The Times Picayune-New Orleans-Aug 20 1861
(Buffalo Tongues Ad)
Groceries, Provisions and Liquors.
Byr. R. Sykes Auctioneer, – will be sold at auction on Tuesday, the 20th inst., at 10 o’clock, at his auction store, 50 magazine St.
Gettysburg Compiler-Feb 10 1862
Recruits Wanted! 5,000 able bodied men and boys wanted to report themselves immediately at the rendezvous Chambersburg St., Gettysburg, and receive, at a mere nominal price, full uniforms and the necessary equipment for a winter campaign. I have taken special care to provide for the comfort of my men by visiting the cities and laying in an unusually large supply of Buffalo Overshoes.
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati, Ohio May 22, 1862
THE RACE AND BUFFALO HUNT TO-DAY.
The race of the buffalo hunt at the Cincinnati Trotting Park to-day will afford rare amusement, and we will have no doubt but that the attendance will be immense. The horses are closely matched, and the race will be strongly and tenaciously contested. The buffalo hunt will be a great feature in the day’s entertainment. The animal is a wild mountain bison, the capture of which is believed to be an impossibility, and yet a number of horsemen, including two Mexicans, have entered the list to lasso him, either by the horns or leg, and obtain the prizes. The running of the buffalo exceeds that of the fleetest horses, and only by taking advantages can the pursuing steeds come within lassoing distance of the beast. The sport will be great to-day, and none should fail to attend. Superintendent McLaren will run out a special train to and from the Race-course, to accommodate the crowds which are expected to be present, leaving the depot at 2:30, railroad time, which is seven minutes faster than city time.
Chicago, Illinois Nov 4 1862
Larceny of Buffalo Robes.—A valuable buffalo robe was stolen from a buggy in front of 8. W. Thatcher’s residence, 146 North LeSalle street, Sunday evening. Thefts and burglaries are increasing to an alarming extent.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Apr 21, 1863
BUFFALOES have been lately shot within sixty miles of St. Paul, Minnesota. The Indian massacres have rendered the region so uninhabited, that bisons, wolves, etc., roamed freely where they have not before been seen for years.
The Daily Milwaukee News-Nov 7 1863
Pittston Gazette-Pittston, Pa.-Nov 12 1863
Reading, Pennsylvania Nov 14 1863
THE BUFFALO IN KANSAS – To dwellers in those portions of the West where the buffalo disappeared more than a generation ago, the reports of immense herds still giving life to the plains seemed almost fabulous. — Several eastern artist of note are now on and expedition to the Rocky Mountains, and under the head of “Letters from Sundown” one of the parties is contributing to the New York Post. He thus writes of the main Buffalo herd of Kansas.
The site I saw no money could buy from my memory, I always thought that the buffalo stories which we here at the East, and the pictures which we see must be greatly exaggerated. In truth they are under drawn. For two miles on the table land before me, and stretching sideways twice as far, the earth was overwhelmed with one deluge of stampeding buffaloes. It is literally accurate to assert that one could not see the ground between them. I could think of nothing but a black sea, with humps for billows, and the thunder of a shaking prairie for the music of the surge.
Out of every gully, from each side of me, poured in exhaustless streams the laggards of the herd. – The Ealstaff bulls, who carried years and abdomen; the yearlings, much like their contemporaries among our own cattle in look and size; the cows, now galloping, now coming with and ungainly trot, followed by their little new dropped calves — these rushed by scarcely sheering as they saw me, mad to reach the main herd. I raised my field glasses and far beyond the stampede saw the broad plateaus towards the White Rock Creek covered with quietly feeding bisons, as thick as on the prairie right before me. Flies on the head of a leaking molasses barrel, ants on the hill, ducks on a Florida lagoon, all familiar symbols of multitude, are hopelessly out before the task of representing that herd of buffaloes. I should like to have been accompanied by a man at home in Gunther, that I might have gained something expression for the number of millions between me and the horizon.
St. Cloud Democrat
St. Cloud, Minnesota May 5 1864
BUFFALO HUNT AT ABERCROMBIE.
A brother of Hon. L.R. Bentley, of this place, returned from Fort Abercrombie last evening, and reports that on the 25th ult., the boys at the post had a grand buffalo hunt, the shaggy monsters coming within less than 2 miles of the Fort. Seven were killed and eight calves captured.
