Daniels Genealogy

Please begin by clicking on the GENEALOGY heading.


& Subsequent Lineage

With Commentary


Thomas Daniels b. 1438 of Tabley, Cheshire, England

m. Blanche Warburton b. 1442 of same.


Peter Daniels b. 1464 of Tabley

m. Julia Newton b. 1468 of same.


Thomas Daniels b. 1492 (d. 1550) of Tabley

m. Margaret Wilbraham b. 1481 of Wodhey, Cheshire, England


Thomas Daniels b. 1524 (d. 1574) of Tabley

m. Alice Dutton b. 1524 (d. 1594)


Peter Daniels b. 1554 of Tabley

m. Anne Mainwaring b. 1556 (d. 1633) of Tabley


Peter Daniels b. 1584 (d. 1652)

m. Christina Grosvenor b. 1567 (d. 1663) of Eaton, Cheshire, England


*Accuracy of Daniell family genealogy prior to arrival in America is a topic of debate  {See (danielsofmassachusettsbaycolony) on Internet}


Gen 1.

Robert Daniels  (1600 to 1655) of Tabley

m. 1629 to Elizabeth Morse b. 1605 (d. 1643)

*** Several members of the family sailed to America in 1635 with in-laws, Samuel & Elizabeth (Jasper) Morse, on the good ship “Increase”.  Robert joined them in 1636 and they settled in Watertown, Mass.  In 1638, Robert became a freeman.  He was a landowner and a town officer, and he purchased 5 lots in Watertown.


Gen. 2

(Joseph & Mary)

Joseph Daniels  (1634/35 to 1715) of Medfield, Suffolk, Mass.

m. 1665 Mary Fairbanks b. 1647 Dedham, Norfolk, Mass. (d. 1682)

Joseph settled in Medfield, Mass. Prior to 1662, the first white settler in the district called Boggastow by the Indians.  The land is across the Charles River from Dedham.  His was the first white wedding, and their child the first white child in the district.  He was the schoolteacher of the first white school in the district, from 1690 to 1700.  He was one of the first selectmen and constables.  He also built a gristmill.  The Indians burned the village of Medfield on the 21st of February 1676.


Gen. 3

Eleazer Daniels (1681 to 1772) Eleazer was born in 1681 in Medfield and was deprived of his mother 15 months later.  He died in 1772 at the age of 92.  Eleazer married Mary Holbrook in 1709. Mary was born in 1686 in Mendon, Worchester, Mass. And died in 1759.  Eleazer resided in Mendon on a sizable piece of property, which he received from his uncle William Holbrook. He eventually owned 1000 acres.  In 1710 Eleazer was appointed constable of Mendon.  Eleazer was a captain during the revolutionary war, and is buried next to his wife Mary at Pine Hill Cemetery.


Gen. 4

Joseph Daniels (1724 to 1779) Joseph was born in 1724 in Mendon, Mass. And died in 1779.  In 1748 he married Margaret French at Worcester County Mass.  During the French and Indian War, Joseph served as a Sergeant under Captain Lovett and as a captain under Col. Artemas Ward.  On February 15th, 1776, Joseph Daniels was promoted to 1st Major with Col. Ezra Wood’s 3rd Worcester Regiment in the Massachusetts Militia. 

***During the revolutionary war he served on the following committees,

1.      To procure for the court evidence of persons dangerous to the peace and safety of the community

2.      To secure arms for the defense of the town

3.      Committee of government

4.      One of 9 to instruct the representatives in the general court relative to the form of civil government

5.      Overseer of the poor

6.      A selectman

7.      To purchase two six-pounder firearms in 1774.

He was a major of the militia at the Battle of Lexington.  He died in 1779 and is buried in a grave marked with a bronze Revolutionary War medallion in the family plot at Pine Hill Cemetery.


Gen. 5

Joseph Daniels (1758 to 1833) Joseph was born in 1758 in Mendon, Mass. And died in 1833.  In 1787 Joseph married Susanna Ames at Fairlee, Orange County, Vermont. During the Revolutionary War Joseph served under Partridge, Penniman, Dunbar, and Mattoon, and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne.  His wife was pensioned.


Gen. 6

Joseph S. Daniels (1799 to 1830) Joseph was born in 1799 in Northumberland, New Hampshire, and was pronounced dead after his disappearance while on a trading trip in 1830.  In 1825 Joseph married Roxanna Hatch.  Roxanna was born in 1805 to parents Noah & Anne (Brown) Hatch and passed away in 1889.  Joseph and Roxanna lived in both Northumberland and Stratford, New Hampshire until Joseph’s disappearance.  In 1843 Roxanna married second husband George W. Moore.  Following the death of Mr. Moore, Roxanna resided at the home of son Asa.


Gen. 7

Jared Waldo Daniels (1827 to 1904) Jared was born on June 15th, 1827 in Stratford, New Hampshire and passed from this life in 1904.  Following the death of his father in 1830, arrangements were made for little Jared to take up residence back east with his Uncle Hatch.  In 1856 Jared married Hortense Eugenia Beardsley of New York.  Hortense, the daughter of Elihu Judson & Mary Elizabeth Beardsley was born in New York (Or New Jersey) on 10/26/1834 and died on 10/18/1870.  The couple moved to Minnesota where he was the resident physician to the Indians at the Yellow Medicine Agency.  Later he was commissioned a surgeon in the volunteer forces of Minnesota and served as a surgeon during the civil war prior to devoting his remaining years to efforts to improve the lot of the Plains Indians. (See treaties of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Tribes). 


In 1872 Jared took Chief Red Cloud and thirty braves on a tour of eastern cities and helped to secure continued peace for Red Cloud’s people.  Following the trip east he was sent to the headwaters of the Missouri River where he joined a commission and secured a treaty with a band of northern Sioux.  Through his appointment as Inspector of Indians in 1873, Doctor Daniels became responsible for the oversight of all Indian Agencies west of the Mississippi, both north and south.  Jared’s career culminated with his efforts to achieve treaty in the Black Hills country, which was consummated in the fall of 1877. 


Following the death of first wife Hortense in 1870, and his retirement from the government after 22 years of service, Jared married second wife Ella Winslow and settled in Fairbault, Minnesota.  He and Ella eventually followed Jared’s son Asa west to California where they settled in Los Angeles.  Jared passed from this life in 1904.  [See photos of Jared online, under the Minnesota Historical Society]


Children of Jared & Hortense

Jared W., d. early

George Cullen, d. early

Hortense Virginia, b. 1863, m. Henry B. Hill

*Asa Wilder, b. 1865


From “The history of the Town of Stratford New Hampshire 1773-1925,

By Jeannette R. Thompson.  The Rumford Press, Concord, New Hampshire 1925, pages 362-363


“Dr. Jared Waldo Daniels was born in Stratford, June 15th, 1827.  When he was but four he was deprived of a father and left in very humble circumstances.  He left home when young, secured an academicals education, studied medicine with his uncle, Dr. B. F. Hatch, in Boston, and graduated from Bellevue Medical College, New York.  He went west in 1855 and was appointed the resident physician at Yellow Medicine Agency.


In 1856 he married Hortense Eugenia Beardsley of New York, taking her to the agency, where she had the society of two missionary families living within five miles. She won the hearts of the Indians by her kindness, as she generally accompanied her husband on his visits, carrying such articles of food, as they required.  She died in 1870.


In 1862 Dr. Jared was commissioned surgeon in the volunteer forces of Minnesota and served during the war.  At its close he located at Fairbault, Minnesota, but after years of civil practice he was appointed Indian Agent to gather the Indians who were driven from their homes at the time of the massacre, and place them on a reservation. 


They were Indians he had lived among six years.  He knew them all and they showed their confidence in him by obedience to his wishes so that within three years he had them living in homes of their own make and cultivating fields of their own breaking.


He established schools, a court of native officers for the trial of criminals and a native police force for the protection of the frontier and to keep the peace of the reservation.  That was the first Indian police force ever established among the tribe in this country.


After spending nearly three years among these people and seeing them well started on the road to self-support he was sent to North Platte River, near Fort Laramie, to influence Red Cloud and his people, numbering 6,000 to locate an agency.


This Great Sioux had made a treaty but would not avail himself of its advantage, remaining north with the hostile bands.  He was the most influential war chief in the Sioux nation. 


When he heard that the “medicine man” was in his country he met him at Fort Laramie and was influenced by him to go to where the Indian supplies were and in a few months afterwards to locate his agency on White River. 


In the summer of 1872, he took Red Cloud and thirty braves to visit eastern cities.  This gave them a chance to see the power of the government and that band has been at peace ever since.  On his return from the east he was ordered to take a few influential Indians and join a commission at the headwaters of the Missouri River to make a treaty with a band of northern Sioux.


In 1873 he was appointed inspector of Indian Agencies.  This required him visits to all agencies west of the Mississippi, both north and south.  In 1875 he was one of the commissioners to make treaty for the Black Hills country.  This was consummated in the fall of 1877.  This closed his connection with the government after twenty-two years’ service.  In 1882 he married (2) Ella Winslow, and settled in Fairbault, Minnesota.”


Gen. 8

Asa Wilder Daniels (1866 to 1937) Asa was born 01/31/1866 in Minnesota and died in 08/04/1937 in Placerville CA.  He married Meda Eliza (Camp) Daniels on July 19th, 1890. Asa Wilder Daniels was a respected member of the community, operating a small orchard and serving as Justice of The Peace in Placerville.  Meda was born in Placerville in 1869 and passed from this life on August 30th, 1965. Meda was the daughter of Asa Steven Camp of Pennsylvania & Laura Ellen Oldfield Camp, the daughter of John F. & Mary Eliza Oldfield who departed Wisconsin with their six children crossing the plains by covered wagon and arriving in El dorado township in 1854. John Oldfield Sr. from Wisconsin died in April of 1873.  Mary Eliza, born in 1810 in Indiana, passed from this life on June 26th, of 1892 at 82 years of age.  John Oldfield Jr. was a fiddle player of some renown, entertaining at events throughout the mother lode, until his death in 1919 at age 73.



From page 1 of The Mountain Democrat

August 5th, 1937

 Esteemed resident passes following long illness

At home on Wednesday.


Asa Wilder Daniels, age 71, retired farmer and former Constable of Placerville Township, passed to the beyond on Wednesday morning at his residence.  He had been ill for several years. (Having had a crippling stroke in his mid sixties)  The funeral services will be at 2 o’clock on Friday afternoon from Memory Chapel. Rev Harold Morehouse will have charge.  Burial will be at the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery.  Death brought to Mr. Daniels release from illness which had spanned six years, during which he received the tender and devoted care of his wife and family and was remembered by many of his more intimate friends who called to visit him.  Sharing with the family the sorrow of his passing are a legion of acquaintances won by Mr. Daniels through his long residence here, who, with those who knew him more intimately, respected him for his many splendid traits of character.  A native of Minnesota, he came to California as a relatively young man and during his active life engaged in farming, in later years accepting an appointment as Constable of Placerville Township.  He had resided in El Dorado County on Reservoir Hill since 1888.  Mr. Daniels is survived by his devoted wife, Mrs. Meda Eliza Daniels, and by two sons and one daughter, Waldo Daniels, Asa Daniels, and Mrs. William Schroth, (Myrle Daniels Schroth) all of this county, and one sister, Mrs. H. B. Hill, of Beverly Hills.      




Asa Steven Camp (see Camp genealogy) was born in Pennsylvania to the Line of Samuel Camp, whose parents Edward Camp and Mary Canfield Camp had arrived in Milford, New Haven County, Connecticut, from England, prior to Samuel’s birth in September of 1645.  Samuel begat Enos, who married Elizabeth Fowler, and begat Isaac.  Isaac married Sarah Clark and begat Job. Job (a Revolutionary War Veteran) married Anna Oviatt and named a son Isaac after his father.  Isaac married Mary Polly Lacey and begat Clark.  Clark served as a Sergeant during the civil war and received a Distinguished Service Medal, married Medea Stevens, and begat my great great grandfather Asa Steven Camp.


Asa Steven Camp was born in Pennsylvania and although there is some question concerning his date of birth, we will go with the April of 1828 date given by the 1900 census.  According to his obituary, Asa and father Clark arrived in El Dorado County early enough in the fall of 1850 to be counted for the 1850 census. Asa’s daughter Meda Eliza Camp Daniels told of an early trip in the fall of 1850, followed by a return trip back east and a second trip across the plains with a wagon train whose immigrant families included John Oldfield, wife Mary Eliza, and children including a seven year old Laura Ellen and brother John.  A dozen years later, on November 5th of 1867, the Reverend D. Sutterland would join Asa Steven and Laura Ellen in wedlock. This union produced one son, Albert Stevens Camp, and four daughters, Meda Eliza, Mildred, Lill, and Cora E. Camp. 


