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   This annexment to the "Ft. Pierre expedition" concerns an incident of the Indian campaign of General W. S. Harney in 1855, of which the battle of Ash Hollow was the bloody opening. I had accompanied the river expedition in June of that year to Ft. Pierre, as has been related in another paper, returning to Omaha in July. Gen. Harney had crossed with his main forces from the Platte river garrisons during the summer after having made his compacts of peace with the Sioux, for which his grab-all bargains with them at Ft. Laramie, and the big "talks" with Maj. Montgomery at Ft. Pierre, had paved the way. Reports of depredations, actual and threatened, of the Santee and other bands of Indians on the Iowa lines of advanced settlement in the vicinity of Sioux City, probably caused him to order considerable forces to the Big Sioux in the autumn of that year. Gen. Harney accompanied them in person and in command. I visited this camp several times during the latter months of the season, on business and pleasure, assisting Lieut. Plummer and other officers, in supplying the troops with needed subsistence from Council Bluffs and Omaha markets. I do not remember the number of troops that occupied that encampment. I should say that it was composed of cavalry and infantry, and perhaps some light artillery, that would be called a regiment in all; everything being in perfect military order, with Harney always a chief figure, not only on account of his high rank and reputation, but almost as much on account of his splendid physique and commanding presence.
   It was here that I met Gen. Harney for the first time. I was afforded a good opportunity to study the character of one of the most eminent of the heroes of our earlier wars. His form was that of the ideal soldier; six feet four in height, as straight and erect as any Sioux chief that ever lived; brusque in manner; rough in mould and



mein, as in voice; proud of his name and his honest titles to distinction; harsh of speech, and in no way fastidious about his choice of adjectives to emphasize his commands or displeasure. He was yet so tender of heart, after all, that even a wronged army mule could arouse in him the most practical sympathy, as an incident will illustrate which I myself witnessed with my own delighted eyes, at the Big Sioux camp, as follows:
   Gen. Harney was walking about the encampment on a beautiful morning after everybody had opened their eyes and their tents for another day of army life in that then wild and untamed locality. He was attended by an orderly who was leading his own favorite saddle mule at a respectful distance in the rear of his big master. The general was in citizens dress, as I remember. It was his habit to carry with him a riding whip when taking these casual "constitutionals" for exercise and observation, and he had it well in hand at the moment when he discovered a muleteer kicking and beating one of the army mules. In less time than it will take to tell the rest of the story, the "Hero of Chapultepec" had seized the mule beater by the nape of the neck with one hand, and was giving him a savage horse-whipping with that handy riding whip in the other. There was considerable subdued comment over the incident, that served to bring out quiet remarks upon the character of Harney; and it also impressed me with that peculiarity of his nature which could permit him to shoot down not less than sixty Indians at Ash Hollow, including more than one woman, as a punishment for offences, which, in my belief, they never committed, without any compunctions of conscience or emotion of sympathy with human suffering, and yet, abuse of a mule could, and did, excite in him both sympathy and resentment, which was displayed by violence and by small and large blocks of profanity, that would make the average cowboy of the. plains ashamed of the poverty of his choicest vocabulary. But, upon the whole, there was room to admire Gen. Harney for a great deal of personal manhood and military merit. I never regarded him as a great soldier, nor was he ever born for large commands. There were at least three younger men in the Sioux Camp in 1855 under Gen. Harney's orders who were his superiors, from whom the country was destined to hear in later years out of the red centers and chaos of the civil war; men who shed their blood upon both sides of



the conflict, and whose names already have an enduring place in the military history of our country. I will mention them in connection with the first court martial I ever saw, which was in progress for weeks at Big Sioux Camp, for the trial of one, Major Howe of the cavalry arm of the service, which I frequently attended during my stay there. It may be said here, as in parenthesis, that this sketch is written with the main object of recording my impressions of these now eminent historical characters.
   When I say that Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the illustrious Confederate Chieftain, who has but recently passed from the scenes of earth, honored by all men who respect exalted personal virtues and great military capacity and achievement, was a member of that court; that Nathaniel Lyon, the Hero of Camp Jackson," who fell, face to the. foe, at Wilson's Creek after conquering Missouri to the Union cause, was its Judge Advocate; and that Alfred Pleasanton, the distinguished Union cavalry leader was Gen. Harney's adjutant and chief-of-staff at the Sioux Camp, none will dispute the justice of the comparison which I venture to make, between Gen. Harney and three, at least, of his Big Sioux command who were then unknown to fame.
   Johnston then held the modest rank of Lieut. Colonel; Lyon that of captain of the Second Infantry of the old army, and Pleasanton was a young dashing first lieutenant. It was in Pleasanton's company that I dined with Mrs. Dr. Madison, in her tent at the camp, for which privilege and pleasure I was indebted to a renewal of my acquaintance with Surgeon Madison, whom I had first met at Ft. Pierre. That dinner was as formal and stately as if it had been given in a Vanderbilt mansion in Fifth Avenue, Mrs. Madison presiding with infinite grace and dignity, elegant in dress, and amply gloved for the occasion. I wonder if Gen. Pleasanton could recall this incident from over the stormy scenes of blood through which be has since passed? I do not remember that I have ever met him since that day of dining and wining in the camp on the Big Sioux. But not so with Johnston and Lyon. It was here that my acquaintance with these eminent soldiers began, which terminated only with their lives. That with Gen. Lyon led to the closest confidence and intimacy, which continued until he fell at Wilson's Creek, the first eminent victim of the war of the Union, whose cause he espoused with the resolution of a heroic nature and with all the zeal and cour-



