have several visitors before we arrived in Denver. This time we had camped for supper and a lonely looking half starved individual put in his appearance with a saddle on his back. He asked me if he could get some supper with us and I told him to "lay to," and he then asked me if I knew him. I told him I knew him but it would not be to his disadvantage.
A few days before this I had seen an account in the paper where a Mr. Service had shot and killed a Mexican. I told him that there was already a reward out for $1,000 for him. I told him he needn't say a word about the affair to the boys, and I wouldn't. He told me that he had killed the Mexican because he couldn't avoid it. It seemed that a very rich Mexican with a twenty-wagon train and 100 yoke of oxen had stopped near the little ranch of Service and Miller to cook their meals. He had unyoked his cattle and driven them to the creek for water and instead of returning by the route he had gone, threw down the fence and was driving his oxen through Service's ten-acre corn patch. The corn was up about two feet high and the cattle were literally ruining the corn. Mr. Service attempted to drive the cattle off the corn, but the Mexican hollowed to his peons to drive them on through. Mr. Service told him to either pay the damage that his oxen had done his corn or drive them off. The Mexican told him he would do neither. By this time Mr. Service was thoroughly angry and told the Mexican that he would either take the oxen off the corn or one or the other of them would die. Mr. Service was unarmed at the time and he wheeled his horse around and went to the house and got what money they had there and his rifle and returned and shot the Mexican dead. He then made the peons drive the cattle away, and he started for Maxwell's ranch on his pony. After reaching the foothills of the mountains he dismounted and threw rocks at his horse to make it leave, then he scrambled on a few miles through the young timber until he came to a hanging rock under which there was a kind of cave. He crept into this place to rest and snatch sleep if possible.
In the meantime the Mexicans belonging to the train gathered up all the Mexicans they could find scattered through the country, and without molesting the partner of Service, started out to hunt him. Service said that the Mexicans were so close to where he was lying that he could hear every word of their conversation in that still, isolated place. He knew from their talk they were going on to Maxwell's ranch where they supposed they would find him. About ten o'clock that night he crept out of his hiding place and crawled and slipped until he reached Maxwell's ranch, then he went into the stable where Maxwell kept his favorite race horse and led him out far enough from the house to be safe, then he jumped on him and rode him until the faithful animal laid down and died of exhaustion. He was left on foot some 75 miles east of where I was. Service was so weak and exhausted from worry, lack of sleep and nourishment that his condition was pitiable. We had to watch him for twenty-four hours to keep him from over-eating.
One ox driver who was an Irishman by the name of Johnnie Lynch came to me and told me that the other ox driver had told him he knew who Service was and that he said he was going to "give him up" when they reached Denver and that when we got into Denver, they were going to "give him up" and collect the $1,000 reward for him. Johnnie Lynch said that he did not want to see Service put in irons, and that he thought Service did no more than was right. "Wan more of those devilish Mexicans out uv th' way don't hurt nohow," was his comment. "Now, Johnnie," says I, "you go to my assistant, Mark Shearer, and tell him to tell the wagon driver that if he undertakes to hand Service over to the authorities at Denver, that he will kill him." When we got to within five miles of Denver, Mark Shearer went around to the driver and told him to get back in the wagon, and if he stuck his head outside that wagon sheet, he would use it for a target. The driver was a born coward and quietly obeyed and remained under the wagon sheet until we were forty miles beyond Denver when Mark told him to "come to" now and try to be a man.
The next night after Service came to our camp, he wanted to help stand guard over the sheep at night with Barney Hill, my night herder. He said he couldn't sleep nights. Barney told him to lie down and go to sleep, that he would let no one harm him. He went to sleep and along about eleven o'clock, he began to yell, "There they come, there they come, the Mexicans, etc.," and he fired his revolver and made a general stir. We managed to quiet him down. He was delirious and only half awake. For two months Service got along all right.
When we arrived at the North Platte River the snow had melted so the river was running very fast. We attempted to cross the sheep on the ferry. 125 sheep were placed on the ferry boat and across we started. Out 500 feet from the landing on the east side where we went in, the ferryman got afraid the sheep were too far forward and would tip the boat, so he attempted to push them back, and pushed some of the sheep off in the river. All the sheep then made a rush to follow the unfortunate ones. Barney Hill, who was on the back end of the boat, got knocked off and could not swim and the boys had a good laugh at him climbing over the sheep, looking like a drowned rat trying to get out of a molasses barrel. Dick Stewart was a good swimmer and so he landed back on the boat.
After this load full, the boatman would not ferry any more sheep over and we were compelled to swim them. We would call the goat and tell him to go into the water. The goat would strike for the opening on the opposite side of the river, but goat or no goat, the sheep would not attempt the swim unless the sun was shining. The mountains rose right at the edge of the river, consequently the sun only struck the river from eleven o'clock a.m. to two o'clock p.m. and we could only put over 150 or 200 sheep at a time. This operation took six days to perform. Getting 4000 sheep over a river under these trying conditions were anything but pleasant, even in those days, when we knew no better method.
At this ferry a funny incident occurred. I had a sorrel, blazed face mule, and while we were crossing the sheep an old Irishman on his way to Montana with a white pony and a blazed face mule, the very picture of my mule, crossed the river on the ferry. I saw the Irishman's lay-out, but Johnnie Lynch did not see the mule. The next morning I told Johnnie to go out to the herd and bring my mule in. The old Irishman had camped near us and had picketed his mule out but did not know I had a mule so near like his. Johnnie saw the Irishman's mule picketed out about half way between our camp and our herd, and he pulled up the picket and started on to the camp with the mule. Pretty soon the angry old Irishman came up behind Johnnie and knocked him down for trying to steal his mule. Johnnie ran into camp and got my carbine and started for the Irishman, I ran after him and asked him what he was "up to" and he told me he had my mule coming in with it and the Irishman had accosted him and knocked him down and took the mule away from him. About that time the Irishman had come "along side" me and explained his position. He said Johnnie had stolen his mule and that he was going to get his men and hang him. Mark Shearer then begun an explanation but the two Irishmen were on the "war path" and explanations were out of order. When we finally got them straightened out, they had no very friendly feeling for each other, and inwardly made up their minds to—BLANKETY-BLANK
The day I crossed my two wagons across the River, the Irishman was on the boat with his mule Packed with provisions and clothing. Johnnie Lynch was driving one yoke of oxen. I saw the Irishman raise his gun off of the floor and put It to his shoulder as though he was going to Shoot. I leveled my pistol on him and told him To drop the gun or he was a dead man. He dropped the gun and I made him walk between the wagons. Mark Shearer picked up the gun, took the cap off of it, wet the powder in the tube and handed it back to the old fellow and told him to make no more attempts to kill a man. We took one direction at the forks of the road and he took another.