The Baltimore Sun Maryland June 11 1864 Trained Buffalo
(same ad ran June 7, in Washington D.C,)
The Baltimore Sun Maryland June 21 1864 -found white buffalo cow & calf
St. Cloud Democrat- Minnesota- Aug 25 1864
The Daily Milwaukee News
Milwaukee, Wisconsin Apr. 3 1865
AND EXPLOIT ON THE PLAINS – FIGHT WITH A BUFFALO BULL
a commission is now in session and this city for the extermination of quartermasters in the Army touching their qualifications, etc. Among the officers summoned before this examining board is Capt. I. E. McCusick, a. C. Him. At Fort Wadsworth, Oakota Territory, a resident of Stillwater, Minn. Fort Wadsworth is on the Cateau river near latitude 46, and is a beautiful place in the summer season. It is a best of beautiful lakes, and its site was chosen by Capt. McCusick, who is familiar with that region of country having hunted Indians and Buffalos over hundreds of miles of it.
Some three or four months ago, Capt. McCusick went out with a scouting party to look for Indians, but, failing to discover any signs of the red skins he turned his attention to a herd of about two hundred Buffalos that were grazing, rolling, pawing, and bellowing on the prairie in fair view. Mounted on his favorite charger and armed with a Smith’s carbine, he made a dash at the herd, and soon succeeded in overhauling a lazy old bull weighing about 2000 pounds, who was to dignified to run as fast as the vulgar herd of cows, yearlings, and younger bulls of the drove. Leveling his carbine, he was preparing to launch a bullet in the shoulder blade of the monarch of the plains, when his horse stepped into a gopher hole, throwing the writer almost under the neck of the Buffalo. Luckily the captain fell on the fleshy part of his back, and sustained no injury. As the bull passed over him, he caught the animal by the fore hoof, and springing to his feet, through his knife and threw himself on the bull’s neck, holding onto the long shaggy hair which adorns the head and shoulders of the masculine members of the bison family. His situation was not one of the most agreeable; for the bull, not liking the familiarity of his acquaintance, endeavor to impale him upon one of his horns.
The captain avoided both horns of the dilemma, and being a man of immense physical power held fast and did not relinquish his grab. For the space of ten minutes he held fast, the bull meanwhile turning around to tickle the ribs of his tormentor. After waltzing with his hirsute partner ______ _____ animal showed signs of fatigue and thirst on about 2 yards of his tongue, the captain sees the bull by the nose with one hand, and catching one of his horns with the other gave a sudden twist and flipped the buffalo over his side. By this time, some of the men, seeing the predicament their leader was in, came _____offered assistance but the captain told them to keep back as he thought he____ _____ his own. The bull struggled _____ , but the giant Minnesotan in held ________ down, and in a short time sent his knife into the monster’s jugular, and the bull gave up the ghost. The _________ lasted about twenty minutes, and was the most scientific set to that has taken place in Dakota for many a day. The victor cut off the bull’s head, had it dried, and sent it to Stillwater, as a trophy.
The fame of this exploit reached the ears of the Indians, who were told that there was a chief among the pale faces, who could ______ a buffalo bull in a fair fist fight. On learning these facts, Red Feather, a famous chief in Dakota, _____ __ ___ to Fort Wadsworth and ___ ____his whole band __ Capt. McCusick. Lie said he_____believe the story of the white man knocking a bull down with his fist, but when they saw the brawny Capt., he said it might be so.
St. Louis Democrat.
By Captain E. A. (“Jack”) Hart
( written in May 1909)
In-August, 1865, I joined an outfit for a trip up the Smoky Hill River as guide from Fort Harker to Salt Lake. I had learned this trail thoroughly while rustling stock for the Butterfield Overland Stage Company, and, though only sixteen years old, was serving the United States Government in the capacity of guide.
“When only a short distance west of Fort Harker, we saw signs of Indians, and shortly were in trouble enough with them, as they were attacking stage stations, killing the men, and running off the stock. One small Government outfit of nine six-mule teams and three horses, with Frank Livingstone for wagon master, was entirely cleaned out of stock; but none of the men was killed. We picked up the wagons and hitched them as trailers to ours, thus transporting men, wagons, and supplies along with us. At Fossil Creek we found that all there had been murdered and mutilated in a horrible manner, and the stable and dugout burned.