age of one of the purest of patriots. I knew him well. I had predicted for him, years before his opportunity came, that when occasion called he would prove his ability as a soldier equal to great commands. I shall continue to live, and probably die in the belief that he fell a victim to the incompetency of John C. Fremont, who failed to reinforce him from Rolla, Mo., with two regiments, for which, at the earnest request of Lyon, I, among others, urgently appealed, pending the unequal combat in which that heroic life went out. National honors were paid to his memory, and he sleeps near kindred dust in his native Connecticut. One of big ancestors on his mother's side fought with Washington at the battle of Harlem Heights, falling at the head of big troops. He was mentioned for conspicuous gallantry in this action by Washington in special orders. This Revolutionary soldier was a Knowlton.
   The present President of the State Historical Society, Hon. J. Sterling Morton, may recall the fact that on our visit to Salt Lake City, many years ago, in calling at the home of Maj. W. H. Hooper, the old Utah delegate in Congress, we saw pictures of Lyon and of the Knowlton side of his family, of whom Mrs. Hooper was a near relative, hanging on the walls of his hospitable home.
   Gen. Lyon was a small man in stature. He was markedly blonde in complexion. His temperament was nervous-sanguine, which fired him with that restless mental and physical energy that was the most striking feature of big character. He was a clear, forceful and vigorous writer. He hated a secessionist with venomous dislike and unconcealed contempt, as a traitor to big country. But, after all, his was a kindly and a generous spirit, and, it is the best tribute, that can be paid to his memory to say that those who knew him best loved him most.
   Leaving the greatest of this quartette of American soldiers, measured by their military renown, to the last, what shall I say of Joseph E. Johnston, one of the most manly and chivalric of all the noble army of Virginians, whom the "mother of states and statesmen" has produced - the Confederate hero of Fair Oaks, and of the defense against Gen. Sherman in "the march to the sea?" My acquaintance with him began at Sioux Camp, survived the war, and continued to the late sad day of his death. He was a noble man and soldier, intellectually superior, in my judgment, and morally the



peer of Lee, which exhausts all comparison. When I first met him I was struck by his open, frank and courtly manner, warmth of greeting, and soldierly eloquence and precision of speech and bearing. He was then in the full mental and physical vigor of middle manhood. Of medium height and slight build, with a broad head surmounting a fully developed chest,, and a keen, soft, grayish blue eye, Johnston was a model gentleman and soldier. His Mexican services gave him prominence and reputation, as long ago as 1855, and he was even then regarded as the ideal soldier of the United States Army. I need not recall his great, but unfortunate military career. I met him in Omaha three years ago for the last time. He talked of Major William E. Moore, his chief commissary in the great campaign of Atlanta, with emotion which be could scarcely conceal, at the loss of big gallant friend. Referring to the Atlanta campaign, he declined to admit that it was a "retreat" on his part; he spoke of it, as "a series of battles between unequal forces," with that modesty which was a leading trait of big character. At a dinner given in Omaha by the late Ezra Millard to Gen. Sherman, I mentioned Johnston to Gen. Sherman, who spoke of the Confederate commander in the warmest language of praise: "I couldn't capture a tin cup from him in the whole series of battles and retreats," said the immortal hero of "the march to the sea."
   Three years, perhaps, after the Sioux Camp and court scenes Gen. Johnston was made inspector-general of the army. I think it was in 1859 or 1860, that I was informed that a gentleman had inquired for me at the office of the Herndon House, in Omaha, where I was then living. I walked down from my room to meet him, passing Johnston on the stairway, as he was coming up and I was going down, without recognition by either of the other. I pursued my friend until I found that the soft-hatted, plainly dressed person in Virginia dark grey citizens clothes, whom I had met on the stairway, was none other than "Joe Johnston," as he was familiarly called, who, on a tour of inspection, had come down from Ft. Randall to Council Bluffs, and did me the honor to say that "I thought I would spend Sunday with you." Such a marked attention from such a man was a flattering compliment, and the visit, so delightful to me in all respects, of thirty years ago, led to a continued friendship of which Gen. Johnston gave me many proofs before he drew his sword in



