In the spring of 1816 Auguste P. Chouteau's hunting party traveling east with a winter's catch of furs was attacked near the Arkansas river by 200 Pawnees. Retreating to what was once an island five miles southwest of this marker the hunters beat them off with the loss of only one man. In 1825 increased travel on the Santa Fe trail brought a government survey and Chouteau's island was listed as a turning off place for the dangerous "Jornada" to the Cimarron. For a time the river here was the Mexican boundary. When Maj. Bennett Riley and four companies of infantry, serving as the first military escort on the trail, arrived in 1829 with a west-bound wagon train the troops went into camp near the island. They spent the summer fighting off Indians, losing several men and part of their oxen. The return from Santa Fe of the caravan with a Mexican escort was celebrated in a colorful exchange of military inspections.
Marker text sent by Mike LeMasters, Wichita, KS
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