After burying the dead we proceeded without further incident to Fort Fletcher, where we found troops who reported Indians “plenty.” These volunteer troops doing duty on the plains were to be retired and mustered out of service, their places to be taken by the regiment of “Galvanized Yanks” we had with us. After leaving a guard there, we pulled out again, and nothing unusual occurred before reaching Louisa Springs. Here a poor fellow came into camp bare¬ footed, and said he was the only survivor of a small party of carpenters who were building stations for the stage company. He proceeded with us, and next day we found the bodies of the entire party fearfully mutilated and their wagons burned. We buried them as best we could; adding several to the immense number of nameless graves that make portions of the old Santa Fe Trail seems like a continuous cemetery.
Dancing Round Their Victim
That night I left camp alone and rode over to the next station to see how things were. When I came near I could see a fire; but from appearances I thought something was wrong, so I dismounted and cautiously approached. The terrible sight that met my gaze I hope never to witness again, even in my dreams. The Indians had taken possession, and a dance was in progress round the fire As nearly as I could judge, about fifty Indians were taking part in the horrible ceremonies of torturing a white man.
Now and then would come a shot from a buffalo wallow across the ravine, where all left of those who had that day been on the east bound stagecoach were hiding and defending themselves by shooting any Indian that came within range of their rifles.
It was impossible to reach or aid them in anyway; so I started on my return to headquarters with the dreadful news.
I had gone but a short distance when I rode down in a swale, and as it brought the horizon above me I could see shadowy figures coming over the hill. These were Indians, beyond a doubt; so I rode carefully down toward the river, where they could not easily discover me. I felt sure they were going to spy about our camp, and. being between the two, I thought best to find a place where I could hide and wait till my companions came along the next morning. I had not long to wait; for it would soon be daylight and time for them to break camp.
With the first dawn I rode and told what I had seen.
What Happened at the Station
As we neared the station, everything was quiet. The men from the buffalo wallow came out. and very glad they were to see us. A colored man, who was blacksmith for the stage company, was the only one wounded.
But what a scene confronted us at the station! One man, called French Joe, lay stripped of all his clothes, and his body was filled with arrows. Upon the hill lay a man named Ambrose the one I had seen tortured. We buried his remains.
This is the story the survivors told of the terrible experiences they had been through. The afternoon of the day before, while changing horses for the stage, they were surprised by the Indians, who charged down on them and stampeded their stock. At this time no shots were fired; but all got quickly into the dugout in the bank of the ravine, where they barred the door and made ready for a fight. After awhile a halfbreed Indian who was the son of Colonel Bent (for whom Bents Fort was named) and had been educated at the Carlisle school, rode by. After making signs of friendship, he opened a conversation with them and asked if the treaty between the Indians and white men on the Arkansas had been signed. He was told that it had, which was the truth.
He then said. “If this is the case, the Indians have done wrong, and will drive the stock back.” As an assurance of his good faith, he had all the stock driven back, and asked to shake hands with the men.
This seemed straightforward, and all but one came and shook hands with him This man, Ambrose, was busy packing up grub to take with them to the next station; for they had decided to go together.
The animals were harnessed and everything about ready to depart, when the Indians reopened the fight, thus surprising them the second time.
French Joe was shot down: but Brigham, Baker, the colored man, and one other whose name I have forgotten fought their way to the buffalo wallow, being cut off from the dugout, and there made the fight for their lives. Ambrose, in the meantime, barricaded the door and fought desperately, killing, as they supposed, several of the Indians, and it was for that, probably, that he was tortured.
Part of the Indians circled about the buffalo wallow, while the rest were busy smoking out Ambrose. The roof of a dugout is covered first with poles, then with hay, and lastly with sod. Once ignited, it smolders, producing a great deal of smoke, and is very difficult to extinguish. Ambrose concluded it better to die trying to get to his friends than to be burned to death in the dugout. So he made a bold rush for them; but he was overpowered and tortured, as I have said.
This halfbreed, Charley Bent, who had received a good education at Carlisle, on his return to the plains immediately cast aside his civilized garments and resumed the war paint and breech clout He became leader of the band of Cheyennes’ known as the “Dog Soldiers,” who were considered the most treacherous of their tribe.
The Grinnells Besieged
Our outfit concluded to camp there for the night. And it was fortunate we did for the next morning there arrived in camp three men and one woman who had occupied the next station, eighteen miles west. They too had been surprised, and though they were able to get into their dugout and stand the Indians off till dark, their house and stable were destroyed. So strongly were they intrenched that the Indians concluded it would cost too many lives to rout them.