defense of his mother state, as well as since the close of the war. If I am not mistaken, I had something to say for this illustrious American when President Cleveland appointed him government commissioner of the Pacific railroads in 1884, a place that he continued to hold largely by the special personal request of his old antagonist, Gen. Sherman, at the hands of President Harrison.
   The Big Sioux Camp was beautifully located on the wooded banks of the river which led me to give it this name. The leading incident was the court martial of Maj. Howe, against whom, Gen. Harney himself preferred the charges and was the chief witness. Gen. Lyon prosecuted him with relentless vigor upon charges which concerned corrupt practices of a petty but disgraceful character, and, I believe, to conviction. In after years, in conversation with Jefferson Davis in Memphis, where the conquered chief. of the Confederate States of America resided after the war, who was secretary of war, when that "Howe court" was held, I found that Davis was able to recall the fact that he officially reviewed its proceedings. It was a somewhat celebrated case in the army annals, but I was surprised at proofs which Mr. Davis gave of the reach and accuracy of his memory in recalling incidents connected with that court. I do not remember that he so much as mentioned the name of Johnston, who, as I have said, was a member of the court, either in that connection or any other, although Lee, whose picture decorated the wall above Mr. Davis' desk, was the subject of considerable conversation. Men whose military judgment are widely respected agree with my own notion, that if Johnston, instead of Lee, had commanded the Confederates at Gettysburgh, Gen. Longstreet's criticisms of Lee's mistakes in that crucial battle of the war for and against the Union would not have applied to the confederate chief at Fair Oaks, who doubled up McClellan in the first onslaughts on the Peninsula, who out-generaled, if he did not outfight, Sherman before Atlanta, and who would have saved Pemberton at Vicksburgh, if his military counsels had been heeded by the authorities and lesser men and soldiers than Joseph Johnston, who was expected to beat Grant and rescue Pemberton's army without adequate force at his command for the purpose."



   It was on June 24, 1843, that we first set foot on Nebraska soil, though it was then known as Indian Territory. On our way to the Pawnee village, aboard the steamer Oceanica, laden with government supplies and bound for Bellevue, the seat of the Council Bluffs agency for the Otoes,, Pawnees and Omahas, Captain Lyttleton invited us with the guests on board, to go out and take a view of his farm. The steamer was drawn to the shore near the month of the Weeping Water where we landed, ascending the bluff that we might the more perfectly see what had so enchanted Capt. Lyttleton as to cause him to choose that wild spot as the site of his future home. The beauty that surrounded us any one may prove by visiting the spot to-day, though then it wag only a rich primeval pasture ground, "fenced by the stooping sky."
   The next day, June 25, we landed at Bellevue, and were entertained by the agent, Maj. Daniel Miller. There was no white woman at the agency, Mrs. Miller having gone down the river for fear of the Otoes, who were threatening an outbreak on account of some disaffection towards the agent. A blacksmith for the Omahas had come upon the deck of the Oceanica, with his wife and cow; and they found shelter in a log cabin a little way up the river from the agency buildings, the trading post of the American Fur Company lying between the two. On the Sabbath, July 2, a messenger arrived from the Pawnee villages bringing tidings of the attack of the Sioux upon them, which is mentioned in Mr. (not Rev.) Allis's historical sketch. This attack had been made the Wednesday previous and the village that was burned was the one to which we were bound as teachers. My brother, G. B. Gaston, had gone to the Pawnees under the auspices of the A. B. C. F. M., and being informed by him that it was desirable that the teachers employed by the government should



be those who would co-operate with the missionaries in their work, Mr. Platte and I went out with that intent.
   The question now was, should we go on to the villages or return to the states; but as the back trail was so long and would have disappointment written all along its way, and that before us was short and lighted up with hope, we decided to go forward. I was very desirous to go with my husband, who would return with the messenger, but Maj. Miller counseled strongly that I wait four weeks till the teams should come in for the government supplies as well as for those for the mission. He pleaded that we were liable to be attacked by the Sioux on the way; that my presence might hinder the men from escaping and that all might be killed or taken captive, so, although loth to do so, I yielded the point. Propriety demanding that I go to the only white woman in the place, very reluctantly I was ushered into the cabin of the Omaha blacksmith, with its one small room on the ground and a low loft above, which was occupied at night by the striker Albert Fontenelle, who had recently returned from Missouri where he had been at school.
   Those four weeks of waiting were marked in my calendar as never to be forgotten. A few days after my husband left Macinac, boats came down the river, the men on board bringing word that the Sioux, having become offended with the traders of the Fur Company, would soon send a war party to attack those at Bellevue. A day or two after this news came, two Omaha women, who were living with a white man, saw, just before sunset, what they insisted was proof of the presence of the enemy - bushes waving, where no bushes grew. They declared that it was Sioux scouts with branches of trees tied to them, which, rising just above their heads, would look like a clump of bushes and thus enable the Indians to make observations without being seen. These women rushed to the cabin of the blacksmith and demanded shelter, as their house was on the bluff and would be the first to meet the attack. The agent felt comparatively safe with his doors fastened by iron bars and bolts - the Fur Company was picketed in and kept guarded - and so for one long week during those hot July nights the white man and his two Indian women, the blacksmith and wife, his striker, and my own precious self, were shut in that cabin without windows, the door barred, while the men had bowie knives and revolvers within reach. Very unrefreshing