About 300 miles beyond this ferry we met the white pony returning but we never saw any more of the Irishman. It is very probable that he "met his Waterloo" somewhere in the boundless plains. We encountered a band of the Sioux and Ute Indians, some of the same tribe that had killed General Custer. Something like 150 or 200 came to camp. A few of them could talk English. At the time they came to the camp, they were in a strange mood. It took some courage and diplomacy on my part to keep my men encouraged and to appear at ease with the Red Men.
I went up to the chief and told them I had a large drove of sheep to take to Montana, and that I must necessarily pass through their hunting grounds, but was willing to pay them for the liberty I was taking. This seemed to please the Indians and I told them we would eat before we proceeded to business. We soon had some bacon, bread and coffee ready which we offered to our guests before we began to eat. After they had the first "helping" then we all began to eat our rations, after which we passed the corn cob pipes and tobacco and while we talked we smoked. I gave them two caddies of tobacco, 200 pounds of bacon, a hundredweight of flour, several papers of soda, several pounds of salt, and a large bucket of coffee.
One Indian said that in order to preserve peace and to protect us on our route ten of them would travel with us through the wildest portion of the country.
The strange escort remained with us two days, and when we were almost to Fort Bridger, one of the Indians said that we would have no trouble until after we had passed Fort Bridger and he did not think we would encounter any perils even then.
When they were determined to decamp, I took ten silver dollars out of my pocket, and gave each one of them a silver dollar. This pleased the Indians greatly and they shook hands with me and departed.
When we arrived in Fort Bridger I had my sheep driven on past the fort, and stopped to see the commanding officer. I asked him what their rules were for traveling through the Indian country. He told me that a large caravan of 200 wagons would start out in a few days and I would have to drive the sheep on outside of the fort where I could get good range for the sheep and wait until the other emigrants came up. I thanked him, but I told Mark Shearer that I believed we could make it alright without the caravans. So on we started. The sheep didn't have to be driven; they drove us. By daylight those sheep were always ready to go on toward their goal. They would pick and run ahead seldom ever stopping until about the middle of the day. It was our rule to stop and eat or rest when the sheep started. Truth is stranger than fiction, and it is the truth that we would often make thirty-five or forty miles a day with those sheep. The herdsman would follow the goat and the sheep followed the goat. When the sheep were a little too industrious, the herdsman made the goat lay down, then the sheep would lay down all around him. Sometimes they would lay down about five or six o'clock, then we would eat. But if they got up and started on we went, and they seldom ever stopped to rest until eight or nine o'clock. The four drives averaged from seven to ten miles a drive. In making this trip from Maxwell's ranch in New Mexico to Virginia City, Montana, I crossed seventeen rivers with those sheep and arrived in Virginia City with less than 100 sheep short. I sold a few to the Snake Indians for from $5 to $8 each. Of course, this was in trade, but it pleased them equally as well as if it had been a gift.
The next band of Indians we came into after leaving the Sioux, were the Snake Indians. They were situated on the Snake River one hundred miles from Virginia City. Snake River is one of the most important tributaries of the Columbia. Instead of making a treaty with these Indians, I traded them sheep and a caddy of tobacco for buffalo robes and deer skins, and they seemed as well satisfied as if I had given them the sheep and tobacco gratis.
About one hundred miles from where we met the Snake Indians, we came to a toll bridge. Here I met my worthy partner for the first time since I had sent him on his "way rejoicing." Mr. Dillon had told the keeper of the toll bridge that he had seven thousand sheep on the road and they would have to pass over his toll bridge.
The keeper of the toll bridge was on the lookout for us because the report that Dillon had made would swell his finances $350. Inasmuch as the toll across the bridge was 5c per head. When we arrived at the bridge the keeper told me his charge would be $350. I told him I could not pay the price, but he said Dillon would pay the toll. I asked him what Dillon had to do with the sheep. "Why," he said, "they are Dillon's sheep." I told him they were not Dillon's sheep, they were mine, and I showed him my bill of sale. He said that nevertheless they were Dillon's sheep. I asked him to describe Joe Dillon to me. He did so, and did it to a "tyt." "Now," I said to him, "you go up on the hill and count those sheep." They were laying down up on the hill in a kind of a swag.
There was a Missourian there and he told the keeper he was a sheep man, that his father was a large Missouri stock man, and that he could approximate the number at a glance. The way those sheep lay together, it did not look as if there was more than 1000 sheep. I asked him if he thought there was over a thousand sheep there and he said he did not think there were. The toll keeper said that when those sheep went skipping across the bridge, it "looked goldarned like there mout be a million uv 'em, and they must 'a bin three mile long, be blasted."
"Well," I said, "of course you can count them." "Yes," he said, "I have counted lots of sheep, and will count them." I went up to the station and made arrangements that if he did not succeed in counting the sheep, I would pay him $75 in tobacco or sheep, but that I had no money. The toll keeper said he would neither take sheep nor tobacco, "but," he said, "I will take a draft on the Virginia City Bank for $75.00." I told the driver to drive the sheep across. "First," I said, "you get the goat up and start him off, then keep the sheep just as close together as you can and hop them across in a 'whoop.'" He did this and it was impossible for the "counter" to count them.
About 300 miles from this bridge, Mr. Service quit me. He bought a half interest in a stock of cattle and in a toll road in that section, and I heard no more from him until some 25 years later, when he again leaped into the limelight.