Here is their story: Mr. and Mrs. Grinnell. Happy Joe Connors, and a man whose name I think was George Earnest, were getting ready to move into their new house, which the carpenters had just finished. Happy Joe said to Mrs. Grinnell. “Let’s have a house warming to-night.” and added in a joking manner, ” I will go and see if I can get the smoky girls to come,” meaning the squaws. At this a laugh went round, and nothing more was thought of it. Shortly afterward they saw a band of Indians coming over the prairie. This meant trouble; but
I am personally acquainted with the Bent family and Charles Bent, son of Colonel William Bent, also Captain Hart, and believe what he has said to be the truth in regard to Charles Bent. Robert L. Carr, St. Louis
Joe must have his joke and said. “‘There come the smoky boys now Guess we’ll have the house warming, all right.’
While speaking, they saw the Indians run off their stock, which were grazing nearby, so the four people made haste to get inside the dugout This structure was a good fort; for it was only half underground, with heavy logs above It stood on high ground, across the spring branch from the new buildings. There was a deep ditch leading from it to the spring, through which a man could pass to get water without exposing himself By knocking out the chinking between the logs. good portholes could be made from which to shoot in every direction. This the Indians undoubtedly perceived and contented themselves with running off the stock.
There the little party waited, wondering what had become of the carpenters who had so recently left. The Indians succeeded in setting fire to the haystacks and buildings, completely destroying them, and then to all appearance departed. When the night came those in the little fort concluded to try to escape They knew that a strong party of soldiers were on their way west, and thought they could not be far distant; so they took what food they could carry, and. seeing no further signs of their enemies, crawled down the ditch to the creek and stole cautiously away in the darkness They reached us in safety after walking about eighteen miles. As Mrs. Grinnell was the only woman in the outfit, or indeed, in that part of the country, we did our best to make her comfortable
Next morning we broke camp. We had gone about four miles west, when we found the poor carpenters murdered, mutilated, and scalped.
That night we camped at the burned station the fugitives had so recently left. Their little fort had not been disturbed, so Mr. and Mrs. Grinnell succeeded in getting what property they had left behind.
More Deserted Stations
A day or two passed without anything of importance. We found the stations all deserted and destroyed; but no dead bodies. We were now at Monument Station, where the country is quite open save for the peculiar feature that gives the name – two high columns of rock and earth standing like two towers, out alone on the prairie, and back from the river about a quarter of a mile. To the east and west are high ridges: north and south it is open and rolling
We turned out our stock and beef cattle to graze, with a strong guard to protect them, and camped close by the river for a much needed rest All were enjoying it when we saw approaching from the east some sort of outfit which proved to be the westbound stage accompanied by the stage superintendent, who was driving in a buggy drawn by two mules
As they came rolling down the hill to the level ground, they were attacked by a band of Indians who had been in hiding, waiting, no doubt, to get at us. We could hear the shots and see the party on a dead run toward us. We hastily mounted and rode to their rescue, and after a running fight brought them in Little harm was done, though one or two were wounded and a few arrows were sticking in their animals
That evening it was decided to hold our present position for another day. There was supposed to be at the next station. Smokv Hill Springs a detachment of the 13th Missouri volunteers. This station was eleven miles west and not in a very desirable part of the country, and for reasons of safety it was thought best to get word to them to hold the eastbound coach till we got there. As I knew the exact location of this station. I was asked to try and reach them
The Stage Attacked
Late at night I left camp on a good horse, and crossed the river, as I thought the Indians would be watching the trail I had no trouble, and reached there before the eastbound coach arrived, and related to the boys what had happened east of them.
Early the next morning the coach came, and when told that they were not to proceed for awhile, they were at first indignant, but better judgment prevailed, and they made themselves as comfortable as circumstances would permit.
Later during the day we were startled by hearing shots, and on riding up the hill saw the westbound stage and the buggy coming at a dead run and their escort fighting a lot of Indians as they came on. When we joined them the savages seemed surprised, not knowing, probably, that we were there, as the station was behind a hill. All got in safely, and after consultation it was decided that all should return to Monument together.
Next morning we separated, sending a strong guard with the eastbound coach Mr. and Mrs. Grinnell and other employees of the company who wished, went along with this party.
We started westward again, and met another detachment of volunteers just beyond Smoky Hill Springs. They had run against Indians and had with them in an ambulance a man who had been scalped and left for dead. We finally reached Pond Creek, where afterward Fort Wallace was established.