was the sleep that visited my pillow; but no Sioux came to attack; the excitement died away and we drew free breath again.
   But now it became apparent that a new lodger was about to appear to claim a place with us. The two Omaha women ushered the stranger into its new world, but announced that the mother was no "brave" to endure pain. Now added duties were mine. I did not choose to starve or to see others suffer hunger, and if I did not, food must be prepared. But how could I make a fire hot enough to cook the inevitable coffee, cornpone and bacon on those fiery July days, in that little hut near the bed of an invalid? The blacksmith's forge was near by, and I said, "that shall be my refuge," and it was. I have heard the voices of men, who were driving oxen, when they sounded to me rough and rude, but the "whoa-up, whoa-up, whoa-steady, Brown and Bandy, whoa-gee now Duke and Berry," were music to my listening ear on that last Saturday of July, as the government teams were driven down the narrow defile, that led from the overhanging bluffs, to the river bank, on which stood the agency buildings.
   Monday, July 31, six prairie schooners, heavily laden, each drawn by three yoke of oxen, slowly climbed to the uplands, that overlooked the narrow bottom on which stood Bellevue, although La Bellevue was on the heights. I was the only passenger, but my husband was captain of the craft I had boarded, and my brother engineered another. The skies were fair, the air was cool and pure, new experiences lay before me, and my heart leaped for joy. Our path lay along the old trail, known to the early settlers of Nebraska, a trail worn by Indians and by the traders who loved the wild life to be found in the "Great American Desert." The first and part of the second day we were on the high lands, with small streams to cross, but no sloughs. Two of the streams were the Great and the Little Papillion. I wish to protest against the vandalism, that has reduced that musical name to Papio, as we hear it announced while flying over that ground to-day. The old time spirit of the teacher always comes over me and I am prompted to say "Pa-peel-youg, Sir." And now too, much to be deplored is it, that the euphonious O-ma-ha, has come to be the hard Omaha, and the smooth Pawny, the forced Pawnee.
   The fording of the Elkhorn was a task of some magnitude; but as the river was low, by doubling teams, and by the drivers wading in the



water up to their arm-pits, all were safely over before camping the second night. The drive along the Platte bottom was more difficult because of the sloughs. These were bridged with grass and weeds which grew so luxuriantly along their sides. Each driver had a scythe, and with them the wild growth was soon out in sufficient quantities to fill the great oozy beds over which we must pass. It was always my privilege to take the first ride over the new bridge, and consequently I passed safely to the other side. But very often the piers of the structure would give way under the last schooner and it would sink into the deep mud from which it must be rescued by the united efforts of the line of oxen giving "a long pull, a strong pull and a pull all together," while the men pried at the wheels of the sinking vessel. All this trouble might have been saved by the further use of the scythe.
   Very little of special interest occurred during our eight days trip, though it was by no means dull. A camping place was always sought where wood and water could be secured, and if possible, where the oxen could be turned loose to graze, without the fear that they would take the homeward trail. The islands on the Platte afforded such security, and, the river being low, the men could easily ford it to drive back their teams in the morning.
   It is said that a "thing of beauty is a joy forever," and so it may be, even while it proves a vexation, as did a rare and beautiful flower one of the young men threw into my lap one day, It was a large aquatic plant of a delicate orange color, and of a heavy though not disagreeable fragrance. I having no botany which described the flora of that region, that flower with many others, long remained with me as a nameless waif, which was really vexing. For years I sought by describing this flower to others to learn its name; but it was never recognized, and it was the only specimen I ever saw in Nebraska. At last on visiting a little lake in Mills county, Iowa, in 1854 or 1855, I found its bosom covered with the beauty I had so long cherished in my memory as "the nameless one." I learned it was the Yellow Nelumbo. Some years after this I saw a statement in the New York Independent, that there are only three states where this plant is found, North Carolina, New Jersey and New York. I immediately wrote to the Independent, claiming for Iowa and Nebraska the same honor.



   While writing of flowers, I will add that I found as I have intimated, the flora of the Loup (Loo), near which were the Pawnee villages, very rare. There were vetches and spurges in great variety. Of the the (sic) latter the Flowering Spurge was most prominent, and on visiting the garden at Mt. Vernon in after years, I found it was esteemed so highly as to be cultivated there. The rose, violet and crowfoot families were most fully represented. There I first saw Penstemon (Great Beard Tongue); and only there a mammoth dock, bearing flowers as large as the cultivated hydrangea, of an orange hue varying from a light to a very deep color. There was also a trailing hirsute vine with a compound leaf and a long peduncle to which was attached a mass of magenta colored flowers in the form of a very compact tassel. To what family this belongs, I have yet to learn. There were also the gentian and orchid, though the latter family was not very fully represented. The sand along the banks of the Loup (Loo) was full of wild potatoes and turkey peas upon which the Indians often feasted. If cultivated, why should they not become useful to us of nicer taste? The corn known among all the Indians as Pawnee corn, was a great rarity to us, and its luxuriant growth a great marvel, ears 16 and 18 inches long being not uncommon. The fauna near an Indian village would be difficult of approach, and not very numerous. Buffalo were seldom seen there during our stay, and then but few in number. Elk were in the country, and, at one time, while the Indians were out on their hunt, a large herd of fifty or more passed down the river on the opposite side from our dwellings. Deer there were also, but seldom near us; and when antelope grazed in our sight we were sure a war party of Sioux were not far away, as this timid animal so graceful in form and movement fled before the Indian's scented trail. Wolves, especially the prairie wolves, were numerous and never far away. Of the black wolf, one was killed by our company that had been attracted to our yard by a calf tied near the house. It measured five feet from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. A pair of white wolves were seen trotting along during the day, and were so large as to be mistaken for two yearling calves that had been for some time lost in the bluffs. Another one was in the habit one season of serenading us on moonlight nights, coming so near as to be distinctly seen by us, and making bold to enter the cattle yards and carry off a young calf