It seems that he had made a wise purchase because so many trains passed over his toll road. He traded his fat cattle to the immigrants for their poor plugs. He bought up all the poor cattle he could and would fatten them and trade them off for three or four poor, jaded animals. The profits were enormous.
On our route from this toll bridge there was no particular incident occurred. Virginia City was a fine little village of about 3500 inhabitants. The estimate of gold taken out of the creeks running through Virginia City was $100,000,000, mostly placer diggings, but it was entirely abandoned at this time.
However, at the time we were there with the sheep, there was about thirty Chinamen prospecting a lot of 200 square feet. The price set to them by the owner was $3000. He took $200 down and $200 per week until the $3000 was paid. The man they bought from agreed to see they had the right to use the water in the creek. The superintendent of the Chinamen had this man go with them to the mayor of the city to ask the city to protect them. The mayor then called on the city marshall and they agreed to see that the Chinamen were not molested from getting the water from the creek. The stream was very small and did not have very much water, so the owners built a little dam and put in a tread wheel for the purpose of raising the water, so as to have a fall of water to wash the dirt in their sluice box.
After they had mined two weeks, twenty-five or thirty white miners concluded that the Chinamen shouldn't work in the territory and they went above the Chinamen on the creek—about 500 yards or so, and built a large dam across the creek with a wide opening, and put in their gate and stopped the Chinamen from getting water.
When the Chinamen were thus shut off, they went to the mayor with their complaint. The mayor promised to investigate the matter, and told them to go on prospecting on their other lots farther down the creek for the purpose of seeing what other property they would want to buy, while he investigated the cause of trouble.
The mayor and the marshall knew what the miners were up to, but said nothing then about it. They were aware that the miners wanted to raise the big gate and let the water all out at once.
There was an old building fairly close to the dam the white miners had built, and the marshall and two other men secreted themselves in the old house to watch the dam. At about one o'clock in the morning, two men went in there with their crow-bars to raise the gate so all the water could waste, and wash out the Chinamen's machinery.
Slipping upon the miners engaged in their work of depredation, the marshall pulled his gun on them, and marched, them to the city lockup. The next morning a few of the miners got together and were going to release the miners in the lockup. Then the mayor ordered the fire bells rung and sent runners out over the city calling the people together. Among the people who came to the "consultation" were many miners. The marshal let the men out of the "cooler," and took their names, then the mayor made a speech to the citizens and got their sentiments. He asked the citizens as a community if it would not be better to let the Chinamen alone and let them work their property, than to drive them out and destroy their dam. He wanted the opinion of the people. He wanted to know how many of the citizens were willing to let the Chinamen alone and let them continue to operate their property.
The citizens who wanted the Chinamen let alone were about ten to one of the miners.
The mayor now called on two or three prominent speakers of the city to make a talk before the people who told why they believed the Chinamen should be left alone, then the mayor called on a representative of the miners to tell the people why they should want to ruin the Chinamen's work. None of the miners would reply.
That night the Council passed an ordinance prohibiting, under severe pains and penalties, the willful destruction of property, and consequently the Chinamen were left to pursue their work. The dam proved an immense benefit to the city and surrounding country, and other people began mining their lots, and using the water that had collected during the night and saving it over, several mines were supplied with water.
I was in a hurry to settle up with Mr. Dillon at this time and get started back to the States, going by the way of Salt Lake City in company with two men who were going through with an ambulance. I remained in Salt Lake City two weeks when the roof on the Great Mormon Temple as about three-fourths finished. At the time I was there, the temple was about four feet above the ground and workmen had been continuously at work for seven years. Up to that time, I was the only Gentile who had ever explored the underground workings of the temple. I went from Salt Lake to Denver.
I had calculated to preempt a hundred and sixty acres of land in or about Denver, and stopped over there for a few days. At that time I could have taken 160 acres where the Union Depot now stands about the center of the city of Denver. However, like many another boy, I took a sudden notion to go home and see Mother first, and before I took possession of this valuable "dirt," I pulled out on the first coach going toward Kansas City. Stage fare cost me nothing because I rode with Barnum-Vickeroy & Veil.
When we got to Booneville, where I used to live with Colonel A.G. Boone, when I drove the stage on the Denver line, the old Colonel insisted that I stay with him. He said he had 2,500 head of sheep, half of which with all the increase, would be mine, if I would stay and take care of them five years. I told him that I had planned to homestead a 160 acres up near Denver and that as soon as I had had my visit with my mother I wanted to go to Denver, and could not take up his proposition.
At that time Colonel Boone talked a great deal about the Indians. He told me they were being shamefully treated; that the soldiers were making war on them, etc., and said that it was his opinion that if the Government would put a guard around the white people and keep them from shooting the Indians, there would be no more Indian troubles.
He told me that the conductors along the Long Route between Fort Lyon and Fort Larned, were having no end of trouble. He told me that several tribes had asked him about me, and said they seemed curious to know whether or not I would ever return.
After we left Colonel Boone's place, going toward Independence, we met several tribes, some of whom knew me just as soon as they "got their eyes on me," but I did not understand their language, and their interpreter told me that they wanted to know if I was coming back on the route. Several spoke about Colonel Leavenworth and Satanta and asked for news concerning the Little White Chief, for that was the way they loved to remember their little boy friend.
There was something like 45 or 50 Indians in this gang, and the driver was anxious to get rid of them, for he was not only afraid of them, because of the trouble they had been having with the Long Route conductors, but they wanted to be "driving on" getting nearer their destination. I told the driver to let me manage the Indians and we would "pull through" all right.
I told the Indians to sit down around us and I would get some coffee for them and a very small lunch. The conductors never had anything hardly, and gave the Indians nothing but abuse. I managed to get together from the conductor's mess, a small lunch, which they ate, and I invited them to go with us to our next stopping place, fifteen miles distant, and eat with us properly.
On our way to the next stopping place, however, these Indians were joined by other small bands which kept collecting. When we camped for lunch and to let our mules go out to eat, the Indians let their ponies graze, also. As provisions were scarce, we had a very slim meal, but were all good humored over it.
