Major William Valkamar, who was with the command at the time.
His discription (sic) of the surrounding country warrants me in locating their camp at this place.
They were attacked by Cheyennes lead by the famous war chief Tall Bull. A bloody battle ensued which
lasted all day in which two soldiers were killed and several wounded. A great many Indians were also killed, but the exact number is not known.
During the night of the 11 the soldiers got away by abandoning their wagons and supplies and returned to Ft.
On September 26, 1869 Colonel Duncan with a detachment of the 5 cavalry with Major Frank North, two companies of Pawnee scouts encountered Whistler's band of Sioux at the mouth of the South Fork, near where Almena now stands. They drove the Indians off, killed many of them and destroyed their village. The location of this fight we get from Hon. W. F. Cody. "Buffalo Bill" who says in a private letter under date of January 1894:
"On September 16, 1869 while enroute from Ft. Hayes to Ft. McPherson with dispatches, as I rode down on the Prairie Dog, I heard firing and riding up to a high bluff overlooking the valley and being within a few hundred yards of the river and about thirty-five miles above the mouth of the stream I discovered a band of Indians massacreing (sic) a surveying party. I was discovered by the Indians. A party of them numbering about twenty mounted their ponies and started after me. I started south at no slow pace, I assure you; being well mounted I soon left them far behind. I returned to Ft. Hayes and escorted three companies of the fifth cavalry and two companies of Pawnee scouts back to the place where we found an Indian village, consisting of five hundred lodges with more than a thousand warriors, besides squaws and papooses. "
Colonel Duncan says in his report that the surveying party, consisting of thirteen men, were all killed, their bodies were all found by the troops and given decent burial. These were government surveyors, and were in charge of a man by the name of Buck. The incident was afterward referred to as the Buck massacre.
In a history of Buffalo Bill's life he gives an account of several engagements the soldiers had with Whistler's band of Sioux on the north fork of the Solomon, and we presume many of them occured (sic) in Norton county, as they occured (sic) near the old government trail which lay between Ft. Hayes and Ft. McPherson and passed through this county; but the discription (sic) of the surrounding country is so meager that we are unable to locate the exact spot.
He gives an account of a fight on Shuter creek between Tall Bull's band of Cheyennes and two companies of the cavalry under Lieutenant Price in July 1868. We are inclined to think this Shuter creek is the Sappa and that the fight occured (sic) in Norton county as the following day the same command had an engagement on the North Fork of Solomon, which is described as being seventy-five miles northwest of Ft. Hayes. In this fight on Shuter creek seven soldiers were killed and several wounded. It is not known that any Indians were killed as they had decidedly the best of the fight and caused the troops to abandon their wagon train and retreat but in the engagement on the following day on the North Fork of the Solomon the soldiers drove the Indians off without the loss of any men. Lieutenant Price thinks they were a part of the same band they fought on the previous day.
On October 16, 1868 an account is given of a fight that occurred on the head of a small tributary on the north fork of the Solomon between Lieut. William J. Valkmar with three companies of 5 cavalry and Whistler's band of Sioux, in
|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.|
web design ©2003 by Ardie Grimes,
Norton County, Kansas GenWeb coordinator
Text and photos from this 1894 book are within the public domain