I was never well acquainted with the daughters known to my mom as Auntie’s Mill, Lill, & Coe, But Uncle Al lived in an old cabin on the Daniels ranch when I was very small.  I have vague recollections of visiting him at his cabin.  He collected everything imaginable from rocks to old keys, and his cabin was a museum-like affair stuffed to the rafters with all variety of relics.  He used to walk down the hill to our house to save a little cab fare, and then give my sister and I each a coin.  


I treasure to this day a toy violin, which Uncle Al gave to me one day as he returned from Placerville.  He spent his final years living in that cabin, behind his sisters’ home on Reservoir Hill, scratching ore from the property’s several tunnels, and panning it out in the old south fork ditch, which served as the eastern boundary of the property and as a favorite fishing hole during my childhood.  Uncle Al passed in his sleep in 1955.


Asa S. Camp was a rancher and a miner, and operated a freight service for a number of years. During these days’ bands of Indians still roamed the hills of El Dorado County.  I recall stories of my great great grandmother presenting peace offerings of tobacco to the passing bands of Indians who happened by while Asa was away.  These instances were undoubtedly unnerving, and on one such occasion great great grandma reportedly splashed water in her face in order to keep from fainting.  On another occasion Asa rounded a bend in the old south fork ditch following a visit with several apparently peaceful Indians only to discover the arrow riddled corpse of a man whose encounter with the band had been considerably less than friendly.   


By the 1890s, the Camps had left their home near Mosquito and retained a home several miles closer to Placerville.  One account suggests that on the occasion of their Daughters wedding on July 19th, 1890, the Camps presented Son in law Asa Wilder Daniels & daughter Meda with a 40-acre parcel of land near their home on Reservoir Hill.  {The ancestry.com site under historical newspapers (Mountain Democrat) indicates that Asa Daniels while on a trip from Minnesota in 1888, had purchased from W. R. Selkirk, the Slater fruit ranch on Reservoir hill.} In any case, the home on Reservoir Hill and the forty acres that surrounded it would be the family’s home for generations to come. The property boasted several small gold mines, a hydraulically mined pit on its northern boundary, and a spectacular view of the snowcapped sierras to the north, the Marysville Buttes to the west, and the Sacramento Valley to the south.  On a clear day you could see clear across the valley.  I grew up on the Daniels Ranch, and as a child I spent countless hours exploring the old tunnels, and trying my own hand at panning out the illusive golden flakes in the nearby irrigation ditch.  I remember well my granddad Daniels demonstrating for me the panning technique, which had been taught to him, by his granddad Asa Steven Camp.


I remember the house on Reservoir Hill, and the hours I spent visiting with my great grandma Daniels rocking by the wood range in her cozy kitchen as she read verses to me from the little muslin book that had entertained my granddad long years before.  I’ve feasted on fruit from the orchards of Bartlett Pear, cherry, and apple, and I remember helping great grandma dry figs in the sunshine on the spacious covered porch, which graced three sides of their two-story frame home.


Children of Asa & Meda,


Laura Ellen, (Ella) b. 1891 d. 1893

Gladys, b. 1893 d. 1918 in fatal auto accident at Mosquito Bridge

* Jared Waldo, b. 03/11/1897 d. 07/29/1969

Myrle, b. 12/15/1898, m. William Schroth

Asa Steven, b. 12/20/1902


Gen. 9

Jared Waldo Daniels (1897 to 1969) Jared was born on 03/11/1897 and died in 1969 at the age of 72.  Granddad’s family tree is historic and well rooted, having been established in this country by Jared Waldo’s ancestor Robert Daniels at the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636.  Jared married Ivy Lee, or (Dot) Stancil Daniels on November 24th, 1928.  Ivy was born on 06/23/1909 in Placerville, the daughter of Henry Stancil of Canada, & Clara Jane Kinnie of El Dorado Township.  Ivy’s mother Clara was born on 05/31/1868, to Elidge & Mariah Ann Kinnie and moved to Nevada as a young girl. 


Mariah was born in 1835, and after her marriage to Elidge Kinnie they lived for a time in Shingle Springs of El Dorado Township where daughter Clara was born.  While Clara was very young the family moved to Lyon County Nevada, where they operated a stage stop.  With the passing of Elidge Kinnie, Mariah married L. T. Mc Lain and, despite Clara’s mistreatment at the hands of her stepbrothers, the family evidently prospered until Mariah’s death in 1871.  


Despite hard times and harsh treatment following the death of her mother, good fortune intervened in Clara’s behalf when the Virginia and Truckee railroad passed through, establishing a siding and a station for wood and water near the Kinnie home, and naming the station Mound House, after the grave of Mariah, this area of Nevada being flat and desolate, and Mariah’s grave being therefore a prominent feature in the area. Eventually the station flourished as a terminus when the V & T built a narrow gauge line to serve the needs of the mining camps of western Nevada, and the Owens Valley region of California.           


Despite the isolation and desolation, there were evidently some good times. The mound House Station was doubtless a hive of activity, and family tradition tells of little Clara being placed on a table to sing for General Grant as he passed through the Mound House Station in route to Fort Churchill in the 1870s


Clara grew increasingly weary of the unwanted and abusive attentions of her stepbrothers, and eventually Mr. Mc Lain, now remarried and weary of the troubles at home and the evidently warranted concerns of the neighbors, departed the Nevada territory, bound for Alaska and the gold rush in the Klondike. That was the last the family heard from L. T. Mc Lain. 


Located in Lyon county Nevada, Mound House is listed among Nevada’s historic landmarks. The grave of Mariah Ann Kinnie Mc Lain remains to this day.  The remnants of her wooden marker encircled by a decaying fence, sheltered by an ancient conifer, and surrounded by pavement and parking lot.


Around the time that L. T. Mc Lain departed for the Klondike, Clara was put in the Nevada orphan’s Home where she met Henry Stancil, a youthful French Canadian, who had been orphaned himself when his own parents died while migrating across the Canadian wilderness from the Great Lakes area.  Henry was born in Montreal on 05/06/1868. Being French Canadian, it’s possible that one or both of Henry’s parents had Indian blood.


Henry and Clara were wed in San Francisco on 01/04/1893 prior to returning to Placerville (alias Hangtown, or old Dry Diggings), and eventually settled in Smith Flat where they farmed and raised their family.  Smith Flat House, well patronized by the community and fortuitously located to cater to the needs of growing numbers of wagon traffic, and eventually motorists, bound for the high country and Lake Tahoe, was the hub of community activity, and my grandmother tells of her father’s exuberant participation at dances, often bringing his own 78-rpm records to spin on the Grafonola. 


Henry passed away on 01/23/1943 and Clara joined him in 1960. He and Clara are buried on a pine-covered hilltop overlooking the flat. 


As previously mentioned, Clara and Henrys daughter Ivy Lee Stancil married Jared Waldo Daniels in 1928.  Jared, who preferred to be called Waldo, maintained the family’s property, worked for PG&E, (as did his brother Asa and my father Leo) and, following his father’s paralyzing stroke, Waldo and Ivy cared for Waldos’ parents.  Following Asa’s crippling stroke in the early thirties, he remained paralyzed from the waist down until his passing in 1937, and Meda too became bedridden after breaking a hip at the age of 93, passing in 1965 at the age of 96.  Meda’s brother, Albert Camp also spent his latter years with the family on Reservoir Hill.


I was a teenager when my great grandma Daniels passed away in 1965, followed by her son, my granddad Daniels, in 1969.  At the time that I’m writing this narrative in 2004, my grandmother Ivy Lee Stancil Daniels, is still living in Placerville.  Many of my fondest memories are of my childhood years, there with the Daniels family. 


When my mother Meda Jane Daniels wed my father Leo Don Casebeer on December 1st of 1950, mom’s family presented them with five of the forty acres on Reservoir Hill.  I have many memories of those years, and some of the best are of camping trips with my family, my grammie and Granddad, and my great grandmother, Meda Eliza Camp Daniels. 


Great grandma Daniels accompanied the family, camping until a broken hip disabled her at the age of 93.  I remember well those crisp mornings in the high Sierras, camped by a stream or a pristine mountain lake, often for weeks at a time.


My mother, grandmother, and great grandmother would fix breakfast on a wood fire while Granddad boiled the coffee in great grandma’s gray graniteware pot; hot cakes would sizzle in the skillet, Stellar Jays would call from the old growth conifers, and I’d take it all in believing I was close to Heaven.  After breakfast, Dad and I would fish, followed by an afternoon hike led by granddad, then the fire was stoked and the women folk started on dinner.  Following a hearty meal, Grammie would give sis and I a good scrubbing in the icy creek, and then we’d roast marshmallows and visit around the fire until well after dark; a quick night’s sleep, and it was time to do it all again.  Frequently Aunts, Uncles & cousins would join us during these camping trips in the high Sierras and we’d share adventures and listen to the old folks tales of long ago adventures when even my granddad was just a little boy.  If ever a kid had a glorious childhood, it was I during those early years on Reservoir Hill.


Children of Jared & Ivy,

*Meda Jane, b. 05/17/1931

Janet Sue, b. 12/10/1934


Gen. 10

Meda Jane (Daniels) Casebeer, b. May 1931 (deceased) of Placerville CA

m. 1950 Leo Don Casebeer, b. June 1924, in Upton Missouri, died November 3rd, 2010.

Leo is the son of Tom L. Casebeer {see Casebeer/Kasebier genealogy}, and Bessie Mae Rickard Casebeer, the daughter of Edgar Rickard & Emma (Peggy)Tobias Rickard of Dykes, MO.  A tornado took the Dykes Church building in the 1980s, but the old Rickard home stands to this day, in a little grove of Oaks beside the cemetery where several generations of the Rickard and Casebeer families are laid to rest.


Following service on the Battle Ship New Jersey during World War II, Leo followed the wheat harvest out to California where he lived briefly with his sister Macie.  Macie’s husband, Hobart Smart offered Leo employment at Pacific Gas & Electric Company where he was employed for 32 years.  Early on in his employment at PG&E, Leo became acquainted with the Daniels brothers Waldo and Asa.  Waldo invited Leo out to Reservoir Hill for some target shooting, and on 12/01/1950 Leo and Waldo’s eldest daughter Meda Jane were wed.  This union produced two children. 


In June of 1978, following Leo’s retirement from PG&E, the Casebeer family relocated to the Ozark Mountains of south central Missouri where they purchased 120 acres in Mark Twain National Forest, and Leo raises cattle.


Meda Jane Daniels Casebeer passed away on March 5th shortly after 6:00 in the evening. We had visited her only moments before her passing.  Death had been her fervent prayer for some time.  She was prayed up and ready to go. She had been in failing health for awhile, so we had more than sufficient time to give hugs and say our goodbyes. We were blessed to visit with her moments before she passed. There will be no public service.  Our immediate family will perform her service when we gather in a few days to spread Mom's ashes on the hilltop with Dad's. 


On February 27th, I began spending the night in the bed beside Mom’s. From that day until her passing, we began each day with a hug and a kiss.  On March 1st I was lying beside her in her hospice bed.  When asked if she was warm enough she patted me and replied, “I have my love to keep me warm.”  During the night she woke briefly and said and repeated, “It’s easy for God.” On the morning of March 2nd, I kissed Mom on the cheek and she smiled and winked at me.  On the morning of the 3rd, after I awakened Mom with a kiss on the cheek, she smiled up at me, patted me on the cheek and said, “You’re a cute little guy.”  During the early hours of March 4th there was a thunderstorm.  Mom had a very restless night.  In the wee hours of the morning she sat up confused and asked about her mom, sister, and grandmother, and wanted to know where they were.  I assured her they were fine and sleeping.  She did not ask about her Dad.  I believe at that moment she thought I was her dad. On the morning of March 5th, as I kissed her cheek and gazed into her eyes, Mom smiled and said, “I love you Shannon Thomas, and I’m glad I had a son.” Those were her last words.  On March 14 we spread Mom’s ashes up on the hill with Dad’s.

Mom had been in failing health for some time, but several weeks ago she walked to the pond and back, and over did it. Following several doctor visits and a trip to the emergency room, her doctor arranged hospice care. During the last week of her life her health quickly deteriorated. She was confused by her drugs and terrified at night. I spent most of the night with her during that last week. She required around the clock care to assist her on and off her bedside commode, and to prevent her from getting out of bed by herself and falling. During the preceding two weeks she had fallen several times. She was still able to talk with me on the morning of her final day, but by evening was unresponsive and her breathing was extremely labored. Robin’s nursing experience was invaluable. We visited Mom briefly around 6:00 on the evening of March 5th. As Robin, Jared, Wylder and I arrived at home; I noted a beautiful pink sunset over Mom’s house and had Jared take a photo. Around 6:15 Dawn phoned to tell us Mom had passed quietly in her sleep. 

Her final week had provided more sufficient time for hugs and goodbyes from her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. Our immediate family will gather on the 14th. We will spread Mom’s ashes on the hilltop where Dad’s were spread.  We’re doing as well as could be expected, but Mom’s passing, in conjunction with a week of very little sleep, has left us emotionally drained and thoroughly exhausted. Mom’s passing was the answer to her most fervent prayer.   