When the coach was ready to resume its journey, I shook hands with every one of the Indians and told them I was going to the States and wanted that they come to see us there. There were eight other passengers, besides myself, on the coach, who laughingly said that they had crossed the plains several times and had never witnessed such a scene between white man and Indian, only when they traveled with me.
There were five conductors. Four conductors were on the road all the time and one resting all the time. In other words, while one conductor rested one week, the other four worked until the time came for him to rest and the other work. We usually rested either in Kansas City or Santa Fe.
Before leaving this chapter, I desire to tell my readers what brought Mr. Service into the limelight again. About twenty-five years after he killed the Mexican, he sold out his ranch and cattle and took the money he had on hands, which amounted to something like $43,000.00, and deposited it in the Denver National Bank of Denver, Colorado, and went to Springer, New Mexico, in the locality of where he had killed the Mexican. He went to the sheriff and asked him if he had ever heard of the man, Service, wanted in that country for the murder of the rich Mexican. The sheriff told him that he "guessed" that the murder had occurred before his day, but that he had heard of it, and it must date some thirty years back.
Mr. Service asked the sheriff if the murderer had ever been back there to stand trial, and whether or not the reward that had been offered at the time of the murder was still good? "No," the sheriff said, "I do not think the reward would be any good." The sheriff went on to tell Mr. Service that he had been told by persons who claimed to have knowledge of the matter, that Service had served his country well to have killed the Mexican.
"Mr. Sheriff," said Mr. Service, "I am the man who killed that Mexican." The sheriff looked him over and said, "that can't be, you are too old a man for that." Mr. Service had whiskers 12 inches long and perfectly gray. His features were so transformed that his old partner did not recognize him. Mr. Service told the sheriff that nevertheless, he was the man, and that the reward had been offered for.
Mr. Service told the sheriff that he wanted to "give up" and gave him $200 and asked him to hire a good lawyer for him because he was unacquainted in the section, and I want you to take out a warrant against me. I want to be legally acquitted of crime and be a "free man once more."
After talking to the sheriff, he went to see his old partner, who did not recognize him. He told him that he had more of the worldly goods than the ranch was worth, but would like to have a settlement, and invoice his own belongings, as well as the property his partner had gotten together since their separation, and said they would strike a balance and have a settlement. The old partner, whose name I have forgotten, said, "no, I won't do it," he said, "you took the money from the house when you left, and I had to pay Maxwell for his race horse." "Very true," said Mr. Service, "you have had use of the farm these long years, and would that compensate you for what you have paid out?" But, he added, "the hay on the place has brought you about $2,000 a year, and I think it is best for us to have a settlement." The partner would hear to no settlement being arrived at, saying that he should have what was there. "Well," said Service, "we will pass receipts." Each took a receipt from the other, shook hands and bade the other good-bye. Mr. Service was a broad-minded, liberal fellow, and had fully intended to resume the partnership with his partner and share and share alike in his money earned while he was away from the ranch. "By-the-bye, I will let you look over this small book," said Mr. Service as he handed his bank book showing the balance due him at the National Bank of Denver. "Why," said the partner, "you have $43,000 in this book to your credit." "Yes, sir," said Mr. Service, "had we invoiced our goods together, half this amount would have been yours together with other moneys I have in other banks." That talk completed the settlement and while the partner was completely crestfallen, Service shaved and became a white man and free citizen of the States.
Daugherty, a Silk and Linen Drummer, Contracts to Build a Cellar.
At Fort Zara I met another old friend. Bill Daugherty was there keeping the station. Nothing would do him but I should stay over there a week or so. Daugherty was a natural born Irishman who had "kissed the Blarney stone," full of wit and humor. He went to the coach and took my "grip sack" off and took it to the house, and said I had to stay. I liked that first rate, but I did hate to lose the time.
Daugherty came to Kansas in 1862, drumming for a house that sold fine linens, laces and silks, and had never done anything but sell silks, etc. He was sitting in a kind of a tavern one morning and chanced to see an advertisement in the paper that struck his "funny side." A gentleman living at the corner of Fifth and Shawnee Streets in Leavenworth, Kansas, had advertised for a contractor to build him a cellar, and the advertisement said that none "but experienced contractors need apply." The drummer, Bill Daugherty, decided he would call upon the gentleman who wanted "an experienced contractor." When he arrived at the place specified in the advertisement he found it to be a large general merchandise store. Daugherty introduced himself to the proprietor of the place and told him that he was an experienced contractor. "And," said Daugherty, "I see you are in a hurry for the cellar, sure and I am the laddie that can build that cellar quicker than a bat can wink its eye. I'm from auld Ireland, and conthracting is me pusiness." The merchant told him that he wanted the cellar built right away, and showed him the ground he wanted it built on—which adjoined his business house on the corner. Daugherty asked the merchant how much time he would allow him to build the cellar in, and the merchant told him not longer than eight or ten days. "Well," said Bill, "I will do it in less time."
"Now, sir, you furnish me the tools, shovels, picks, wheelbarrows, and running plank to the number I want, and I will go to work on your cellar, Friday, if you will give me $100." The merchant said he could not afford to give more than $80 for the job and that he would have to take $20 in trade. "Alright, py golly," Bill answered, "I will take the job that way, providing you put it in writing." The contract was drawn up and said that the cellar was to be commenced on at 7 o'clock Saturday morning. The merchant was to furnish all tools or pay for the tools Daugherty bought up to a certain given number. Friday night Daugherty had all his tools on the "job" and made everything ready to commence work Saturday morning. Bright and early Saturday morning Bill was there and he had two wagons from the saloon on the ground also.
Thursday evening when he first made the agreement to build the cellar, he went to the saloon and told the "Bys" to come to Fifth and Shawnee Streets Saturday, that he was going to give a "B," and it was to be the best time, and the liveliest time, and the finest "B" they ever saw. He told the boys at the saloon all about his contract with the merchant, and as they were mostly Irish, they quickly agreed to help out with the plan.