which was rescued by the men. But the beautiful white invader escaped and was too cunning to fall into the many traps set for him. That these different families of wolves mixed their blood was proven to us by our seeing at one time a gang of a hundred or more feeding near the village in the winter during the absence of the Indians. It was the season that the ague caused the death of so many Indians, and that, with the death of Spotted Horse and yoing Mathers, which is mentioned in another place, filled the Indians with such fear, that they buried their dead very near the surface in their haste to put them out of their sight. This attracted the wolves, and caused them to collect in such numbers. I noticed no purely white wolves among them. There were black and spotted ones, probably a mixture between the prairie and the black wolf, as they were much larger than the former. I do not know that the gray wolf was found there. Beaver, otter, and mink abounded, and their furs were a valuable source of traffic for the Pawnees. The pole cat often made his presence known by perfuming the air with what all English visitor among the Delawares termed his "agreeable aromatic." Jack rabbit with his long cars and bounding gait, and bunny with his white sail, ventured at intervals to come out front their hiding places; but woe be to them if an Indian was near, for nothing in the form of fresh meat was permitted to escape him.
   No doubt had all ornithologist been there of sufficient daring to search the groves in the silent ravines, he would have found many species of birds. That the Indians found them was proven by their possessing skills of birds of various bright colors, with which they decked themselves and their horses for war, though probably many of these were obtained from southern Indians. The lark was almost the only song bird we heard - a variety that came in flocks, smaller than the meadow lark, and not solitary in pairs like those of the east. Prairie chickens abounded in the winter and magpies came around our dwellings to pick up the bones, saucily sitting on our window sill, to note perhaps the occupation of the housekeeper.
   That the mastodon had roamed over that region ages before, we had proof in a large tooth weighing seven pounds, that was washed down by a rise of the Loup (Loo) river, and also by reports from the Pawnees of the skeleton of a large animal which they saw on the banks of the Republican Fork. This was also seen by Messrs. Dun-



bar and Allis, during their travels with the Indians. The tradition of the Pawnees was, that these were the bones of a mighty man who in former ages had his home in that region; that he was so tall and large and strong, he could kill buffalo with ease, and taking a cow under each arm and a bull on his back, could walk off as though he carried nothing. But though so mighty, he lacked reverence, and one day when God spoke in the thunder, this man mocked him and the earth immediately opened and swallowed him. The Pawnees were a very reverent people, having no expression like an oath in their language, - the white man taught them to take the name of God in vain.
   We camped Saturday night on land now owned by Col. Stevens, a little west of the present city of Columbus, and there rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. With the wide prairie as our cathedral, the overhanging azure our arch, the musical waters of the swift-running Loup (Loo) for our organ, and the birds for our choir, we worshipped, were refreshed and uplifted. Early Monday morning we were ready for home going, camped on the Looking Glass at noon and cooled our kettle of mush in its crystal waters. At that time it well deserved the name the Pawnees had given it, "Keats-oo-ka-tow-arick," (water that reflects your shadow.) But since from its source to its mouth, herds of cattle have trod its bed, and waters from deeply ploughed fields have drained into it, it no longer merits that title, and dwellers on its banks to-day wonder what peculiarity won it the name of Looking Glass. This is the first stream of any size in the Loup (Loo) valley, as you go westward from its mouth. The next, Beaver Creek, as then called, was known also as Burr Creek from the innumerable burrs growing along its banks, the Pawnees applying either name as they chose, for they were not only annoyed by the burrs, but caught many beaver in and near the stream.
   The next stream west of the Beaver, is Plum Creek, on which was the Mission station, and between which and Council Creek stood the village which had just been burned by the Sioux. Plum Creek was so called from the abundance of plum bushes on its banks. The first season the missionaries spent there, they feasted on their fruit. The plums were of large size, great variety and delicious flavor, but the praire fires destroyed the trees that fall, and few were found there afterward. Plum Creek was well wooded; large oaks which shaded its



