Sunflower symbol

The Last Indian Raid

Sunflower symbol

Current Version

      After the Little Bighorn battle in 1876, the U.S. government forced most Northern Cheyennes from the Northern Plains to a reservation in Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. In September 1878 a group led by Chiefs Dull Knife and Little Wolf attempted to return to their homeland. Angry and embittered by their plight, they killed settlers and herders as they fled through Kansas.

      The Cheyennes included 89 men, 112 women, and 134 children. Although some succeeded in reaching Montana, 149 were captured in northwest Nebraska. After learning they would be sent back to the reservation, the Cheyennes tried to escape. More than 60 wer killed. Only a few of the original group ever returned to Indian Territory.

      The Cheyenne's escape from Indian Territory while pursued by troops from three military jurisdictions was considered a remarkable feat. Sadly, it resulted in the death of 40 Kansas settlers and herders. Nineteen of them were killed here in Decatur County, and their graves formed the beginning of the cemetery located east of this marker. A monument stands there today, erected by the community in memory of its loss.
Marker text sent by Marc Galbraith, Topeka, KS

Older Version

      In September, 1878, homesick Northern Cheyennes, numbering 89 men, 112 women and 134 children, stole away from their Oklahoma reservation under the leadership of Chief Dull Knife. Harassed only by a small troop detachment and cowboys they moved through Kansas killing and plundering. Western counties were terrorized, but Fort Leavenworth discounted reports and delayed help. Weeks later 149 of the Indians were captured in northern Nebraska. Most of them were later killed in prison breaks and few were returned to Oklahoma. Their escape across three states pursued by troops from three military departments was considered a remarkable feat. Innocent victims were forty Kansas settlers murdered on their farms. Here in Decatur county nineteen were killed on Sappa creek. A monument stands in the cemetery east of this marker.
Marker text sent by Mike LeMasters, Wichita, KS
Decatur County  
Historical marker on US-36 in Oberlin
Decatur County

December 1, 2003 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas /

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net   Visit the Home Page for Kansas
  A service of the Kansas State Library