Beaver Creek.There are four streams in Kansas that bear this name. The first flows in a southeasterly direction through Clark county and empties into the Arkansas river; the second rises in the northern part of Barton county and flows north to the Smoky Hill river; the third flows south across the western part of Smith county and empties into the Solomon river near the town of Gaylord; and the fourth and largest is composed of two forks, one of which rises in Sherman and the other in Cheyenne county. They unite near the town of Atwood, Rawlins county, from which point the main stream follows a northeasterly course and empties into the Republican river at Orleans, Neb. This last named Beaver creek was so named by James R. Mead's exploring party in 1859 on account of the large number of beaver dams along its course.
During the Indian troubles in the summer of 1867, the Eighteenth Kansas left Fort Hays on Aug. 20 for the headwaters of the Solomon and Republican rivers. On the evening of the 21st Capt. Jenness of Company C was sent out with a detachment to ascertain the cause of a light seen at some distance across the prairie. He found the remains of an old Indian camp fire, but in attempting to return to the main body he became confused in the darkness, and finally decided to bivouac on the open prairie. Early the next morning he reached the river, about 8 miles below the camp. According to a published account by Capt. Jenness, the command was then some 85 miles northwest of Fort Hays. Upon reaching the river he pushed on toward the main body, but after going about 3 miles his detachment was attacked by a large body of Indians. Forming a hollow square, he managed to hold the savages at bay. His men were armed with Spencer repeating carbines and each man carried 200 rounds of ammunition, so they were well equipped in this respect for a heroic defense. After a short skirmish Capt. Jenness again began to move up the river toward the camp, but after going half a mile saw more Indians. He then returned to the river and threw up a breastwork of driftwood and loose stones, behind which his little band fought valiantly for three hours. All the horses except 4 were either killed or wounded; 2 of the men were mortally and 12 seriously wounded, and the detachment withdrew to a ravine, where they found water and remained under cover of the willows and banks of the ravine until dark. The Indians then drew off and Jenness and his men, under the guidance of a scout, followed a buffalo path for 5 or 6 miles until they came to the river. The Indians renewed the attack the next morning, but the main command came to Jenness' rescue. This affair is known as the battle of Beaver creek.
In Jenness' narrative the exact location of the action is not given. Some years after the event, James A. Hadley, a corporal of Company A, published an account of the engagment in the Farm and Home Sentinel of Indianapolis, Ind. The localities mentioned by Corporal Hadley were given by A. J. Pliley, the famous scout, who locates the scene on Prairie Dog creek in the northwestern part of Phillips county.Pages 163-164 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project