Long ago, when I was a little child, I returned from school frightened and distressed. I had overheard two sincere and well-meaning classmates hotly debating what happens when we die. One insisted that, when we die, our souls remain in these robes of flesh until the resurrection.  The other insisted, once we leave this life behind, we find ourselves immediately in the next. My folks just smiled, gave me hug, and insisted I needn’t worry, because, in either case, once our life has slipped away, it will seem to us an instant, before we feel the warm embrace of perfect love and sweet, eternal peace. 

Mom and Dad are both gone now. As a person of faith I have the hope that they are reunited. To say that I will miss them is an understatement of biblical proportions.


Up on the hill where the pines grow dense, where the fields are green and the sky immense; scatter one day my last remains, to be drawn in the earth by the gentle rains. Gladly did I tread this place with the gentle breeze upon my face, a faithful dog for company, and benevolent sun beaming down on me. Thank the Lord for the time we had, when rest was blessed and toil was glad, when joyous hearts rejoiced in truth, and we shared our hopes and dreams and youth. Look to the heavens bright and blessed. See me satisfied, caressed. Know at last I’m free from care. My dust is here, but my spirit there.

Shannon Thomas Casebeer

Children of Leo & Meda Casebeer,

*Shannon Thomas Casebeer, b. 12/17/51

Dawn Annette (Casebeer,) Nelson b. 06/14/53

Dawn married Charles (Chuck) Edward Nelson, and their union produced one son, Justin Edward Nelson, born Feb. 9th, 1981


Surgeon, Inspector of Indian Agencies, 
And my great great grandfather, Jared Waldo Daniels

The following is taken from the

“History of Stratford New Hampshire 1773 to 1925”,

By Jeannette R. Thompson.  The Rumford Press, Concord, New Hampshire, 1925.

[Pages 362 – 363]


Doctor Jared Waldo Daniels was born in Stratford, June 15th, 1827.  When he was buit four he was deprived of a father and left in very humble circumstances.  He left home when young, secured an academic education, studied medicine with his uncle, Dr. B. F. Hatch, in Boston, and graduated from Belleview Medical College, in New York.  He went west in 1855 and was appointed the resident physician at Yellow Medicine Agency.  In 1856 he married Hortense Eugenie Beardsley of New York, taking her to the Agency, where she had the society of two missionary families living within five miles.  She won the hearts of the Indians by her kindness, as she generally accompanied her husband on his visits, carrying such articles of food as they required.  She died in 1870.


In 1862 Dr. Jared was commissioned surgeon in the volunteer forces of Minnesota and served during the war.  At it’s close he located at Fairbault, Minnesota, but after years of civil practice he was appointed Indian agent to gather the Indians who were driven from their homes at the time of the massacre, and place them on a reservation.  They were Indians he had lived among six years.  He knew them all and they showed their confidence in him by obedience to his wishes so that within three years he had them living in homes of their own making and cultivating fields of their own breaking.


He established schools, a court of native officers for the trial of criminals, and a native police force for the protection of the frontier and to keep the peace on the reservation.  That was the first Indian police force ever established among the tribes in this country.


After spending nearly three years among these people and seeing them well started on the road to self-support he was sent to North Platte River, near Fort Laramie, to influence Red Cloud and his people, numbering 6,000, to locate on an agency.


This great Sioux had made a treaty but would not avail himself of its advantages, remaining north with the hostile bands. He was the most influential war chief in the Sioux nation.  When he heard that the “medicine man” was in his country he met him at Fort Laramie and was influenced by him to go to where the Indian supplies were and in a few months afterwards to locate his agency on White River.


In the summer of 1872, he took Red Cloud and thirty braves to visit eastern cities.  This gave them a chance to see the power of the government, and that band has been at peace ever since.  On his return from the east he was ordered to take a few influential Indians and join a commission at the headwaters of the Missouri River and to make a treaty with a band of Northern Sioux. 


In 1873 he was appointed Inspector of Indian Agencies.  This required him to visit all agencies west of the Mississippi, both north and south. In 1875 he was one of the commissioners to make treaty for the Black Hills country.  This was consummated in the fall of 1877.  This closed his connection with the government after twenty-two years’ service.”

Doctor, Jared Waldo Daniels

The following is an excerpt from


Biography Of Minnesota

History of Minnesota

By Judge Charles E. Flandrau

Volume I


The Century Publishing and Engraving Company



Jared Waldo Daniels


Jared Waldo Daniels, M. D., was born at Stratford, Coos County, New Hampshire, June 15, 1827, the son of Joseph and Roxana (Hatch) Daniels. His paternal grandfather came from Mendon, Massachusetts, and settled in Stratford, New Hampshire, where he followed farming.  He also owned and operated lumber and flour mills.  He was a man of prominence in local affairs and served as a private soldier in the war for American Independence.  Joseph Daniels, the father of our subject, was also a farmer.  He had two sons and one daughter.  One of the sons, Dr. A. W. Daniels, has been for many years a prominent physician in St. Peter, Minnesota; the other son is the subject of this sketch.  Jared W. Daniels was “bound out” to a farmer when he was four years old. His mother lived to the good old age of eighty-four years, and died at St. Peter, Minnesota.  When Jared was eleven years of age he left the farm and learned the trade of cabinet making.  He attended the common school and spent six years in an academy, working his trade to pay his way.  After leaving the academy, he went to Boston and studied medicine with his uncle, Dr. B. F. Hatch.  He then attended medical lectures and afterwards graduated at the Bellevue Medical College, in New York City.  In March 1855, he came to Minnesota, and while visiting his brother, who was a physician at the lower Sioux agency, was appointed to the upper Sioux agency at Yellow Medicine Minnesota.  He was the first physician to the Sioux Indians at that agency, and to the United States troops who were afterwards stationed there, and he remained at this agency about seven years.  In 1862 he was appointed assistant surgeon in the sixth Minnesota Infantry, and was with that regiment under General Sibley in the campaign of that year.  He was the only physician in the command of Col. Joseph R. Brown at the battle of Birch Coulie, where over one-third of the command was killed or wounded before reinforcements came to their relief.  He was also in the battle of Woods Lake. Hon. Charles W. Johnson, who was present at the battle of Birch Coulie, made the following statement, which appears in the official record of that engagement:


“Assistant Surgeon, Jared W. Daniels, had accompanied Company A to Birch Coulie, and no man on any battle-field displayed more heroism.  On the morning of that fatal 2nd of September he is remembered as going about bareheaded, examining and binding up the wounds of the men.  He was in great personal danger, but seemingly unheedful of it all, he never flinched for a moment, and for thirty-six hours he never ate a morsel of food nor closed his eyes for sleep, so great was the demand upon him.”


In 1863 Dr. Daniels crossed the plains with General Sibley to the Missouri, and participated in the battles of Big Mounds, Buffalo Lake and Stony Lake.  On his return he was promoted to surgeon in the Second Minnesota Cavalry, and again crossed the plains in 1864, joining General Sully on the Missouri River, and was with him on the march to the Yellowstone.  He was present at the battles of Kill Deer Mountain and Bad Lands.  On his return he was stationed at Fort Snelling until he was mustered out in the fall of 1865.  Soon after, he located at Fairbault for the practice of his profession.  In 1868 Bishop Whipple had money placed in his hands by an act of Congress for the benefit of the Indians at Fort Wadsworth.  Doctor Daniels being well acquainted with these Indians was selected by Bishop Whipple to go to Fort Wadsworth and take charge of the distribution, and to look after the relief of the Indians.  At that time the Indians were scattered and very poor- having very little clothing except breechclouts and leggings- and they had to be gathered together at the agency and cared for. 


In 1869, Doctor Daniels was appointed by the President as Indian agent at Sisseton.  Under his charge they were required to work for themselves, or at the agency, for everything they received from the government, so that when he left them, in 1871, they all had land under cultivation, were dressed like white people, and many of them living in houses of their own building; schools were established and they were in the way of becoming self-supporting. Doctor Daniels provided a code of laws, and established the first police force composed of Indians, in the history of the government, to patrol the reservation and the frontier, and to suppress the importation and the sale of whiskey.  He remained in charge of the Sisseton agency until December 1871.  He was then transferred by General Grant to the Red Cloud agency, in Wyoming, to pacify the Sioux and other hostile tribes.  Here he found about 5,000 Indians, consisting of Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe, the greater portion of them being in a turbulent state and hostile to the government.  Under the influence of the Doctor’s generous treatment, the number increased, by others coming in from the north and south, until there was something over 8,000 Indians at the agency.  There were no white people at the agency except those in Dr. Daniel’s employ.  He remained at the Red Cloud agency until the fall of 1873, when he was appointed inspector of agencies, in which capacity he traveled all over the western country, visiting the different Indian agencies in Montana, Idaho, Washington, New Mexico and Arizona.


In July 1875, he was sent alone to make a treaty with the Sioux, after the Indian Department with a delegation of Indians in Washington had failed, by which they were to give up their hunting rights south of the Platte River, when it was the only place where the buffalo could be found.  He not only made the treaty but dictated to the Indians what they should receive, giving them wagons, harnesses, and cattle instead of the guns and ammunition, which they most urgently demanded.  In September of the same year, he was appointed as a commissioner to treat with the Indians for the cession of the Black Hills.  In 1876 he was appointed on another commission to treat with the same Indians, and effected the treaty by which the Black Hills was ceded to the United States.      


In 1886 he was again appointed on a commission to make a treaty with the Indians in North Dakota, and with all the tribes in Montana, northern Idaho and eastern Washington, and they effected treaties with all these tribes. In 1887 he left the government service and returned to Fairbault, where he has since resided, having retired from the active practice of his profession. Doctor Daniels had formed an acquaintance with nearly all the Indian tribes in the Northwest, and could speak the Sioux language. He had known them intimately in peace and in war, in plenty and in poverty, in time of sorrow and in time of joy.  He had sympathized with their troubles, healed their sick and taken part in their festivities, until he was loved as one of their own people, owing to his just treatment of them under all circumstances.  This was the secret of his success with them.  He could go in safety where no other white man dared, and though he had many narrow escapes, he received no injury, and he never carried arms to protect himself.  His influence was greater among the Indians than that of any other white man, and his life was safe when that of another would be in jeopardy. 


Within a few months after taking charge of the Red Cloud agency, Dr, Daniels was ordered by the Indian Department to take a delegation of Indians to Washington.  In complying he selected Red Cloud- the great war chief who had fought the United States troops for three years without being conquered- and twenty-eight of his leading braves.  He took them to the Capitol, New York and Philadelphia, that they might more fully appreciate the power of the government.  When the Milwaukee railroad desired to extend its line through South Dakota the Indians would not permit the surveyors to cross their reservation. Dr. Daniels was employed to get their consent, which they readily granted when he explained to them the benefits to be derived from it. 


From the “PIONEER PRESS” we quote the following:

“Dr. J. W. Daniels, recently in charge of the Indian agency at Lake Traverse, paid a visit to his wards in that region prior to his departure for the Fort Laramie agency, to which he had been appointed.  The second night after his departure for St. Paul, he was overtaken by one of the scouts or messengers, who handed him the following curious certificate of good character, which is an exact copy of the original drawn up in the handwriting of Gabrel Renville: “Dr. J. W. Daniels has been our agent for three winters, and in all his business with us he has always been honest and upright.  We are very much attached to him, and regret very much that he is going to leave us.  We seldom praise a white man; we always have some fault to find with him; but we know that this man is an honest and very good man, and we want the wise men at Washington to know this, and that when we say this, we speak nothing but the truth.  We, the chiefs and head men of the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Sioux Indians write this.” 



Gabrel Renville                                Wieaurpinoufra

Yaeaudupatotanka                            Hokxedanwaxte

Ecauapieka                                       Cantelyapa

Wakanto                                           Akicitanapie



See grave stone at following link



Dr. Jared Waldo Daniels was born in Stratford, New Hampshire, June 15, 1827. He received an academic education at Lancaster, New Hampshire, and was graduated from Bellevue Medical College, New York. On June 28, 1856, he married Hortense Virginia Beardsley, who bore him four children, two of whom survive him. Mrs. Henry B. Hill, of Faribault, Minnesota, and Asa Waldo Daniels of Placerville, California. On August 11, 1882, he married as his second wife Ella Norcross Winslow, who died in Los Angeles, California, in 1910. In 1855 he came to Minnesota, where he practiced his profession and in the same year was appointed government doctor at Yellow Medicine Indian Agency. The year 1860 he spent in active practice at S. Peter, Minnesota.

Doctor Daniels served as assistant surgeon of the Sixth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, from August 23, 1862 to December 28, 1863, and as surgeon of the Second Minnesota Cavalry, from January 2, 1864 until November 17, 1865, with the rank of major. He served in the Department of Minnesota, under Gen. H. H. Sibley, 1862-1863; in the Department of Missouri, under Gen. Alfred Sully, 1864, and in the Department of Minnesota from the fall of 1864 until discharged. Soon afterward he located at Faribault, Minnesota, for the practice of his profession.