Bill Daugherty had the saloon man send down four bartenders, and he had a keg of beer placed at equal distances apart with mugs and glasses and the bartenders to draw the beer, and the fun commenced. Before seven o'clock more than fifty men were on the job. The alley behind the store building was five feet under grade and he put running plank on the ground from the front of the ground running into the alley, and put four wheel-barrows on them and a set of men shoveling. The work progressed nicely with the Irishmen working and drinking and singing. Bill Daugherty was in his glory and the old merchant was "feel-n' blue." Bill kept encouraging his workmen telling them that some "great big doin's was a-comin' off along about eaten' time." The restaurant man came with a fine dinner and furnished everything in the eating line but the coffee, and the saloon man was there with the "drinks."
At one o'clock they all started to work and at 4 o'clock that afternoon they had completed the cellar, and the engineer had inspected it, and passed his judgment that it was a "good job." Daugherty went in the store to get "paid off," he was feeling pretty good.
He told the merchant that he wanted a nice vest for himself, a pair of shoes, and a shirt and hat. Then, he told the merchant that he wanted to see a fine paisley shawl, one that "you would like to see your wife wear." The merchant showed him an $8 shawl, but it did not please the fancy of old Bill Daugherty. "Show me a shawl that you would be pleased to see your wife wear, one that you would be proud to see her wear to church, that old shawl is not genteel." This time the merchant took down a $16 shawl and after close examination, and the assurance that it was the best one he had in the house, Daugherty accepted the shawl. "Now," said Daugherty, "I want my cash." The merchant counted out the balance of the money to him, and said he would wrap the shawl for the "contractor." The merchant began to wrap the shawl up for Bill and Bill told him that "that won't do, a lady wouldn't have a fine shawl wrapped up like that, let me ahold of the strings and fine papers." Daugherty called for tissue paper, he wrapped his purchase up neatly and then called for ribbon with which to tie it. He wanted green and red ribbons. After encasing the article in the tissue paper bound around with ribbons, he put a piece of wrapping paper about it, and left the store, and its room full of amused spectators.
Bill went from the store straight to the home of the old merchant and told the wife of the merchant that he was "frash from auld Ireland, and that he had one shawl left, from his large stock, that he would sell her real cheaply. He commenced to talk to the lady, and all the time he was talking he was unwinding the papers from around the shawl. She looked at him in amazement, and he told her that he had sold out a large collection of fine shawls that he had brought from Paris, and that her husband had seen this shawl and greatly admired it, and that he had said to him in the presence of several other men, that he would like to see his wife wear a shawl like it." She told him that the shawl must be very choice.
At last the wrappers were all off the shawl, and he threw it about her shoulders and told her to look in the glass. He slapped his hands together, saying, "beautiful, beautiful—real Parisian." On talked the talkative Bill, until at last he saw he had won the lady to his view of thinking that she was a real Parisian figure with the shawl gracefully draped about her shoulders, and she asked him what he would take for it.
He told her that she could have it for just $65. and before she could catch her breath, he wheeled her about where she could see her profile in the glass, and told her to "just look at the reflection, could anything be handsomer?" He told her that it was the last one he had, and was cheap at the price, that her husband had said so, and that he said he would like to see her wear it.
She paid the money for it and he departed. He met one of his cronies down the street and told him about the transaction. "Now," said he, "you go down and tell him that he had better come over to the saloon and treat, and I will have the other boys over there hidden in the back room, and we will all get a glass and
"All go down to Rowser, to Rowser, to Rowser, We'll all go down to Rowser and get a drink of beer."
Well, the merchant "fell to" and the treats cost him in round figures the sum of $11.00. When Daugherty left to catch his stage out from there to Fort Zara, he was still treating the crowd, and getting pretty full, himself.
After the affair at Leavenworth, Bill Daugherty came to Kansas City on the boat, and asked the stage company if they needed a man to care for some of their stations. Mr. Barnum employed Bill and he went to Fort Zara, out among the Indians, where Bill's tongue helped him to get along very nicely with them.
When he chanced to allude to Fort Leavenworth, he always told the story of his "contracting" at Leavenworth on the corner of Fifth and Shawnee Streets. Out there at Fort Zara, Bill enjoyed himself as only Irishmen can, but his stumbling block was Captain Conkey, who was the biggest crank on earth, "take it from me," for he and I had a little "set-to." Daugherty always sent his "red, white and blue regards to the old merchant" by whosoever went to Leavenworth.
Captain Conkey was a "jackass" to make a long story short. He had a company of soldiers at Fort Zara for the purpose of escorting the mail from one station to another. Once on my way East with a coach full of passengers, a snow storm began to rage, at about four o'clock in the afternoon, soon after I had left Fort Larned. It snowed so hard that at 8 o'clock we couldn't tell where the road was, and the passengers took it time and about with me running along the road in front of the coach to find the road.
We got to Fort Zara at ten o'clock that night, the orderly sergeant came after the mail about 500 yards from the soldiers' camp. I told the sergeant that I wanted an escort at nine o'clock in the morning. He gave Captain Conkey my orders and the Captain told him to go back and arrest me and put me in chains. The First Lieutenant told the Captain that I would be there in the morning; that they had no place to sleep me, so the Captain let me alone that night, but the next morning he sent his orderly after me. When the orderly came to the station, he said to me, "that old fool of a captain sent me down here to arrest you." I asked him what he wanted with me. The orderly told me that he was to arrest me for ordering an escort. I told the orderly to "fire away," I would go over and see the old "mossback."
Their quarters was a little dugout in the side of the hill along the river bank. They had a gunny sack for the door, and I went into the first room, which was used for a kitchen, and the cook told me to go to the next room, it had a gunny sack door, too, the First and Second Lieutenants were in there. They told me to go on to the next room that the Captain's headquarters was in the other room. I had my mittens and overcoat on, and he said, "you pull off your hat, you insolent puppy, and salute me." I replied to the Captain's kind words of greeting that, "I will not salute you, but excuse me, I should have had manners enough to have removed my hat." He told me that he "would put the irons" on me. I answered him that I did not think he would do such an unmanly thing, at least right then. This exasperated the haughty Captain, and he hollowed for the First Lieutenant to come and put me in irons. I asked him what he was there for, and he told me that it was "none of my business." I then got pretty middling hot myself, and I told him that if he did not know his business, that it was "up to me" to "put you next," or words to that extent. I told him that he was there for the purpose of furnishing escorts for the United States mail and that it was I, and not he, in command there, then, by virtue with the position I held with the Government, and I told him that I now ordered him to be placed under arrest. I called on the Lieutenant to place the irons on him. I told him that I would take him to Leavenworth, and the Lieutenant, delighted by the change of program, said, "alright."