steep banks produced acorns very pleasant to the taste. It was fed by springs coming to. the surface at the foot of the bluffs; and had our little company been possessed of the implements, they would have been tempted to turn aside from their legitimate work to search for coal and on in the surrounding bluffs, so sure were they that the waters of Plum Creek indicated their near presence. That stream, which then supplied water in abundance for the families on its banks and their stock, has to-day very little in its bed.
   The next, Council Creek, where Maj. Dougherty held his famous council, has increased rather than diminished in size during these years. But by some mishap, the two streams have changed names, which, without regard to the annoyance of early settlers, is unfortunate for historical exactness. Charming Willow, too, whose beauties were sung by the earlier poets who dwelt on its banks, now answers to the name of Cedar, though there are two or three other Cedars in the near distance. In the arbors formed by the drooping willows on its banks, we could bathe hidden from the eyes of the passer by. The cedars grew on the high bluff over-hanging the stream, hence both names were given by the Pawnees, but to the earlier whites, it was always known as Willow.
   On arrival at our new home, we began to look about us to learn what was to be done. The Pawnees were so demoralized by the burning of their viliages (sic) and the killing of so many of their leading and most reliable men, that little could be done for them that season. And yet those who contemplated doing for them in the future must be preparing. Mr. Platt and I therefore set ourselves to aid the whites who had been before us on the ground, to carry out their plans, while we made the acquaintance of the villagers when they returned from their hunt, and learned their language. One of the most notable events of that autumn was the privilege our little community had of entertaining Fremont on his return from his mountain trip; though little did we know what germs of greatness, that would bring him great renown, lay hidden behind the rough garb, the uncut hair and the untrimmed beard of our stranger guest.
   The next spring seeing little prospect of accomplishing the immediate object of our errand to the Pawnees, we proposed when the agent, Maj. Miller, came on his yearly visit, to return with him to the states. But the Pawnees needed to have much done for



them that season to secure food for their subsistence. With less financial wisdom for us, than overflowing greatness of heart for his charge, the Major said, "For God's sake Mr. Platt, do stay and help raise something for these starving Pawnees, and I am sure when the case is represented to the government, it will reward you." Had we known the mysteries of red tape then, as we since have learned them, no doubt we should have hesitated to decide that we were willing to lose the chance of winning our own bread and butter to secure food for the Pawnees. The next fall we were appointed teachers to the villages at the mouth of the Willow, and removed to that point to be near the homes of our pupils, though we were to receive the children into our house, board, clothe, and teach them. It was a new departure, and many were the hinderances to our success. The first winter four, two boys and two girls, formed the school. The next season twelve was the number we were able to retain, when the village started for the summer built.
   An incident of the year previous should have been recorded in its proper place - the celebration of the glorious Fourth. Were I to claim that it was the first time that day was celebrated in Nebraska, I fear I should find myself in the dilemma of one who claims, to be the first white child born in this state. Perhaps some one belonging to the garrison on the Missouri, where Long wintered on his first expedition, would rise to say he assisted in such a celebration on Nebraska soil, long before 1844. But I doubt if any one will deny that to be the first time in Nebraska that a settlement of white men with their wives and children, went out, accompanied by a school with banner and song, to celebrate that day. We of Plum Creek, were off very early in the morning for a ride to Willow Creek settlement, five miles away, where we were to breakfast with our friends, the Mathers, Mr. Mathers Sr., being superintendent of the farms. Five children belonging to the different mission families were my pupils for that season. These were fitted with regalia, and Henry M. Allis,. now of Mills Co., Iowa, was banner bearer for the occasion. Our point of rendezvous was Cedar Bluffs, a height overlooking the Willow (Cedar), where Fullerton, Nance Co., now stands. The young men of our party with the aid of two Indian boys who accompanied us, built a bower of cedar branches from the trees near by. Our banner was planted on the edge of the precipice two hundred feet from



the water below, and our little company gave themselves up to the enjoyments of the hour, feasting our eyes on the wondrous beauty of the landscape before us. Blessed above most county seats is that of Nance county, for views of delight. After leaving that region my heart always turned to that spot, as the most desirable for making a home. After an hour or two spent in rambling and chatting our company were called to seats under the bower, where was spread a collation very inviting to hungry wanderers. Before eating we had a short exercise, and though I do not find it recorded in my journal, I have the impression that L. W. Platt read the "Declaration of Independence" and Mr. James Mathers gave a short oration. During the exercises, America and an original poem were sung, prayer was offered, and before partaking of the feast, the blessing of the Almighty God upon us was invoked by Mr. Allis. On our return home the large residue of our feast was left at the Indian village for the old and infirm, who were unable to go on the hunt.
   During the absence of the Pawnees in 1845, we received two visits from the Sioux. One morning as the children were singing at the opening of the school, a, wild war song burst upon the out-door stillness. The children immediately sprang to their feet, but I ordered them to be quiet, thinking it was a few lame and lazy Pawnees, who, not going on the hunt, had taken quarters in a cabin near us. But my pupils were better versed in war songs than I, and insisted that it was not their own people, but the Sioux. The last one was just disappearing in the loft above, when Mr. Platt rushed in asking "Are those children safe?" He had been in the garden, and, when a gun was discharged a little distance from him, immediately there sprang from the corn, which was growing close by his side, a party of six or seven, who began to dance and sing. One of their company had left them to go around behind some old buildings which were near to watch for the appearance of the Pawnees who occupied the cabin. They had a kettle of corn and. pumpkins boiling out of doors, and when a boy went out to attend the fire, the Sioux shot him, then the companions of the Sioux sprang up and began their song and dance to attract the attention of the Pawnees while he could escape. He crossed the Willow immediately, and as soon as they saw he was safe, his companions followed him, knowing they could not secure the scalp of the wounded boy. The boy died that day. This proof that the enemy could come