In 1869 Doctor Daniels was appointed Indian Agent at the Sisseton agency and held that position until 1870, when he was appointed agent at the Red Cloud agency in Wyoming. In 1873 he was appointed Indian inspector and at intervals between that time and 1887 he made treaties with the Sioux and was appointed on special commissions, which made satisfactory treaties with the Indians in North Dakota and all the tribes in Montana, northern Idaho and eastern Washington. He resided in Faribault, Minnesota, from 1882 until 1900, when he removed to Los Angeles, California, where he died on May 3, 1904, after a brief illness of pneumonia. His remains were brought to St. Peter, Minnesota, and interred in the family lot.

In politics Dr. Daniels has always been a Republican.  He belongs to the G. A. R. and the Loyal Legion, and is a member of the Episcopal Church.  He was married June 23, 1856, to Miss Hortense Eugenie Beardsley, of Oconomowoe, Wisconsin.  They had four children, of whom two are living: Hortense Virginie (Mrs. H. B. Hill, of Fairbault) and Asa Wilder Daniels, living at Placerville, California.  Mrs. Daniels died in 1869, in St Peter.  Dr. Daniels was again married, October 11, 1882, to Mrs. Ella Winslow, of Fairbault.


    Jared Waldo Daniels



Surgeon & Inspector of Agencies

Doctor Jared Waldo Daniels


S. L. M. Spirit Lake


While I was physician for the Indians at the Upper Sioux Agency, they often would meet in my office and talk over the news from bands living far away.  One day the last part of March, 1857, a couple from Sleepy Eye’s band were in there for medicine when I overheard them saying something about the killing of whites, but they spoke in such a low tone of voice I could not understand all that was said, and I did not think it best to make enquiries.  I made enquiries of others the next day, but could not elicit information.  About a week from that time a report came from the Lower Agency that thirty-five settlers at Spirit Lake, Iowa, had been killed by Indians, and that troops had gone from Fort Ridgley to find out the truth of the report.  This news caused a great sensation among the Indians, and some distrust by the whites, though they were not quite ready to believe it until a week later, when a letter came from my brother at the Lower Agency saying that the troops had returned and confirmed the first report; also that four women were taken away by the Indians. By questioning White Lodge, who had a little band that planted on the Yellow Medicine River about five miles away from the agency, we, the whites, were able to learn that those Indians engaged in killing the whites were a party from the Lower Agency belonging to Wakuta’s band and under the leadership of Inkpaduta, that the party consisted of his own family, and that they numbered seven lodges. The next news from civilization was that the General Court had passed a resolution granting ten thousand dollars for the rescue of the captives.


On the 17th of May, two Indians arrived at Lac qua Parle with one of the captives, and upon the receipt of this news, Reverends Dr. Williamson and S. R. Riggs went up there and returned with her to the mission, where she was kindly cared for until taken below.  It seems that the two Indians were out near the headwaters of the Big Sioux with a few goods, trading with the Indians when Inkpaduta came along with these women and they proposed to buy them.  They offered their lodge and what goods they had.  Excepting the offer, the man that had her said, “take her and go away quick as you can.”  They started at once with their guns well loaded to protect her, as they had fear of her being taken away from them by some of the party.  Major Flandrau, the agent, came up on the 21st and paid these two Indians five hundred dollars, and gave them his note for five hundred more, payable in six months.


On the 23rd, he dispatched three Indians with goods and horses to secure the other captives, and owing to the great difficulty in finding Inkpaduta, they were unable to return before the 15th of June, and then with one captive only, as the other had been killed four days before they reached there.  The name of the first women brought in was Marble, and the second Gardner, rescued by Mazakootamane, one of the best diplomats among his people, Other-day, the most devoted friend the white man ever had, and Grass, as an assistant to the others. 


Inkpaduta’s little band of six lodges had been making the country where the massacre occurred their hunting grounds for many years, and since the whites had settled there, they had been treated kindly, so they continued to go, but the past winter being very cold with deep snows, the game was scarce, and they had to depend on the settlers for sustenance.  While the whites were willing to do all they could to relieve their wants, the time came when they had to husband their own supplies, as it was uncertain when they could be replenished, owing to the severity of the season. It was a new settlement, and they all wished to keep the friendship of the Indians, but the injudicious act of one man caused an enmity that could only be satisfied in blood.  An Indian was leaving a house where he had called for something to eat and was refused, when he was bitten by a dog which he killed, then the dogs owner caught him and beat him so badly that he was hardly able to reach his camp. A few days later, fearing trouble, the settlers went to the camp, took their guns away, and told them to leave the country.  This left the Indians in a desperate condition, starving, and without means of procuring anything to eat.  Shortly after this, when the feeling in camp was at it’s highest and one of the Chief’s grandchildren had just died of starvation, they went to where the guns were stored, secured them, and killed forty of the settlers on the Des Moines and at Spirit lake.  They took four women captive, shot one that fell into the Big Sioux River while trying to cross the stream on a log, and another was killed at the Yankton camp, with a club by the Chief’s son.  The rescue party sent out by the agent found the body of this one, wrapped her in a blanket, and buried her.


The whites at the agency were kept in a constant state of alarm by the rumors circulating everyday, that Inkpadutah’s band, with other hostiles, were on their way to this place, and also, that his son and wife were visiting her father in a camp near the agency.  This last report turned out to be true, and the Agent was informed of his presence. We were so fearful of being surprised by a party of evil disposed Indians, led on by this man whose hands had been stained by white man’s blood, that friendly Indians were employed at night to picket all the approaches to the agency. 


While I was eating breakfast that calm first day of July morning, with the doors all opened to let in the cool air, I was very much surprised by the appearance of Agent Flandrau, with Lt. Murray and seventeen soldiers from Fort Ridgley, and Mr. Magner, the farmer at the Lower Sioux Agency.  They came from Sleepy Eye’s camp, about four miles up the Yellow Medicine River, where they had killed Inkpaduta’s son and taken his wife away with them. The soldiers adjourned to the boarding house, and the others seated themselves at my table for their breakfast, which they had not finished eating when a large body of Indians appeared in front of the house and called for the Agent.  The interpreter was sent for, and they told him they wanted the woman that had been taken from their camp.  As their appearance in fighting costume and manner of demand did not indicate a very peaceable state of mind, the Agent, under quite a nervous strain, told them they could have her! They then demanded two beeves to make a feast for the braves, and this demand too was granted with pleasure, in the hope that this hostile demonstration might come to an end as soon as possible.


Otherday and Good Hail, two friendly Indians, acted as guides to the camp, and were by a mere accident, the means of finding the man they were after, when they charged into camp, and Otherday heard a women in the lodge say, “They are after you, run for your life!”  He turned his horse as quickly as he could and saw the man running for the willows that skirted the river, where he secreted himself, but Otherday was able to see him, and pointed him out to a soldier who was unable to sight him until Good Hail fired, which made the man move.  The soldier then shot him.  These men were threatened with death by the braves in Sleepy Eye’s band, but it had no effect on their movements in or out of camp. 


The Lieutenant was for starting back to the fort that day, but I prevailed upon him to remain until the next day, when my wife and I went down to the lower agency with him.  All of the Indians were very much excited over what had taken place, and to be without any troops for protection, left the whites in alarming condition.  The Agent and the soldiers had come up here and produced a condition that made it unsafe for them to stay at this agency, as I learned afterwards that several of the braves had come to my place that morning intending to kill them, but were prevented from doing so by their Chief and friendly Indians. 


On the 5th, we returned to the Upper Agency, accompanied by W. J. Cullen, the newly appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and his secretary, Mr. Bird.  The same day, Major W. T. Sherman, with the celebrated battery that provided such good service at the battle of Buena Vista, when General Taylor said to the commander, “Give ‘em more grape Captain Bragg.” arrived at 7 o’clock.  The Indians from Big Stone Lake and Lac Traverse had all arrived and were ready to receive their annuities; also the Yankton’s from James River, for what reason it was not definitely known, though it developed after many days that they claimed a share of what was to be paid to the others.             


At the first council to be held with the Indians, they came well armed, and Mr. Cullen told them he would not talk with them unless they came without their guns and bows.  When they came the next day, they had complied with his request but he told them that they could not have any annuities until they had sent their braves after Inkpaduta.  They refused to comply with this request, as they could not understand why they should be required to punish those belonging to the Lower Agency, but, after counseling among themselves, they came and told Cullen that it was very hard for them, as they were here without anything to eat and would have to do what he required of them.  It was finally decided that they should be ready to start on the 14th.  In the mean time Cullen would go below and have the Lower Indians furnish braves to go with them, and when they were to leave, he would provide a beef for each band that furnished men to go after the outlaws. When the Lower Indians came there was much delay, because they wanted soldiers to go with them, but after many councils they finally consented, and left on the 19th.  The party numbered one hundred and twenty-five, besides seven half-breeds.  They returned August 4th, and reported that they had killed three of Inkpadutah’s band, wounded one, and taken two women and one boy as prisoners.  At the time the party left, the Big Stone Lake Indians were given supplies and sent home, to return when the war party came back. 


As a “Medicine Man” among these people is held to be a little nearer the Great Spirit then any other being, they gave me their full confidence, so that I was able to know the state of feelings that existed in camp everyday, and my stay of six weeks among the Sisseton and Cut Heads at Big Stone Lake two years earlier, gave me a chance to make their acquaintance in a way that would not otherwise have been possible, as they only visit the Agency once a year to receive their annuities. 


The first little surprise to them was Cullen’s refusal to talk with them if they came to council with their guns and bows, as such a thing had never been required of them before.  In council among themselves, White Lodge said, “He (Cullen) was a new Chief and was afraid.  We had better listen.”  The Cut Head Chief did not think they should attend council without their weapons, as they might be captured, as the Teton band had been by the soldier chief. This reference was to the Ash Hollow fight, where General Harney called the headmen of the Brulas to council, and while talking they were surrounded, imprisoned by the troops, and their camp, a short distance away, was destroyed. White Lodges’ council prevailed. 


When the demand was made on them to bring in the murderers, there was much sadness and disappointment, especially among the Upper Indians, for they had come a long distance and had very little to subsist upon.  In the council of all the Chiefs and head braves, there were divers opinions and so much bad spirit manifested itself that it was thought best to ask for a beef for a feast and call all the braves to parley. At the feast, when everyone was supposed to feel in good spirits, each one had something to say, for or against complying with Cullen’s request, and there seemed to be a majority against it, but White Lodge, one of the most senior Chiefs, arose and said in a very loud voice, “I am a man, a friend to the white man, and I will call on my braves to prove their friendship by killing Inkpadutah and his people.”  His braves all responded with a “Ho!” The Chiefs all wanted their braves to go, but there were a few in the Northern bands disposed to make trouble, and Standing buffalo, the youngest, who had taken his fathers place the year before, said to the council in a quiet way, “Our Great Father has asked us to do a very hard thing; it makes my heart sad to think of it.  We are required to go and kill men and women that do not belong to any of our bands, or to the treaty we made with him.  His Agent here (Cullen) says we shall not have our annuities until the murderers are given up to him or killed.  The leaves will fall and come again before we shall see what he has for us, unless we listen to his words.  Our children will suffer with the cold if the goods he has are not given to us.” After a few minutes with no response, he asked his braves, “Is it not better to close our eyes to the wrong they ask of us, and go kill those people who murdered our friends?” All but three said “Ho!”  One of the braves was for having the upper Indians go home, and let these at the Lower Agency do the killing, but his proposition received no response.  When Little Crow and his braves came from the Lower Agency the question of asking for soldiers to go with them was discussed, and they decided to ask Cullen, though many did not believe he would grant their request.  In all of their councils there was not a hostile expression, though it was known that there was a small party, supposed to be influenced by the Yanktons, that wanted to make trouble, and, as the following will show, came very near accomplishing their purpose.