Captain Conkey then told me that he would furnish the escort, and I told him to do so, then, and I would leave him here, that I had no room on the coach for such a "donkey" as he was, but that I would tell the commanding officer at Fort Leavenworth that we needed a captain for the company here, in order to save time and trouble for the other conductors of the road. I told him that he had not only taken up time, but that he had made a perfect "donkey" of himself, and of the men who had favored him with this position.
Captain Conkey asked me if the Indians were bad again. I told him that it did not matter whether they were bad or not, I wanted an escort. I got my escort of fifteen soldiers at last and after getting the teams hitched, off we started, the soldiers in advance to break the roads. That is, as a matter of fact, all the use we had for them. We could travel very well when they had ridden ahead and broke the snow so we could follow the trail.
Daugherty built him a new station across the creek from where Conkey was camped, on Walnut Creek. He put up corals for the mules and built a fort-like building for his home. About the time he had finished his buildings, some white hunters had killed some Indians, and trouble began between the white race and the Indian tribes.
One day at about ten o'clock in the forenoon, Mr. Daugherty went up on the top of his house with his field glasses to inspect the surrounding country. He noticed that Indian smokes were all around, and the Indians seemed to be coming toward them all the time.
He hastened down from the roof and called the orderly from Captain Conkey's company to him and told him that unless the Captain moved to his fort within an hour and a half that they would all be killed by the Indians. There had been bad blood between Conkey and Bill Daugherty for quite a while, and when Daugherty sent the orderly to Conkey with the warning of the coming Indians, Captain Conkey got mad and told the orderly to go over and arrest Daugherty for disturbing his peace. Just as the soldiers coming to arrest him stepped on the bridge, Bill Daugherty halted them. He said, "if you come another foot, I will fire on you." You go back and tell Conkey, the fool, that if he don't get you men to this side inside of half an hour, you will all be "gonners." If you want the protection of my fort, come over and you will have the same protection as I have, otherwise, you will go up in smoke, holy, or otherwise. Daugherty then took his gun and went to the Captain, and saluting him, said: "The Indians are coming, 1,000 strong, and unless you get your wagons, etc., out of here, and at once, you will be scalped." Captain Conkey then decided that for the benefit of his health, he had better decamp to the other side for protection. He just barely escaped when the Indians swooped down on his camp ground. Then Daugherty took his gun and went to the bridge and laid the gun down and walked over it toward the Indians, motioning to them that he came in peace, and for them to come and get something to eat. Daugherty took four of the Indians to his fort and gave them some bacon, coffee and other provisions, and took two other men from the fort with him with axes, to chop wood for a fire, and they cooked a meal and with the Indians the four white persons and Bill Daugherty sat down to "meat." Bill Daugherty showed the Indian chiefs over his fort, explained the working of his guns and cannons. He had 40 port holes in the houses and shelves under each one on which to rest a gun. After giving them a large box of smoking tobacco, he told them they could go on back to their camp and that he would keep the soldiers peaceable if he would keep his braves peaceable. Captain Conkey told Daugherty that he believed he would go down and see the chief, and Bill answered him, to "go if you d—ed please, and you want to lose your scalp, for they will surely not put up with your palaver." Conkey concluded that he had better remain in the home of his enemy than risk his precious scalp at the camp of the Indians.
Colonel Moore's Graphic Description of a Fight with Cheyennes.
That Colonel Milton Moore for a quarter of a century has been a prominent practitioner at the Kansas City bar, a member of the election boards, and is now serving as a school commissioner is well known, but that the old commander of the Fifth Missouri infantry was ever a Santa Fe freighter in the days when freighting was fighting, was not generally known until there appeared a month ago in Hal Reid's monthly, Western Life, a paper written by Colonel Moore for the Kansas Historical Society.
The story is that of an engagement between a party of freighters, with whom was young Moore, and a band of Indians, in 1864, not far from Dodge City.
The story as told by Colonel Moore was incomplete in that he admitted he did not know by what Indians his party was attacked. A week ago the sequel appeared in the form of a letter from George Bent, at present residing at Colony, Okla., who has written to Colonel Moore to tell him that the leader of the Indians he fought with forty-four years ago was the notorious "Little Robe," no chief at all but a great warrior. With the Bent letter Colonel Moore's story is complete, and both are here given:
"After the commencement of the Indian war on the upper Arkansas in 1864 caravans were not permitted to proceed westward of Fort Larned on the Pawnee Fork, or the confluence of that stream with the Arkansas, near where the city of Larned now stands, on the river road, in parties of less than 100 men. In August two trains of Stuart, Slemmons & Co., who had the general contract for the transportation of government stores for the posts on the Arkansas and in New Mexico and Arizona that year, reached the mouth of Pawnee fork, and found awaiting them a Mexican train bound for some point below the Santa Fe, also a small train of fourteen wagons under the direction of Andrew Blanchard of Leavenworth. The name of the wagonmaster of the Mexican train is not remembered, but he was either a Frenchman or Castilian. The S. S. trains were under the charge respectively of Charles P. McRea and John Sage, both of whom were men of experience and tried courage. The four trains having a force of men numbering more than 100 were allowed to proceed.
"A full train of the period was twenty-five wagons loaded with freight, and a provision wagon, commonly known as the 'mess wagon,' each drawn by six yokes of oxen; the freight of each wagon was from 6,000 to 7,000 pounds. There was one wagonmaster, one assistant and one extra man, denominated the 'extra hand,' who were mounted, twenty-six teamsters and two night herders. In practice the night herders soon became teamsters, replacing sick men, or those who for some reason had turned, or were turned back, and the slavish duty of night herding cattle fell upon the teamsters.