so near and yet remain unseen, awoke me to fear for myself and pupils; and as the men in gathering hay for the coming winter I went about three miles away to secure it, it was arranged that the school and its teacher should spend the day with Mrs. Mathers at the farm house, while the men were absent. This we did one week. But the task of rising early to prepare breakfast and dinner for so many; of carrying our books, work and food away from home each day; and of occupying the seats upon the floor of the small warm room during the school session, became tedious. Accusing myself of cowardice in thus fleeing before the face of all imagined foe, I concluded to stay at home. On the third day after this decision, just before dismissing my pupils at noon, I saw a plumed warrior throwing down a fence that hindered his approach to a horse that was tethered midway between us and the farm house. Waving,, my hand to the children and exclaiming in a whisper "Charrerat" (Sioux) I ran to close the doors and windows, which were all open, while they scrambled to the chamber. On putting out my hand to close the last shutter, the Sioux I had seen, rode close by me in full chase after the horse which had broken his tether, and was stretching every muscle to escape his would-be captor. That shutter was left unclosed while I took refuge with my pupils. Immediately war whistles made of the leg bone of a turkey began to blow, firing and whooping began, and we knew that we were midway between the combatant,,. The number of the Sioux we could not decide. Balls whistled by, back and forth; one struck the house, each one of us thinking it struck the log against which he leaned. It was forty minutes after I spied the Sioux before I heard Mr. Platt call my name. The men had heard the firing and war whoops and started home as soon as they could put the horse into the cart in which they rode, but a Sioux riding by took the horse by the reins, led him out of the path, and began cutting the harness from him. They fearing, for us at home, could not venture to defend themselves, and so made good their escape, as they saw they were watched by a distant party. After all this experience we gladly hailed the return of the Pawnees from their hunt that season.
   A few weeks after their home-coming many of them were attacked with the ague, a disease for which they had a name, but with which they had not been afflicted for years. The disease was probably induced by decaying sod, as many acres of freshly plowed prairie



lay near the village. Knowing little of the proper methods of treating themselves in sickness, they suffered much and many died. The usual voracious appetite of an ague patient was theirs, and they gratified it to the full. Then, when the fever was at its height, they cast themselves into the river, which flowed near by. Congestion and then death ensued. Our school was not exempt from the scourge. Could we have been permitted to treat our pupils as we chose, the suffering need not have been much or long. But the Indians interfered and at last all the pupils were taken to the village, not returning until the next spring.
   A serious difficulty arose that autumn between Mr. Mathers, the Superintendent, and Spotted Horse, chief of the Skedee band of the Pawnees. Spotted Horse was not all hereditary chief, but Maj. Dougherty had constituted him chief, because of his boldness and daring, hoping that those characteristics might be all advantage in holding his people in check; but, as he was a tyrant, it only engendered strife and hatred among them, especially in the hearts of those whom he had superseded in the chieftainship. There was ammunition at the agency for the Pawnees, and the design was to bring it to them, when the teams went in for the supplies. They were particularly anxious to obtain it, for they were not only in continual danger from an attack of the Sioux, but also from the Otoes with whom they had quarreled while on their hunt. Indeed a party had visited the village before the return of the Pawnees and had beheaded all old man who had been left at home. They carried away the head on a spear singing a song of triumph as they went, to the terror of those who saw them.
   Mr. Mathers went to Bellevue with the men who drove the teams. The ammunition was loaded with the other supplies. They were only a few miles from the agency when a band of sixty well armed Otoes confronted them and gave them their choice, to return to Bellevue and leave the ammunition, or to fight; for they said that part of their load should not go to the Pawnee villages. As there were only five white men in the company, to return was the only alternative. Spotted Horse was enraged when he found the ammunition had not come and demanded that Mr. Mathers should give him the little there was. This was of course refused, and he arose and began to remove the powder horns and shot pouches from the wall, as they