The fifteenth was a calm, sultry day, and quiet reigned supreme at the agency, considering there were about five thousand, four hundred Indians in the vicinity, all in a state of apprehension. The stillness that prevailed seemed to forebode something unusual, and it happened before the day was over.  Major Sherman dined with me that day, and all conversation centered on the peaceable condition of the large body of Indians present.  The major believed there was no necessity for troops, as the Indians had shown no disposition to make trouble.  I told him there was no certainty of the present condition continuing as long as there was anyone dissatisfied with Cullen’s demands, and that I knew of a party of Upper Indians very much opposed to going back without their annuities, and any one of them might do something to place the whites in as alarming a condition as when we arrived. We had just finished eating and were sipping our coffee, when a soldier presented himself at the open door, saluted the major, and told him that a private in Company B, had been stabbed by an Indian.  “This puts a new complexion on the state of affairs.” exclaimed the Major, and, excusing himself, he mounted his horse and with his orderly, made good speed toward his camp. I started at once on foot, passed over the brow of the bluff, and reached the wounded man as soon as the Major.  The soldier had been stabbed in the back, between the fifth and sixth ribs, two inches from the crest of the spine, with a well-worn scalping knife, and from what the man said that pulled it out, it must have entered at least three inches.  I had the man removed to the agency, with a guard and two comrades left to attend him. I visited him several times during the night, accompanied by a guard that had been stationed at my house.  The soldier had been returning from a spring in the bluff, about two hundred yards from camp, with a bucket of water in each hand, when an Indian, taking advantage of his defenseless condition, crept up from behind and plunged the knife into his back. The knife was much bent at the hilt, which seemed to indicate great force in striking.  The soldier recovered, but was never fit for duty after that.  The Indian ran in the direction of the Sisseton camp a mile and a half away, and, by the order of the Major, Lieutenant Spencer of the 2nd Infantry, with eight men and an interpreter, followed as quickly as possible.  A messenger was dispatched to Fort Ridgley for more troops, and the command moved to the brow of the bluff, that being a better place for water and protection in case of hostilities.  Just as the sun disappeared in the west, the lieutenant returned and reported that he’d found the Indian camp in a hostile attitude.  There were at least two hundred men in line and armed when he arrived.  When he came near enough to speak to them, they leveled their guns on his little command, which so frightened the interpreter that he started to run away, but, finding the Lieutenant’s pistol pointed at him, he mustered additional fortitude and decided to remain. The Lieutenant dismounted, laid his pistol on the ground, and with the interpreter, walked up to the Indians and demanded the man who had stabbed the soldier.  The Indians lowered their guns and began talking among themselves.  After a few minutes one of their headmen stepped out and said they would not give the young man up until the next day.


During the time that I was away from our house, and my wife was alone with the servant, an Indian from the north by the name of Good Boy, rapped at the door, and when it was opened, he took from under his blanket an arrow, and tossed it into the room. As this Indian was a particular friend of mine, I felt quite certain that this act of his was intended to caution me to beware of trouble. The Major thought we had better occupy a tent in camp for protection, believing that my services as a physician might be required at any time.  He would send me a guard, but his command was too small to be redistributed, so we returned to camp and stayed until fear of hostilities was settled.  Returning from a visit with the wounded man the following morning, I met Good Boy, who urgently requested that I accompany him to my office for medicine.  While in compliance with this request, he said to me, “Tell the Chiefs (meaning Major Sherman and Superintendent Cullen) not to go to talk with the Indians together.  I was afraid” said Good Boy, “I would not see you again, and I left the arrow in your house as a warning.  My heart is sick for fear of trouble with the white man.  Your friends are working hard to prevent it.” 


Shortly after sunrise an Indian came to camp and notified the Major that they would bring the one that stabbed the soldier in a short time, but the command was kept in suspense until 11 o’clock before there was any prospect of his assurance being complied with, and then it came in the appearance of a large body of Indians in the distance, moving toward our camp, and another coming from the west, well mounted.  These proved to be Yanktons.  It was an hour before they arrived, and the uncertainty of what was going to happen had produced great excitement in the command.  Every gun was loaded, and every man in his place, ready to do a duty he longed for, that he might get some satisfaction for the stabbing of his comrade.  The Sissetons and Wahpatons gathered in front of the command, while the Yanktons occupied the flanks and surrounded the mules in the bottom below.  Three of the leading braves of the Sisseton camp split off from the others when they were near, coming forward and calling for the Major and Cullen. Cullen approached them and was told they intended to receive their annuities before giving up the Indian.  Refusing to meet this request, Cullen turned to leave and was asked by the head brave to remain, as they wished to have him and the Major together to talk with, but, having been made aware of Good Boy’s warning, Cullen left.  Major Sherman then came forward, expecting to receive custody of the accused Indian, and was greatly disappointed to be told they first required his promise that they would receive their annuities, and further disgusted when, after having their proposal refused, the Indians departed, taking the criminal with them. 


I was present with both Cullen and the Major when they had this brief talk with the brave, and I saw nothing to lead me to believe that there was any hostile feelings among the great body of Indians in front of us.  There were very few guns or bows to be seen, and they were far more orderly then the same number of whites would have been.  As soon as they learned that they could not get their annuities, the camp crier called to them to go to their lodges, and they all left in much greater haste than they came. 


It was expected by all but a very few of the soldiers, that the Major would give an order to fire on the Indians, if the criminal was not given up expeditiously. First Lieutenant, Romayn Ayrs, of the battery, was mounted on his horse, in a position where he could see any signal the major might give, but none was given, and there was a murmur of dissatisfaction from the ranks.  When the excitement was all over, the major was congratulated for the judicious course he had pursued, and everyone was thankful that there was no hostile act on the part of the Indians. A few Sisseton braves had been among the Yankton’s, and had made them believe there would be trouble. They had surrounded the mules considering them the most desirable part of the plunder. 


That afternoon, the 16th, the camp was moved to a more secure place where the prairie projected so as to form a horseshoe shaped piece of land with an Indian burying mound in the center, that overlooked the country for several miles about. All the employees at the agency and at the traders were called into camp, and the friendly Indians were told to go into camp on the south side of Yellow Medicine River, as it seemed very uncertain what might take place before morning. The missionaries, Dr. Williamson, and Reverend Riggs, were told that they had better place themselves under the protection of the troops, but they believed they would be better protected among the Indians.  The night passed quietly although there was not much sleep, owing to the anxiety that prevailed.  The usual Indian drumming was not heard during the night, nor any of their campfires to be seen, which seemed strange, as they had been visible every night before, since they’d arrived.  


When the weary night had passed, and the morning light advanced so as to take in the extent of our vision, not an Indian or their camps could be seen, and it was nearly 10 o’clock before it was known where they were.  It seems they were no less anxious about the movement of the troops then the camp was as to their intentions, and had moved away six miles during the night. Captain Alfred Sully, with a full company of infantry, arrived about this time in the day, and shortly after, a large body of Indians was seen advancing in the distance; they approached to within a few hundred yards of the camp, halted, and detached a small party that came on and delivered up the Indian so greatly desired to put at rest all fear of trouble.  He was turned over to the Major with strong protestations of friendship.  He was delivered up by the Sisseton braves, who were greatly relieved when he was off their hands, as they were cheerful and shook hands with all the officers present.  There were many Indians about during the day, and they seemed to be in a happy state of mind. The Indians were apprised each day, of the condition of the soldier that was stabbed, as I was sure to meet someone that would enquire, and, as he was improving daily, they thought no harm would come to the young man that had been given up.  The prisoner was placed in a wedge tent under a guard of four soldiers, where he was kept until the afternoon of the 22nd, when he escaped by running toward the officers in council with the Yanktons.  The guard fired on him but the council was being held so near, only thirty yards away, they were obliged to fire at his legs or they would have killed the officers.  At the time of his escape, a gun was fired by an Indian, which caused a commotion among the troops.  His friends placed the prisoner on a blanket or litter, and they carried him away in great haste.  I ordered my horse and buggy at once, and as soon as it was ready, I followed the Indians to find out how badly the young man was wounded.  About a mile and a half away I overtook them. They saw me coming and stopped on the other side of a deep ravine that I could not cross with the buggy, so I left the horse in charge of my wife, who generally accompanied me, and went over to where they were. My approach was heralded by the crier, who announced, “The Medicine Man has come to see the boy.  Open the way for our friend.” There was a large body of Indians about the prisoner, and when they separated to let me pass to where he was, I noticed that there was a guard of Sisseton braves on either side until I came near the center.  Suddenly the boys mother sprang at me with her scalping knife raised to strike, but at the last second, her arms were pinned to her sides by a friend who carried her away.  She was on my right when I saw the glimmering knife, and so close to me that I could not escape her fury to the left due to the density of the crowd.


I found the prisoner wounded in seven places below the hips, but none of sufficient importance to prevent a full recovery in a short time.  One toe was taken off by a bullet, and the others were flesh wounds made by buckshot. After dressing the wounds and assuring the boys father that he would be well in one moon, those near shook hands and embraced me.  Their gratitude was so great that I was very glad to get away.  I reported his condition to the Major, who told me he would make no demand for him, as the wounded soldier seemed in a favorable condition to make a full recovery.  The general feelings of apprehension as to hostilities disappeared with the prisoner, and the employees returned to their usual duties at the agency, and the traders to their places of business.


One incident that night placed a gloom over the camp that was not dispelled while the troops were here.  Each guard was instructed by the officer of the day that his post was the most important about the camp, and that he must be constantly on the watch, as an Indian might crawl up in the grass or bushes on the side of the bluff and kill him with an arrow.  The bluffs, which skirted three sides of the camp, were very abrupt, and the guards were close to the edge, while the front, about a hundred yards between bluffs, was open prairie where four men were on guard. One of them, seeing an object in his front when he came to the end of his beat, called three times and then fired.  The object was his comrade on the next beat, who had walked a few paces to the front for urgent physical relief, and received a wound from which he died within an hour.  Captain Sully and myself were the only persons present at his death.  The captain was very much affected, as the deceased was an old soldier that had been with him during the Mexican War, and the soldier that shot him was so grieved, that his mind became diseased and he killed himself a few months later. 

The old Springfield musket carried a ball and three buckshot, and the charge was very deadly at short range. The next night, the camp was alarmed by the firing of a gun, and upon investigation a dog was found dead at the base of the bluff. The nights were dark and it’s a wonder that an object could have been seen ten feet away. 


By the 27th, a normal, peaceful, and happy condition existed among both whites and Indians, and the troops left for the fort.  Most of the Yankton and Sisseton’s started for their homes on the 24th, after feasting on beeves given them by Superintendent Cullen.          


The Wife’s Story Of The Massacre


“The white people were good to us as long as we had firs to sell them.  We had no more, was out of food, and had to ask the white traders to take pity on us, and we would pay them when the money was given us at the payment at the agency. They would not trust us.  We went from house to house asking for something to eat. We was starving and had eaten all our dogs.  The snow was so deep; we did not dare to leave the timber to go to the agency.  The white men came and took all the guns away, and told us they would give them back when we got ready to leave the country. This made our hearts very sad.  My husband went to the white man for something to eat.  The white man ordered him away, set a dog on him, and my husband killed the dog.  The white man followed my husband and hurt him so bad that he was all covered with blood.  After this my husband said his head hurt him and he did not seem to be the same man.  My husband’s father called all the men to his lodge to decide what they should do.  In talking about what had happened my husband got very excited when hearing the children crying for something to eat, and his sister moaning over the death of her baby, and he called upon the Great Spirit to help him destroy these bad people.  All but his father said they would help him.  I told my husband he should not do it, that I would tell the white man.  He got very angry, and then they put a guard over me until they left to kill the whites.  We left for the Big Sioux River.  When we came to the headwaters of the Yellow Medicine, my husband and I left them and came to my father’s.” 


Yellow Medicine

Chapter 3 from the “REMINISCENCES” of Jared Waldo Daniels

Transcribed from the families copy of the original document

& Edited by Dr. Daniels’s great, great grandson,

S. T. Casebeer


In 1858 this place was an Indian Agency where the Sisseton and Wahpeton received their annuities at such times in the year as the government saw fit to send them to the Agent, regardless of the time specified in the treaty.  It consisted of three log buildings, one for the farmer and a boarding house, one for the blacksmith, and one for the blacksmith shop.  Three buildings were located on the banks of the Yellow Medicine River, about two miles from its junction with the Minnesota.  A horseshoe shaped piece of bottomland surrounded by high bluffs formed the background for this picturesque place.  Ten acres was the extent of the enclosure, which was not quite large enough for the camping ground of Northern Indians.  On the opposite side of the river was located the trading posts which consisted of three log buildings on a plot of land backed by high bluffs covered with timber.


To this beautiful valley I was introduced by farmer Robertson, on the first day of May, 1855.  It was a beautiful sight at the time as the groves of plumb trees that skirted the timber on either side of the road passing down the bluff, were in full blossom, and the trees just putting on their Spring attire. I was taken to the blacksmiths’ house and told that this was to be my quarters.  The house was 12 by 18 feet, log, and as neat and tidy on the inside as woman’s hands could make it. I was to board with the family, which consisted of man and wife with a child about three years of age, and sleep in the attic.  Here I spent most of my time for a year, and I cannot say that any part of the time passed unpleasantly, for Mr. Ford and his good wife were well informed, and had had much experience with the Indians.  Mrs. Ford could speak the Dakota language as well as a native.  This was the only white family at the Agency.  The farmer had a mixed blood for a wife who was educated in Canada.  She was a pleasant woman, and very interesting in giving her reminiscences of life among the Dakotas.  The farmer boarded the men employed, twelve at this time, and his wife, assisted by an Indian woman, did the cooking. 


A mile and a half from the Agency was a mission of the Presbyterian Church, presided over by Rev. Dr. Williamson, and a mile beyond, another in the charge of Rev. S. R. Riggs.  At one of these places all the employees, except for a couple of French Canadians, would attend church every Sunday that the weather would permit.


Mr. Robertson, the farmer, was a Scotchman educated at Oxford, and had traveled in many countries.  He spoke French and Spanish fluently.  He was a large, broad shouldered man, six feet two inches in height, and a weight of two hundred and thirty-five pounds. He was kind and generous with the urbanity of deportment, and conversation that fitted him for the most polished society. His life closed at the Lower Agency in the Spring of 1858, with the mystery that always seemed to surround him.