Getting Through the Winter
The Indians soon disappeared from that part of the country for the winter (where they had succeeded in clearing out almost the entire stage line), thus giving us a rest. But cold weather was coming on, and we were in need of food and clothing, so when Bill Comstock joined us we made a trip to Fort Lyon for supplies, but were not very successful in obtaining them. The country we passed through was almost destitute of water, but after a hard trip we finally reached Sand Creek, only to find it dry to all appearances: but on digging we found a scant supply. The poor mules, which were given too much of it, swelled up and died, and many of the men were made sick. It was too strong of alkali. We camped at the historical “Chivington battle grounds,” and found many evidences of the hard fight there, a few years before [The Chivington massacre is a historical event of Indian warfare in the early ‘60s]
We made our way to Fort Lyon, got our supplies. and returned by a more westerly route to Fort Wallace., but as all the supplies they could spare were not enough to do us for the winter, it was decided to work back east again. In the meantime snow had fallen to the depth of about eighteen inches, and you can imagine us, trying to keep up the strength of man and beast, with scarcely anything to eat for many weary miles across a barren country in the dead of winter. To add to our distress, many of the men had frozen hands and feet. At old Fort Fletcher we found rations and forage scarce. We received daily one pint of common corn, each, for man and beast. This and a small chunk of bacon was all we had to live on for the next seventy-six miles to Fort Ellsworth. Here we got another scant ration, and left many of our men in the hospital at the new Fort Marker.
Fights Over Buffalo Meat
Our nest point was Salina. Kansas: but the day before reaching there I espied an old buffalo bull, which had probably been too poor to go south with the herd. After a long chase on a poor horse. I succeeded in killing him I cut out the humps and loins, and on my way back to camp had three fights with my hungry companions over the meat. It seemed as though the sight of fresh meat made them so eager for it that they could not resist the temptation to take it from me. They did not get it, however: but went on to where the old buffalo lay and brought him piecemeal into camp. My bunkmate and myself sat up late that night and broiled and ate our fill. Then, wrapping what was left in a piece of canvas; we put it in the snow under our heads and turned in for the night. We must have slept soundly: for in the morning, to our consternation, our meat was gone. Imagine our disappointment when we had to go back to the corn for our breakfast. I saved the hide from the hock joints and made moccasins for my frosted feet.
Going toward Fort Riley, we got enough to eat, and there drew full rations to last us to Fort Leavenworth. Kansas, where we were all paid off. I procured warm clothes and returned mounted to Fort Marker, where I reported to Colonel Inman to begin again in the spring as guide for emigrant trains. But the winter of ’65 left an impression of hardship upon me which will never be forgotten. – Captain Hart
Cleveland Daily Leader
Cleveland, Ohio Aug. 29, 1865
DAN RICE’S MENAGERIE To-day. – At ten o’clock this morning Dan Rice’s Mammoth Menagerie will make a grand parade through the principal streets of this city, and then proceed to the place of exhibition on Erie street lot, near the cemetery, within easy reach from the Kinsman street cars. Exhibitions will be given at two and seven o’clock this afternoon and evening.
Two exhibitions were given on the West Side yesterday. The mammoth pavilion was densely crowded. The collection of animals as large and select, embracing many rare and interesting specimens. But the popular feature of the exhibition is the performance of Dan Rice’s wonderfully trained animals, including elephants, big and little, kangaroos, a bison, a horse stone blind but with a head full of brain, and two of the killingest mules extant. We have never seen more fun crowded into a performance of that kind.
People who fail to attend this exhibition to-day will miss one of the few rich deserving things of this season.
The Montana Post
Virginia City, Montana Dec 9 1865
(an individual from California writes:)
A Spicy Letter from Blackfoot City.
“I have written up a whole sheet of paper, and have not told you anything as yet: I have not told you that here is the finest brass that grows in the world; that horses can travel as well on it as they can on grain; that even the cold freezing winter. I have failed to tell you of the game that abounds in this country. I will name the huge mountain buffalo, the long, ponderous bison, the stately elk, black, brown and grizzly bear, which are very numerous, black and white tailed deer, prairie chickens and grouse, as plenty as quail are in Mariposa – chickens, the finest shooting in the world on the wing. I have told you of the game and grass; now I will tell you of McClellan Gulch, where I hold forth. It is about three miles long and about half a mile of the lower end is not prospected yet; the balance is worked: and, sir, it is the riches gulch, take it all through, I ever saw in my life; that is saying a good deal, coming from where I did. Claims pay from $100, up to $1,500 per day to the sluice. I saw one claim sold for $7,500 in cash, and they took out their money in two weeks and more too.”