"Thomas Fields of Jackson County, Missouri, route agent for the S. S. company, was elected captain of the combined trains. He was a man of many years' experience on the plains, and had been in more than one contest with the Indians.
"The rule of travel was: The train having the advance today should go to the rear tomorrow, and so on. Blanchard, having light wagons, which could be moved easily and rapidly, was dissatisfied with the rule, and refused at times to be governed by it, with the result hereinafter stated.
"On Sunday, August 21, the trains, after a hard morning drive, reached the head of the 'dry route,' which left the river some miles below the present Dodge City, ran over the hills by old Fort Larned, not touching the Arkansas valley again until the crossing of Walnut creek. McRea was in front, followed by Sage, the Mexican, and Blanchard, in the order named. The region was known to be dangerous because near the great trail of the Indians in their journeyings from north to south and the reverse.
"McRea went into corral just south of the road about 10 o'clock a.m., and Sage and the Mexican in their order, but well closed up. The three first trains corralled so as to leave room for Blanchard's train with its rear resting on or near a bayou in such way that it would be practically impossible for a band of Indians to sweep around it. Instead of camping at the place designated, Blanchard continued on and went into corral about half a mile beyond McRea. The cattle were placed south of the trains, near the river, and guards put out. The trainmen were armed with Minie rifles, and the order in force required that these be carried in slings on the left sides of the wagons—a rule but little observed. As a matter of fact, the guns were usually in the wagons, and practically inaccessible when needed in an emergency, except as hereafter stated. The teamsters of McRea's train were largely from Missouri; and a number of them had seen military service upon one side or the other in the Civil War. They were a well-controlled and reliable body. The first mess on the right wing were white men, excepting the negro cook, Thomas Fry, who was afterwards a ragpicker in Kansas City, and died there. He was an honorably discharged soldier from the United States volunteer army on account of the loss of the first two fingers of the right hand in battle.
"The second mess was wholly negroes, or 'black men,' as the Missourians of the period termed them. The negroes, possibly from the novelty of having far-shooting guns in their possession, habitually had their arms at hand when in camp, practicing at targets as far as allowed by the rules of the wagonmaster. At about 1 o'clock in the afternoon the camp was quiet, many of the men asleep; one big fellow was lying on his back under his wagon singing 'Sweet Eloise,' and three men from McRea's train were out more than 100 yards towards the ridge, shooting at prairie dogs.
"Suddenly the cry of 'Indians' came from one of these. A glance at the ridge not more than half a mile away showed it to be covered with mounted Indians, and a dozen or more coming down the slope at full run, evidently intending to overtake the three men before they could reach the corral, and were in a fair way to do so, and possibly pass between Sage and McRea. The six negroes of the second mess instead of running inside the corral and firing from behind wagons, as they would have been justified in doing, boldly opened fire on the advancing party and walked out to the road towards them. This turned the Indians and the three men came in safely. Nevertheless five of the Indians, led by a man on a yellow pony, dashed through between the trains of McRea and Blanchard and very near the latter. Probably forty or more passed around the head of Blanchard's train and came in south of it.
"The ridge was still covered with mounted men who had not then descended into the valley. When Blanchard saw the five Indians pass by the mouth of his corral he mounted his pony, drew his revolver, an ordinary 36-caliber, and rode out after them, evidently not noticing those who had passed around the front of his train. By the time he had gotten possibly 200 yards from his camp the Indians, who by that time had concentrated, divided into two parties, and one began to drive off his cattle and the other to circle around him, lying on the sides of their ponies and covering their bodies with shields. By this time the train men in the corrals of McRea and Sage had got their arms and those on the south side opened fire, but at too great a distance to protect Blanchard, or to do the Indians serious injury.
"The Indians closed on Blanchard, and either knocked him off his horse in an effort to get him onto one of their own ponies, to take him out of the fire or he fell from wounds. As he fell his fourteen teamsters and one night herder left their corral, and without a word of command formed a line, and charged the mass of Indians, firing rapidly as they advanced. The Indians hesitated before giving up their victim, but finally retreated. Blanchard was able to get on his feet and run to his men, who brought him to McRea's camp where he died in an hour. He had been shot one or more times, lanced behind one shoulder, and an arrow had entered his back near the spinal column and protruded about eight inches out through the stomach; this he pulled through himself before reaching his rescuers. When his pistol was found, which he had dropped, two chambers were empty, but there was no evidence that he had wounded any of the Indians.
"We buried him by the side of the road, and upon our return in the fall it appeared that his grave had been opened, but whether by savage Indians, wolves or loving hands we never knew. After retreating some distance, driving the cattle of Blanchard's train, four Indians dashed back into McRea's herd and took out about one-third, and a few belonging to Sage. This was done under a heavy rifle fire, but so far as ever known no Indians were hurt. They left two of their ponies down on the river bank, which probably had been disabled. The Mexicans sustained no loss. After the skirmish was ended a few well directed shots dispersed the party that had remained on the hill; and one Indian, not exceeding 800 yards away, who seemed to be acting as a signal man, was directly fired at—the rifleman resting his piece on a wagon tongue; so far as we knew no harm happened to him, but he galloped swiftly from his post, and was not seen again.
"The Indians drove the cattle so captured across the river to a point two or three miles away, then unsaddled their ponies and rested. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon another herd, consisting of horses, mules and cattle, the proceeds of other raids, were driven down on the south side of the river, and added to those taken from Blanchard's train and the S.S. trains. The combined herds were then driven southward over the sand hills. We saw no more of this war party. It was anticipated that some might remain and watch for a messenger that must necessarily be sent back to Fort Larned; if any were left we had no evidence of it.