August and part of September I spent among the Indians at Big Stone Lake and Lac Travers, looking after those people professionally, the plowing being done by the government, as the Agent did not think it quite safe for him to perform that duty. The fact was, the Agent was an honest, upright man, not amenable to the machinations of Indian traders, and the influences were against him with all who could not use him.


The last of September, all the Indians from the North came to the Agency to receive their annuities, but they did not get them until the last of October, owing to the money not being sent to the Agent.  If it had been sent from Washington, he had not been informed.  It was paid the Indians as soon as he received it.  Had it not been for the large quantity of dried buffalo meat that the Indians brought with them they would have had to return without their annuities or starve.  During their stay at the Agency they were being trusted by the traders to the extent of the amount of money they were to receive, so that when they were paid they had very little, if any, to take home. When the number of Indians was taken, they were all seated in a circle on the prairie and four men counted them three times.  Men, women and children, the youngest to the oldest, sick and bedridden, all were there. A few less than five thousand, about 4700 Indians were present.  The Cut-Head band were not all there.


The Agent made an application for troops to be present at the pay table to keep the traders a proper distance away and to protect the Indians. Thirty soldiers were sent him, under the command of Lt. Ruggles, a young officer just from West Point, and this was his first detached duty, which seemed somewhat severe, as he was not mounted and with his men had made a march of fifty miles over a burnt prairie during a bad windstorm.


Everything passed off pleasantly at the payment; the Indians paid their debts, and went home pleased with their Agent.  Though according to the treaty of 1851, they should have had their annuities in July, they forgave the wrong.


One evening in July, a crazy man made his appearance at the Agency, and disappeared as quietly as he came. The reason that we had to consider him of unsound mind was, that he would answer no questions, and was repeatedly making this remark, “Sixty-nine will surely come when no man can hold his own.” About ten days after this, two Indians came to the Agency with this man, having found him on the prairie, fifty miles west of this place.  They were on their way home from an Indian camp on Jim River. When they found him he had nothing on but a shirt, he was foot sore, and unable to travel.  They put on him leggings, moccasins, and a piece of cloth on his head, then they lifted him onto one of the horses they had been riding and one of them walked by his side and held him on.  The first water they came to he was provided with something to eat, as they had plenty of dried buffalo meat.  The following day he was much refreshed, but they had to support him all the way here, which took the greater part of three days.  The farmer sent him below where he could be taken care of. 


There are people, for I have met them, who are so prejudiced against the Indians, that they will say it was a mercenary motive that prompted these Indians to perform the part of the “Good Samaritan.” Such persons have very little, if any knowledge of Indian character, or are incapable of appreciating the motive because of the evil within themselves.  There was no other motive but that which civilization teaches us is the foundation of all goodness, “Do unto others as you would like others to do unto you.”


In June a young man about twenty-two years of age, came to the Agency drawing a small handcart, with a dog trotting along at his side.  In his cart he had a compass, quadrant, spyglass, and a small hand ax. As he came from the north, having this outfit, there was some conjecture as to the soundness of his mind, but when he was furnished with something to eat, he gave us the following account of himself:  “Early in the Spring I came to St. Paul, where I made the acquaintance of Major Hatch, who had been appointed Indian Agent to the Peegan and Black-feet Indians, and being out of employment and believing it would be a nice thing to live away out there in the North West, I decided I could go across the country, where I would find plenty of buffalo, elk, or deer, and save the expense of going to St. Louis and up the Missouri River.  I went to St. Cloud and had this cart made, and purchased flour and pork, the other articles I had, an acquaintance gave me the dog; and then I left to travel the boundless prairie that I knew nothing of. It was the 10th of July when I started, which seems to me now as though it had been many months since I bid goodbye to civilization.  The first few days I got along very well, though I was tired out when night came, but I soon began to feel the necessity of someone to talk to, so I told my dog my hopes and plans for the future, questioned him, and answered my own questions everyday.  My dog shared with me of what I had to eat as long as it lasted, as there was no game to be found on our way.  It seemed to me that my reason would give way if I could not hear the sound of a human voice; so I kept my dog alive to have something to speak to.  I intended to go north of Lac Travers, but when I reached the Pom de Terre River I had eaten my last cake and I had just about a half pound of pork left, so I decided to follow down the river, cross the Minnesota River, and find an Indian camp where I could get something to eat.  During the three days before I found the Indians, I lived on frogs, which I found good eating, though I had always thought them unfit to eat.  I stayed with the Indians at the foot of Big Stone Lake two days, where I was able, by signs, to find out that the white man lived three days journey south.  They treated me hospitably, and sent a young man with me to the next camp at Lac qui Parle, where I was received kindly and provided with the best they had to eat.  The dried buffalo meat that they gave me at both places I enjoyed very much. It appeared to be all they had to eat.  They gave me some fresh buffalo meat at Big Stone, as a hunting party had just returned with a large quantity.”


Mr. George Northrup, for that was the name of this young man, was given employment at the Agency, and went with me as cook to Big Stone Lake in August.  I kept him in view, and as a friend until his untimely death in 1864, when he lost his life while leading a charge against the Indians at the battle of Kill Deer Mountain, west of the Missouri.  He fell pierced with four bullets from Indians in ambush.  When George came to the Agency he was well acquainted with ancient and modern history, and with English literature.  He was very fond of the poets, and generally had one of the American poets with him to peruse at leisure times.  He was companionable, as he was ready to discuss any subject. When he came west he had not escaped Cupid’s dart, and new surroundings were thought to cure the wound, but it never healed.


My first winter at the Agency passed off very much pleasanter than I had reason to expect, as I was so interested in the peculiarities of these red people, as I saw them about the place and in their camps.  It did not get monotonous for everyday there was something new and interesting, which would not let the brain be weary of the place.  At the farmer’s house there was a dance once in two weeks that served for amusement, as the like could not have been witnessed in any city in the country. Among the employees there were two Germans, one Irishman, and two Canadians with fiddles, which either one was willing to scrape at any time for the pleasure of the company.  For partners the dusky maidens of camp were brought down with their mothers and taken back after the close.  The girls were a little timid and somewhat awkward at first, but they soon learned and enjoyed the pleasure equally with the more enlightened.  The dining room was cleared for us, and put in order with two lamps on brackets either side, and a table at the end on which the fiddler was perched. In this dimly lighted room, on the night of the dance, you would see a row of prettily dressed Indian girls, after the fashion of their own handwork, and about them groups of young men in different colored flannel shirts, and pants tucked in their boots.  The dresses of the girls were of broad cloth, blue, black, or red, short, hung from the shoulders, belted at the waist, and the armhole and edge of the skirt worked with ribbon for a border of about two inches.  The belt and anklets, a piece of cloth a foot wide to encircle the lower leg, was bordered with ribbon work in the same design.  All of them had blankets, red, white, or blue, and a few of the leaders of fashion had squares of broadcloth bordered with ribbon work.  They did not leave off their blankets when going through the movements of the dance, but let them drop from their shoulders when seated.  They were very modest and timid, and showed some grace in walking through the figures.  Under the eyes of the chaperon, the farmer and his wife, these amusements were conducted with as much propriety as though they were all civilized people.  As the men were unacquainted with the language of their partners there was very little conversation. 


I was not a little interested in the work carried on at the Agency that winter, as previous engagement made it necessary that I should have a house to occupy by the first of next July, and the logs had to be gotten out, a dam had to be built across the river, and a sawmill erected to produce lumber before I could have a home.  All of which was accomplished, but the house was not ready for me until November.  The following June I was given a leave of absence for one month, during which time I was married to one of the loveliest of women in everything that makes to the adornment of her sex. 


When I returned to the Agency with my wife, Reverend Dr. Williamson very kindly offered us a home in his family until a house was completed for our use.  The following November a building was ready, we moved in, and made it our home, with a full measure of happiness until the fall of ’61, when a change of administration made it necessary for me to enter another field of labor where I wanted to do my part in destroying that monster, secession. 


While I visited all of the Indian villages or camps north of here, I found none of them in such a primitive condition as the one of the Sisseton, between Bigstone Lake and Lac Traverse, which is now called Brown’s Valley. With but few exceptions, they were dressed in skins richly decorated with porcupine quill; their food consisted of the meat of the buffalo while I was there, though they plant and raise a little corn.  They seemed very kind, ready to comply with any request I had to make, and hospitable, as I was asked to eat in every lodge where I called, and often requested to attend a feast.  One day I noticed an unusual display of dress by the young women, and upon inquiry, I was told that it was the “virgin’s feast day”.  About 2 o’clock in the afternoon I saw these gaudily dressed girls following a short, white haired, old man up the bluff west of the camp, and, desiring to know more of the feast, I followed with the crowd that had as much curiosity as myself.  When I reached the brow of the bluff, I saw a pole about ten feet in height, set up in the ground, with a wreath of flowers attached to the top of it.  Coming near, I looked upon one of the most impressive ceremonies that I have ever witnessed before or since. Here were 137 maids whose virginity was not questioned, as it had a right to be by anyone in the audience that knew anything against the girl.  I was told that if one was known to have been unchaste, they were called out and stoned, unless protected by the family.  These young women were seated in a circle around the pole, all dressed in the most attractive costume their hands were capable of producing.  Their dresses were as white as snow, having been made so by the use of a white earth found in the Bad Lands, they hung from the shoulders and belted in at the waist.  The border and breast front was trimmed with porcupine quill of several colors.  Not a few of them had fringe on the bottom of the dress work.  Their hair hung in two braids and the parting was tinted with the same color that had been applied to the face.  Red was the prevailing tint, though blue and yellow were the choice of many. The coloring on the cheek was about the size of a five-cent piece; all of them looked neat and clean. On the ground at the pole was a large flat stone, and on that were a large number of cakes about eight inches in diameter and half an inch in thickness.  They were made of pounded buffalo meat, the marrow of the large bones, and the dried ti-psing-na pounded fine.  This is a bulbous root, found on the high, dry prairie, and much used by all of the Sioux for its nourishing qualities. After the man that I saw leading them up the bluff had given them a lecture, he cut the cakes into small pieces and passed them around, each one taking a piece but not eating of it until all had been helped, then at his bidding.


The ceremony lasted two hours, during which time there was no levity on the part of any.  The crowd was kept back from the women twenty feet by the old braves of the band.  When the feast was over their fond parents came forward, received their children with an embrace, and escorted them home. The Dakota mother is no less anxious to preserve the chastity of her daughter than the white one in civilization.  She is the head of the family and rules with firmness, but so guided by gentle kindness that all do her reverence.  That vice that destroys the morals of a people and eats up a victim, had no place among the Dakotas until the white man introduced it.  The Sisseton have been spared that infection and present a model community, free from the evils that were so menacing to the piece of the Indians at the Lower Sioux Agency.


Signal Fires


Early in the spring of 1856, while on the road to a village on the bluff bordering the Minnesota River, two miles north of the agency, I saw a small cloud of smoke shoot up into the sky, shortly another, and then the third one, all from the same place but so far away I could not see the prairie they rose from.  At once I saw a commotion in the village and men running for their ponies; in a few minutes I was there and was informed that the smoke I saw was signals to let them know that their old enemy the Chippewa’s Had been seen.  As soon as materials could be procured, these signals were answered by three puffs of smoke, pickets were sent to all the high points to be on watch, and well-armed men went into the Minnesota Bottoms to search for evidence of the enemy.


The next day a war party was formed and left for the Chippewa country as soon as they could get favorable omens from the old medicine man, “Cloud Man”.  Early on the morning of the tenth day, when there was the greatest anxiety for the safety of this party, a large cloud of smoke was seen to rise from the prairie to the northeast; about the middle of the forenoon another cloud was seen, and at regular intervals it was repeated until they came in sight from the bluff.  The war party returned with one scalp and two Chippewa women as prisoners. The party received an ovation in feasting, and all enjoyed the delightful pleasure of dancing about the scalp for a month, when it was sent to other villages for the same purpose. Although Dr. Robertson, the government farmer and I tried to secure the women as soon as they came in, we were unable to for three weeks, and then it was by threatening to bring troops into the country and take them away.  They were sent back to their homes well supplied with presents from the Dakota women.  When these young women were brought in, they were given in charge of the mother of one of the war party and treated kindly.  The young men were very anxious to keep these women, expecting to make wives of them.  While at Lac Traverse, I had a rich meal of buffalo meat, in a lodge where the hostess was a Chippewa, who had been captured when she was a young woman, and afterwards taken for a wife by one of the captors. I never heard of a war party killing women prisoners.  War parties went against the Chippewa every year, and generally one or two of the party would be brought in wounded.  The agent would try to stop their going, but they paid no attention to his request, or threats to confine them in the Fort when they came back.