hung near him. A quarrel ensued, during which one hand of the chief was cut off, and the younger son of Mr. Mathers, the interpreter, and a young man very much beloved by all of us was mortally wounded. Spotted Horse returned to the village, brandishing his hand which still clung to his wrist by a bit of skin, calling upon his people for vengeance. The vast multitude responded immediately; and those were fearful days and nights we two families spent, shut in our houses and guarded by a few faithful Indians, who immediately came to our rescue. Spotted Horse died the next day. of his wound, the Indians telling us that those who bound it up purposely left it so that he would bleed to death - the whole village being rejoiced to get rid of the tyrant. Young Mathers died in a few days and was buried on the bank of Willow Creek, the exact spot I am not now able to determine. This led to our removal to Plum Creek and to Mr. Mathers leaving the country. This going of Mr. Mathers was felt by some of us as a great loss, not only because of his work for the Pawnees, but for his social qualities, which were superior. He had read much and thoughtfully, his words were always well chosen, and were, words of wisdom. His geological knowledge was much to us, and his poetical vein rendered his society the more charming. His well chosen library helped to charm away many hours, which would have been otherwise very tedious, as we never received our mails oftener than once in three months, our nearest postoffice being in Savanna, Mo., three hundred miles away. At one time we were six months without hearing anything from the active world we had left.
   On the return of the Pawnees, in 1846, our pupils returned to us, and many others applied for admission, but twenty was the largest number I thought I could clothe and feed, teach and care for generally, and the others were bidden to wait. Though situated where we were continually visited by friends of the children and they were tempted to run home, yet we had little trouble and they improved rapidly. Their singing especially won the hearts of their friends, and content with the promise that we would keep our pupils close within the pickets, which it had been thought wise to place around our dwellings, they left us our twenty, very cheerfully when they started for their hunt. Freed from the hourly visits of the villagers great progress was made by our school that season. The boys



worked with the men when not engaged with their books; the girls assisted in the cooking and general housekeeping and learned to sew, as we well knew work was one gospel that would save the Indians.
   But our plans were vain. The Sioux, who had not let more than two weeks pass during the year without proving to us their presence near, were now so continually coming in war parties that our men could do no work safely outside of the pickets. Finally they ventured to come down upon us in battle array, but evidently fearing to attack us behind our pickets, they were content to take horses from the stables and withdraw. A council was then held in which it was decided to be in vain to try to do anything for the Pawnees there, and removal to the agency was held the wiser course. Each family immediately began packing, and what could not then be carried away was "cached" to wait till the men could return for it. To pack our household goods and cook for twenty-two, who were to take a journey a hundred and twenty-five miles by ox team, and to be ready for the start in three days was no easy task; but it was completed by the third day, and Saturday, June 20, all the whites left for Bellevue, taking our pupil's and three or four Indian children who were living in families connected with the mission. We crossed the Beaver that day and camped a short distance beyond for the Sabbath. The most exciting experience on our journey was that of crossing the Elkhorn, which we found swollen by the June rise. All the goods in each wagon must be removed, that they might be placed in a wagonbox lashed to the top of another, or they would be soaked in the water. The box of our wagon was larger than the others and would. best serve the purpose desired. All our goods were piled upon the ground in a confused mass to wait until everything was crossed. That we might cross most expeditiously, the women removed stockings and shoes and took a foot bath standing in the wagon as the oxen swain across, directed by their drivers. It was dark before our goods, drenched in the rain, which had been falling since the middle of the afternoon, were safe over; and then twenty children were to be fed and arrangements made for their sleeping. All this, added to the terror of seeing one of our faithful oxen killed instantly by the breaking of his neck, his large branching horns having become fast in the precipitous bank as he was about to enter the narrow path leading up from the water, made the Elkhorn historic stream



to me. Arrived at Bellevue, the families were easily housed. But we with our large company had the prospect of camping in skin tents when a government store room was found empty, which, though infested with rats and fleas, we felt compelled to occupy. We reported to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. Louis, as there was no agent at Bellevue.
   Maj. Miller had been too much interested in saving the Pawnees from the curse of liquor to suit the traders who visited them, and his official head fell into the basket. He gave place to one who had so long freely partaken, that he soon paid the penalty by giving up his life. Another Daniel Miller received the appointment and be came up from Missouri to act as agent. His presence was no check to the wild excesses which the Indians and whites chose to practice. To keep in order and to secure the progress of our little family, with a room on one side of us where a blacksmith was making sheet iron kettles,, and one on the other where all Indian woman lived with a white man, and where drunken orgies extended far into the night, while Indians rode through the streets whooping and screaming, with whisky bottles in their hands, required no little nerve and decision. Yet, amid all this with the added babble of five different languages spoken in our yard, our pupils did make commendable progress.
   When we arrived at Bellevue the Mormons were crossing the river in their flight from Nauvoo, to take up their abode in winter quarters before going to Salt Lake. From their camp by permission of Brigham Young we procured aid to assist in fitting our children with clothing for the winter, and were visited by him and his twelve, - part of them at various times, - they taking a deep interest in our charge. Our agent however had no thought of showing such favor, and the next spring he ordered us to deliver the school into the hands of those whom he found to be in sympathy with his mode of administering offices.
   On leaving Bellevue we made our home in Iowa near the Missouri River, about four miles above old Ft. Kearney, now Nebraska City, where we remained till 1861, still keeping an acquaintance with our Pawnee friends. At that time learning that their treaty stipulations of 1857, promising them schools, had not been complied with, we went to their reservation expecting immediately to gather a company of pupils to our home, as the agent, H. W. DuPuy, had given

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