"As all of Blanchard's herd except two oxen had been taken it was necessary to communicate with Fort Larned, the nearest military post. The distance was estimated to be about sixty-five miles. The night herder of Blanchard's train expressed a willingness to go upon this perilous undertaking. While making his preparations at McRea's camp he was asked if he wanted any money, that a little might be found in the train. He replied that money would not 'help' him 'on a trip like this,' but he would be glad to have a small bottle of whisky and some tobacco, as he might not get anything to eat before the afternoon of the next day. These having been furnished him, and when it was dark, without a word of parting, he mounted the pony, off which Blanchard had been shot, and rode away towards the hills, saying that it was his purpose to keep away from the road and travel under the 'tops of the ridges.' On the second morning after his departure, and just at daylight a body of soldiers arrived, accompanied by the messenger, together with a long train of wagons. The commanding officer took charge of Blanchard's wagons, and within an hour McRea, Sage and the Mexican were moving on to their several destinations under an escort, commanded by Captain Butcher, Eleventh Missouri Volunteer cavalry. The remainder of the journey was made by the three trains without incident—Indians having been seen but once, and that was a short distance below old Fort Lyon; the party disappeared rapidly, and was evidently traveling and not on the warpath.
"Returning to the messenger, his courage and boldness stamped him as a man whose name should be preserved, if possible, in Kansas historical collections, but I never heard of him again, and do not remember his name, possibly never knew it. The plainsman of that period, like his successor, the cowboy, was not inquisitive. He might ask another where he was from, but rarely his name—never his former business. The messenger was then of full middle life, rather stout, with sandy colored hair and beard, and brown eyes. He was simply a night herder, probably had no other occupation, but like the trapper, the hunter and the plainsman, he has probably joined his class.
"In 1877 I was at Dodge City several days taking testimony in a case growing out of the loss of a train of mules near the Cimarron crossing in the year 1864, and one afternoon, in company with a former member of the firm of Stuart, Slemmons & Co., drove down to Fort Dodge and below to identify, if possible, the place where Blanchard was killed, but could not. From the course of a bayou I was led to believe that the guard house at Fort Dodge was located at or near the place where the rear of the Mexican train stood. However, there was no landmark by which the place could be reasonably identified. In years past I have made many inquiries to learn if possible what band of Indians made the attack, but have obtained no satisfaction. It was the opinion of our captain, Thomas Fields, judging from their mode of attack, that the Indians were Comanches or Kiowas, or both."
In 1908 I wrote George Bent, a former school mate, and received the following reply:
"Colony, Okla., Jan. 17, 1908.
"Colonel Milton Moore, Kansas City.
"Sir: I have seen published in a Western periodical your paper now in the archives of the Kansas Historical Society relating to a battle your train had with a war party in August, 1864, near where Fort Dodge was. Cheyennes were camped on the Solomon river. Several war parties started from this village to make raids on trains. Most of these parties went to Platte river. The Sioux joined these war parties that went to Platte river. 'Little Robe,' now dead, was head of this party that your trains had fight with. There were twenty or thirty warriors in this party. The man you speak of riding the yellow horse in the lead was 'Bear Man.' He was no chief; only grand warrior in battles. I was in the Cheyenne village when these war parties started out and I knew this young man well. He died at Darlington agency several years ago from an old wound he got fighting Utes. He was about twenty-five years old when he led that charge through between the trains. The war party did not drive the cattle very far out when they left them. Just before this fight, in July, I think, the Kiowas and Comanches attacked a train or two at Walnut creek. They killed several teamsters. Brother Charles was at Charley Rath's ranch on Walnut creek at the time. He told me about it when he came to the village on Solomon river. The whites started this war in 1864. As I was with the Cheyennes at the time I knew what took place. The Kansas Historical Society ought to get the Indian side of the history of all these wars between the whites and Indians.
[Footnote 1: NOTE.—Colonel Milton Moore, the signer of this Preface, is a man of unusual legal ability. The confidence reposed in the old commander of the Fifth Missouri infantry is clearly set forth by the fact that for more than a quarter of a century he has been a member of the police and election boards and has served for a long time as school commissioner and is one of the most prominent practitioners at the Kansas City Bar, with offices on the third floor, suite 3, Rialto Bldg., Kansas City, Mo.]
I will call attention to the Old Pecos Church which was probably owned by the Roman Catholics at one time, but which was in ruins when I first saw it, as I drove by with my stage coach to Santa Fe. It stood twenty miles east of Santa Fe on the old trail. The walls were built of adobe, the doors were round-topped and built of solid hewed timbers, with wooden hinges, wooden latches. When I first saw the old ruins it had a belfry on the top of it with a rounded topped opening in it the same as the doors below. This church was built on the plan of a fort. When it was originally built it was the storage place for all kinds of ammunition, Roman spears, shields, breast plates, guns, powder, ammunition of every kind and character, used by Roman Catholics for war, and was probably built by the Aztec Indians who were; under the control of the Spaniards. It was said to be 300 years old when I saw it 53 years ago. It was a two-story structure, built of adobe, or sun-dried brick. The floors of the building were built of some kind of concrete and were hard and glossy. The upper floor was built of eight by ten timbers laid solidly together with a crease in the crack of each timber—dovetailed— the cracks in the timbers fitted so closely together that the creases did not show. The under part of the floor, that part which was exposed as ceiling for the lower room was lavishly hand carved. This carving was said to have been done by the Indians. There was carved in some places, Indian squaws with their papooses on their backs, heads of big braves, mooses, bow and arrows, fish, deer, antelope, horses, lizards and almost everything imagined was carved in this timber. Those parts not exposed directly to the elements were in a good state of preservation, while those pieces exposed to the weather were brittle and would crumble like chalk.
In the picture of the Pecos church you will note the pieces of fallen timbers. Kosloski was a Polish ranchman whose ranch was traversed by the Old Trail. This was a very picturesque ranch at the foot of the Glorietta Mountains, half mile from the ruins of the old Pecos Church. He bought the ruins of this once famous temple and built stable, for his horses and cattle. Kosloski's ranch had at one time been a famous eating station, noted for its profusion of fine mountain trout caught from the Rio Pecos River which ran near the cabin. On this famous ranch four miles east of the Pecos River, the Texas Rangers fought their fight with the Union soldiers and were whipped. Gone are those old days, gone are the old people, gone are the bones of the soldiers which have bleached upon the ruins of the Old Trail. Silence reigns supremely over the once famous ranch, broken occasionally by the screams of the locomotives as they whiz by on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, puffing, screeching and rumbling up the steep grades of the Glorietta Mountains.
W. H. RYUS.