When the old, sacred Lodge Man’s omen was favorable for their success, nothing but confinement could stop them.  The faith these young men have in the auspicious advice of this man, after he has considered their request for three days, though it is not always that they will return safely, guides them in all their wanderings while they are away. The mothers, wives, and sweethearts of the party call upon the Great Spirit at dusk every day to protect them from all harm and make them brave to kill their enemies. In the twilight, when all murmurs of life are hushed by the approach of night, on a rise in the prairie near camp, one of these could be seen with uplifted hands, her face looking in the direction of the party gone, beseeching the Great Spirit to bring the loved one safely back to her, and, should you be near enough, you would hear the sweet, pathetic tone of her voice.  


It is the general impression that all Indians are fond of liquor. The Sioux, (Dakota) are no more given to drinking alcoholic beverages that the whites, and I do not think as much so, for there are very few among them that will taste of Liquor.  At this agency, no Indian was seen intoxicated until after their lands east of the Minnesota River were sold in 1858. Then the few foreigners settled in the country sought to increase their scanty income by selling whisky to those having anything to trade for it.  There were only a few disposed to indulge, and they would always come to my house and leave their guns, bows and arrows, or knives, and tell me to keep them until they returned, and not to let them have any of those things if they were foolish (intoxicated).  They were very particular about that, as they were afraid of trouble.  It was not a common sight to see any of them under the influence of liquor.  When I met them in the village in that condition, they were quite a nuisance to me, as they were sure to embrace me and call me their good friend.


Here is an incident of the business qualities of an Indian.  One came to my house and asked me to keep his gun for him, as he was going down to the Lower Agency to visit, and he was afraid his friends would get it away from him while there.  A week after he returned with a good-sized package and wanted I should keep it until he called for it, as it was late at night when he came, I told him to leave it there in the office, but he objected, as he might not call for it for many nights, so I told him to leave it in the cellar, which was satisfactory.  Ten days later, he came by about the same time of night and took the package away.  Then I saw no more of him for two weeks, when he returned to tell me that he had two ponies that he had purchased with the whisky he had in the package.  I knew he was poor, as he had lost his horses during the winter, but I had no idea of his capacity for replenishing.  He was a very kind friend, as he always brought me game in season.          


Indian Outbreak



On the 17th of August, 1862, a war party of Indians form the Lower Sioux Agency, on their way home from a successful scalp hunt n the Chippewa Country, stopped at a house early in the day, in the town of Acton, and by signs, asked for something to eat.  They were refused.  One of the party says, “Let us kill these people and take what we want.”  After a little consultation amongst themselves, they killed the family, took what they wanted and started on.  Reaching home that night they reported what they’d done, a council was called to the Braves Lodge, and so that there should be nothing wanting to excite the minds of the fainthearted into the frenzy necessary to achieve the objective of the gathering, the old women killed a dog, roasted it, and prepared a feast for those consulting as to the best course to pursue.  The council was kept up all night, as there were many who were not disposed to yield to such sanguinary measures as were proposed, until the many grievances against the whites were fully set forth.  Little Crow said, “Since the actions of these young men have precipitated a war, which this lodge is formed to consider, it is best there should be no delay in commencing.”  Now fully fortified, the council set out at first light, put on their war paint, secured their guns and ammunition, and preceded directly to the stores, where they commenced the massacre. Here they were well supplied with shotguns, rifles, and a large quantity of ammunition. The people at the Agency were killed next, and then the Indians divided up into small parties and distributed to all parts of the frontier. 


At the Agency there were two people who were permitted to escape unmolested; which suggests that the spark of human sympathy was not entirely obliterated by the spirit of revenge.  Reverend S. D. Hinman, a missionary among them, and a Miss West, school teacher, were spared the carnage and allowed to depart in peace.  The first troops to offer themselves up as a sacrifice in this bloody outbreak, were those from Fort Ridgley, under the command of Captain Marsh of the 5th Regiment, Minnesota Volunteers.  Early in the day a report reached the fort that the Indians were killing the people at the Agency, and the Captain took fifty men and started up there.  On his way he met the missionary and enquired what the trouble was.  After being informed and cautioned against going up with so few men, the captain expressed confidence in his ability to quell the trouble, and proceeded on, only to be ambushed at the ferry and killed with all of his command, save seven who escaped down river.  Old man Quinn, who had been the Sioux interpreter at the fort since it was established, was with the command, and when they reached the river he called to an Indian that was watching them from the other shore, and enquired where the Indians were.  The Indian suggested he come over and see for himself.  As the troops began boarding the ferry, a volley came from the bushes, and twenty-eight of the men were dropped in their tracks.


About five o’clock in the afternoon of this day, the 18th, Indian Agent Galbraith, who had been among these Indians for a year, arrived in the town of St. Peter with forty men that he had enlisted at the two Agencies.  He was on his way to Fort Snelling, the rendezvous, to be mustered into the service.  He had left the Agency on the 17th, and there were no signs of discontent at that time, for everything was peaceable and quiet. This was his assurance when asked about the Indians. 


Sometime during the night, news came of the killing of the people at the Agency, Captain Marsh’s command, and others on the frontier.  The people were amazed at this awful news, but being hardy pioneers, they were equal to the condition of things that had developed within the past twenty-four hours, and they fully appreciated the importance of saving New Ulm, a town only twenty-eight miles from the Sioux Agency and on the road to this place, and of furnishing relief to Fort Ridgley, for if either of these places were taken by the Indians, St. Peter would be the next town for them to attack.  They could not wait to hear what the governor was going to do, but must act without delay. They turned over the arms and ammunition belonging to the rifle company of the town to Agent Galbraith and his little company, and then left for Fort Ridgley, where they arrived in the night during a severe rainstorm, to find the Fort surrounded by hostile Indians.  The citizens called a meeting at the courthouse, and one hundred and fifteen men immediately enrolled themselves to go to the defense of their neighboring town. Judge C. E. Flandrau was chosen captain, as he had formerly been Indian Agent among the Sioux, and W. B. Dodd, Lieutenant.  As the rifles had been given up, they were obliged to arm themselves with such guns as they could find by searching the town. Lead was procured and men set to work molding bullets, pouches and powder horns were filled, and their equipment was complete.  Horses, for those who were to act as scouts, and teams to carry the others, were pressed into service.  At two o’clock they started for New Ulm. 


The little command arrived at the ferry, a mile and a half this side of New Ulm, about nine o’clock, after experiencing a drenching rainstorm, which was followed by dense darkness. Here the lurid light reflecting from burning buildings that could be seen in the direction of town, warned of the uncertainty of a peaceable reception. Having in mind the fate of Captain Marsh and his command, they took all necessary precautions to make a safe transfer.  This was accomplished without incident. A short distance on the other side, they left the wagons and proceeded on foot, with the scouts in advance, until they reached the center of the village, before seeing a human being or a light in a house.  Here they were saluted by a friendly call, and provided for.  It was a great relief to their minds to find the town still under the control of the white man.  It seems that about seven o’clock, a hundred or more Indians attacked the north part of town, killed or wounded several persons in the street, set fire to a few buildings on the outskirts, and withdrew.  As gunfire had been heard at the fort, which is only twelve miles away, during the afternoon, it was supposed that this party was a detachment sent down by Little Crow to destroy the town.  Had they followed up the assault, there is not much doubt but that they could have destroyed the place, as the people were too much demoralized to make any resistance. It was believed that the Indian scouts saw the coming relief and reported, which resulted in the Indians retreating without further effort. 


Wednesday, the 20th, was spent in putting the town in a defendable condition.  Barricades were erected and rifle pits dug on the outskirts. An elevated plateau surrounded the town on the north and west, which was very advantageous for the attacking party. During the day a party arrived from Le Sueur, and a few from Mankato.  As each member of our force seemed to be acting independently, it was decided to choose one head; therefore a meeting was called and Judge Flandrau elected commander. Then it was thought best to have a provost marshal, Major Buell of St. Peter was chosen to perform the duties incumbent on such an officer in a town of a thousand or more inhabitants. On Thursday a thorough organization was effected of the troops and people.  Places of safety for women and children were designated for their retreat in the case of attack; the liquors in the place were all secured and placed in the charge of the commanding officer, and men and arms were inspected.  It was found they had two hundred and fifty guns.  During this day and Friday, scouts were sent out in all directions to give relief to anyone that might have escaped the massacre and gone into hiding, to bury the dead, and to report the proximity of the hostiles.  Several persons were saved by these parties, among them one old German, who supposed his wife and children were killed, but found them alive in Mankato a few days later.  One of the parties, that went up the Cotton Wood River, saw Indians on their right flank the greater part of the day, but they went on into the night, when a physician in the command, having had much experience among the Indians, said he thought the command had better return before daylight, as he believed Little Crow would be notified by his scouts of their presence, and would send out a party to intercept them.  The question of returning was discussed before the command and a vote taken, which decided by a small majority, that they should return.  They reached town in time to get a few hours rest before the Indians made their appearance.  A party of Indians had been sent out to cut them off, but the command found the trail that led toward town, followed it, and came in just in time to join their friends in the attack.


Early Saturday morning the people had reason to believe that Little Crow, with his forces, was on his way toward the town, for they could see, from the top of a high building, smoke rising from burning farm houses.  They could mark his progress as he approached, by the new fires that would start up as he came along.  He had divided his forces, and they were laying waste to the country on either side of the river.  It was ten o’clock before the party on the right bank came into sight, about two miles away, while the hostiles on the left continued on down to the ferry, starting signal fires as they advanced, to let the others know of their progress.  Commander Flandrau deployed his companies in double lines on the plateau outside of town, facing the Indians approaching on the right bank, which appeared to be the larger force.  The Indians advanced in a solid body to within three hundred yards, and then deployed to the right and left, moving as rapidly as they could toward the troops until they covered the whole front, at which point a war whoop served as a signal to open fire.  Several men were immediately wounded, and all gave way and sought shelter behind the barricades or in houses.  At this point Little Crow was not equal to the advantages he had gained in the first charge, for if he had followed the troops into town, he could have taken it.  The Indians left the front of this attack, came round to the south, joined the party that crossed the ferry, deployed so as to encompass two thirds of the town, and then advanced, firing and setting fire to the buildings. Here they were favored by the wind, which drove the smoke into the faces of the defenders, while the Indians could crawl up in the rear.  The west part of town was made secure by men occupying a stone mill and the brick post office.  The fighting in the southern part was very fierce on both sides, and many were wounded.  Houses would be taken and retaken, but the men became more calm, and exercised better judgment as the day was drawing to a close. The Indians were driven from every point before nightfall, and they began to withdraw, so that by dark, all but a few had left.  The last of them took their departure in the morning. 


It may not be very charitable to notice that, against the protestations of the commander, a number of men left for their homes the day before the fight, and several more in the morning when the Indians came into sight, or that their were cowards that sought safety in cellars, which no urging could entice them to leave, but in contrast to such men, there were those who, in the most critical period of the day, when the conflagration was sweeping up Main Street, charged through the flame and smoke, and drove the Indians beyond the town and kept them there while others worked diligently to extinguish the fires until the fight was over. During the day there were twelve killed and fifty wounded.  A hospital was established in the morning, where all the disabled were taken care of. 


On Sunday Captain E. St. Julian Cox, of St. Peter, arrived with a hundred men he had raised in that town, from those who had fled to that place for safety.  Monday was spent in quietness, and Tuesday it was decided to evacuate the town and move to Mankato, considering that the safest point to reach.  A train of one hundred and fifty-three wagons, loaded with women, children and wounded, left with a strong guard, under the command of captain Cox, and reached Mankato the second day in safety.


The abandonment of New Ulm represented a great sacrifice, and I have heard the movement criticized, but I believe those present understood the necessity of the case and acted upon their best judgment.  Provisions were short from the increased population, ammunition was giving out, and the number of sick was greatly on the increase.  I think you will search history in vain, to find a more heroic band of defenders in such an unequal conflict, or a more heart-rending spectacle than the evacuation of New Ulm.  To Judge Flandrau and the little band of brave defenders, belongs the honor of having saved many people of Minnesota Valley from the fate of those at the Lower Agency. 


Sibley’s Expedition


On the 19th, when Governor Ramsey was deeply engaged organizing troops to be sent south, a messenger rushed into his office in the Capitol and handed him a letter from Agent Galbraith, which said that the Hostiles had slaughtered the people at the Lower Agency and were currently engaged in massacring the settlers.  This was followed by another, informing him of the killing of five persons at Acton.  The Governor went up to Fort Snelling without delay, and sent four companies of the 6th Regiment, Minnesota Volunteers, to St. Peter.  They were ordered to take a boat to Shakopee, and there press enough transportation into service to take them on.  Honorable H. H. Sibley, for his long experience with these Indians, was selected to command the troops in the state, and given the rank of colonel. The authorities at Washington were notified of the condition of the frontier and of the importance of all the troops currently being organized remaining in the state. On the 23rd, Colonel Sibley reached St. Peter with more troops of the 6th & 7th, and one company of the 3rd.  Here he was obliged to stay for two days, in order to prepare ammunition for their arms, and procure subsistence. It was necessary to be supplied with powder, lead and bread at this place to be ready for any future emergency that might present itself.  He arrived at Fort Ridgley on the 27th, five days after the Indians had left.


The attack on this post was commenced on Tuesday morning, the 19th, and kept up until Friday night.  It was carried on with great energy, courage and persistency, as though they appreciated the importance of it’s position in their rear, in going down the valley.  Sergeant Jones, of the United States Ordinance Department, who was left here in charge of the government property when the fort was abandoned, is entitled to the honor of having successfully defended the post.  His great skill and coolness in handling the howitzers, and his rapidity of dropping shells among the hostiles, prevented their collecting at any point to organize a charge. Captain James Gorman, in charge of the Galbraith Company, did good service in fighting the Indians their own way.  Three of his half-breeds deserted but were killed during the siege. Captain Sheehan was in command of the company volunteers, and citizens who fled there sought protection at the post. 


Having received my commission as Assistant Surgeon in the 6th Minnesota Volunteers, I joined the regiment on the 23rd of August 1862, in St. Peter, while the troops were there enroot to Fort Ridgley, under the command of Colonel Sibley. On the 26th, I was ordered by the Colonel, to go to Mankato and remove all of the wounded and sick to St. Peter, place them in the care of my brother, Doctor Asa Wilder Daniels, and then rejoin my regiment. The citizens fitted up the courthouse as a hospital, where I placed the wounded, and they opened their houses for the sick, as they were women. This little town of twelve hundred inhabitants provided food and shelter for two thousand refugees.  Nothing but experience in a common danger like this, can give anyone a true conception of the brotherly feeling that goes out to one’s fellow man at such a time. My duties here were completed on the 29th, at which time I joined Lieutenant Colonel Averill, of the 6th, and sixty mounted men, on their way to the fort.  We camped that night at the Horner place, this side of Swan Lake, and the next day reached the fort around five o’clock, where I reported to Colonel Sibley.  On the morning of the 31st, I received orders from the Colonel to report to Major Joseph R. Brown, for duty with the troops dispatched to the Lower Sioux Agency. When I reported to the Major, I was surprised that he was to have only one hundred and seventy-five men, to go into country where we would be likely to meet three times that number of hostile Indians at any moment after leaving the fort.  As the Major was an old acquaintance, I expressed my opinion of the prospects of our being any more likely to reach there then the unfortunate command of Captain Marsh, to which he replied, “We will see no Indians; as they have all gone to Yellow Medicine and are preparing to go north, as they have been beaten in fighting the whites.”  I confessed to the Major, that my horseback ride over the last two days had been so hard on me, that I was in no condition to continue that exercise, and he thoughtfully provided me with a spring wagon and a teamster by the name of Holbrook.  Although this was satisfactory, my physical condition dictated that, for the sake of comfort, I travel in a recumbent position.


We left the fort around ten o’clock, and marched slowly along, burying the dead as we came to them, until dark, when we went into camp opposite the Lower Agency, at the foot of a high bluff, in the high grass, and within a hundred and fifty yards of a thick growth of willows and cottonwood.  Had the Indians been aware of our presence, it would not have been possible for any one of the command to have escaped, but the Major had been ahead scouting during the day, and had seen no signs of the enemy, and therefore considered the place selected of little importance. 


Doctor Wakefield, who was a physician at the Upper Sioux Agency, but out of the country at the time of the outbreak, believed the fort to be a safer place to camp, so, with a friend, he returned.  On the way to this place, the burial party buried eleven bodies and the charred remains of two, a women and a babe, at the burned Magner house, about five miles from the Agency.  The three found here were Mr. Humphrey, with wife and child.  They had been obliged to stop here in their flight, owing to the severe illness of the wife. Observing the approach of the hostiles, the ten-year-old son secreted himself in the coolie, back of the house, and escaped. I observed everyone who was buried, and not one was scalped or mutilated in the least. 


In conversation with the Major, I learned that the objective of our expedition was to bury the dead, render assistance to anyone who might have escaped, and determine the condition of things at the Agency.  And then, come morning, he was to take the mounted men across the river to the Agency, and up as far as Crow’s village, to see if there was any sign of Indians. The Infantry, after burying the dead at the ferry crossing, was to go up as far as Beaver Creek, and camp on Birch Coolie, near the crossing of the Abacromba road, where Col. Sibley would meet us, if the troops that he expected arrived in time. He told me that Sibley was going to Yellow Medicine on this side of the river. 


On September 1st, we made camp around five o’clock, on the prairie, near the place designated by the major, having marched nearly seven miles since leaving the ferry.  The camp was not far from water, and plenty of firewood was available within two hundred yards.  Our campsite was partially corralled by the wagons, but no particular caution was taken against a surprise, as there was a general feeling that the Indians knew nothing of our presence in the country.  The road we had passed over during the afternoon lead up from the bottomlands, and then up the bluff to the broad prairie and on to Beaver Creek. From here was a path to the head of the timber where we were encamped. Along the way, a German woman was found in a cornfield and brought to my wagon, where she was furnished with nourishment and made as comfortable as possible, on a bed of blankets and robes.  She was so exhausted from long fasting, and bewildered by her new surroundings, that she was unable to give any account of her escape until nightfall, and then with only a confused memory of events.  She told me that thirteen families living above the rapids, had heard of the Indians killing the settlers, and had just started down to the fort, when they were met by a party of hostiles.  Now captives, they were taken back to Beaver Creek, where they were all killed save her, and she was shot and left for dead.  She pointed to her shoulder to show me where she’d been shot, and upon examination, I found a flesh wound that might just as easily have been made by a tomahawk.  She was dressed as many of her countrywomen are on the frontier when about their household duties or at work in the field.


Twenty-eight bodies were buried at the ferry, where Captain Marsh’s command was ambushed on the first day of the outbreak, an additional body was found on the bottomland, and four more near Beaver Creek.  Mrs. Henderson and her two children were of the last number; they were put in a box and Mr. Gibbons of the mounted force provided a prayer at their burial. While ascending the bluff this afternoon, I heard the report of firearms in the timber below us, and soon after saw three puffs of smoke rise into the clear sky from the bluff on the west side of the river, which I had reason to believe, from past experience, were signals of the Indians, given to let their friends know that the enemy had been observed.  I asked Mr. Faribault’s opinion of the smoke, and was told that he believed it came from fires started by some of the major’s party, as he did not believe there were any Indians this side of Yellow Medicine to start fires. When the major came in, which was before the tents were all up, I told him what I’d heard and seen, and he said no fires had been started by anyone, nor had anyone seen signs of Indians on the road as far as he’d traveled, which was above Crow’s village. He believed that what I took for smoke was dust of the road, taken up by the little whirlwinds so often witnessed on the prairie. 


I had known the Major intimately for nearly seven years, and I believed that he was better acquainted with the Sioux Indians and their mode of warfare than any other man in he country, and that he’d been selected to command this detachment because of his superior knowledge, but I was not satisfied with his explanation of the smoke, nor his assertion that the hostiles were not aware of our presence. In fact, I was very confident that they’d seen us, and that the signals were evidence not to be explained away.


Major Brown told me that he’d found a good crossing of the Minnesota, opposite the camp, and that he intended to send a messenger to Colonel Sibley, early in the morning, to intercept him before he started on the road for this place, and have him come instead up the agency road, and then up the bottom to the crossing now selected. He said it was better for the troops to go to Yellow Medicine on the other side of the river, and that to cross here would save time. He seemed pleased that Sibley did not meet us here as expected. 


That evening as I sat there on the ground, in front of the only wall tent, with my back against the standard, I faced the northeast. Nearby on my right was one “A” tent, to the extreme right was one Sibley tent that was used by the cavalry, and between, on a line four paces to the front, were three Sibley tents. The incomplete circle of the wagons commenced about twenty feet away on my left and extended around front, to the right and rear of the cavalry. The horses were hitched to a rope, or picketed in the rear of the wagon to my left.  The wagon that the German was in was to the left, a little out of line in front, and on the right flank and to the rear of the cavalry, about two hundred feet away, was a thick growth of young oaks, with larger timber further on.  The Major, captain Grant, and myself occupied the wall tent.


Early on the morning of the 2nd, about four o’clock, I was aroused from my slumber by the loud singing of the cook at the rear of the tent.  The guard told him to be quiet or he would wake the officers, to which he replied, “It’s time they were up!”  Then came the cry of “Indians!” from the guard, quickly followed by a volley, which showed very plainly that we were surrounded by hostiles.  The Major and Captain Grant left the tent together and the first order was given by the latter; that being to fall in.  The major called immediately for the men to lie down.  Following the second volley from the Indians, he told them to remove the wagon boxes from the wagons and turn them on their sides against the wagon wheels. Both officers were within a few feet of me when these orders were given.  At this time I was called to captain Anderson’s side of the camp, where I found one man killed and two wounded.  Captain Anderson was in command of the cavalry and most exposed, but he had his men well in hand and the wagon boxes turned as ordered. 


The enemy fired in volleys during the first part of the day, as though under the command of one person, and the Major seemed to comprehend and anticipate the time of their firing, and would caution the men to keep close to the ground, behind any object that would protect them.  Within a short time after the fight commenced, the firing of the troops drove the Indians from the prairie on the left and beyond the rise of ground in front, at which time they selected places where they could not be seen, and fired at will, which was much more deadly.  About eight o’clock shovels were procured and trenching commenced, but it was only with the greatest difficulty, on account of the danger of assuming an erect position.  I believe that the first man to try digging was wounded, and the second only succeeded by crouching behind a barrel, buttressed by a dead horse.  It was at this time that the major, standing near the wall tent on the left, was wounded by a ball, passing through the fleshy part of the nape of his neck. Captain Swan, of the 3rd Minnesota Volunteers, helped him into the tent, where, after the wound was dressed, he went to sleep, exhausted by the shock. 


During the time the Major was sleeping, I noticed with much anxiety, that the number of killed and wounded were on the increase to such an extent that, at this rate, the little detachment would not last until nightfall.  Understandably anxious, the men were increasingly noisy, and less and less cautious, and it was my teamster who eventually took it upon himself to call for the volunteers to go out and drive the Indians out of the timber.  This suggestion was favorably received, so that I began to believe that the safety of the camp depended on his presence. 


The wall tent in which the wounded were cared for seemed to be a special mark for the Indians, as it was completely riddled with bullets from top to bottom; one man was wounded a second time while lying on the ground inside, and another, seated on the ground with his back against the standard while I was removing a ball from his shoulder, was shot through the heart.  This being the state of things, I felt warranted in finding out if Major Brown was able to be moved.  Gently rousing him, I apprised him of the state of the command, and told him that I believed the trench would be a much safer place for him, and that from that position he could observe all that was going on. As we left the tent, Captain Grant called out, in a very despondent voice, “ We shall all be killed!” To which the Major replied, “No we shan’t.” 


It was nearly noon when the Major left the tent, and as the day progressed, we had four more wounded and suffered two casualties.  At one point during the afternoon, I was called to my teamster who was behind a wagon box toward the front of the command.  Finding him with slight flesh wounds to both legs, I cared for his wounds and remonstrated when he pulled himself up on the box for a better vantage point.  The teamster responded, “We shall all be killed, and I want to shoot one of the devils before I die.  His comment proved prophetic, as he became the last casualty of that day.


It was nearing three o’clock when the hostilities ceased sufficiently that we felt safe in exposing ourselves.  The Major suspected that the hostiles were either low on ammunition, or preparing to charge our camp, but this idea was soon dispelled by the sight of a party of Indians in skirmish lines, retreating over the high prairie, across the coolie, headed for tall timber. Moments later the report of cannon fire signaled the approach of Major Sibley.  Soon the smoke of the cannon fire could be seen distinctly, reinforcing our belief that relief was on the way.  All hearts beat more quickly, faces brightened, and the wounded revived, in cheerful anticipation of speedy relief, but the cannon came no nearer, as night began to spread it’s soft mantle over the living, the dying, and the dead.


Eventually disappointment and the bullets of the enemy, left behind to keep our interest and foil our escape, gave rise to many expressions of censure. Whether right or wrong, there was a general feeling that Sibley was to blame for this, by not arriving here in a timely manner as he’d promised. The major was not disposed to conjecture concerning Sibley’s late arrival, but I’m certain he was as disappointed as anyone. 


As the distant booming of cannon fell silent, darkness closed in on a ravaged camp, strewn with the dead, consisting of almost one third of its defenders; parched lipped survivors, suffering for want of food and water, which they’d not received for the last twenty-four hours, and the bloating carcasses of ninety dead horses. This condition persisted through the bright, moonlit night, through the morning, as the hot sun’s rays licked the dew from the putrefying dead and the stench seemed beyond all endurance, and on until eleven o’clock, when we were at last relieved by Colonel Sibley and his entire command.


The hostiles did not cease their firing all through he night, until the colonel and his command arrived within a hundred yards of camp, and no one left this place until his aids reached our corral.  It was with no small degree of emotion that we grasped the hands of our friends, and many eyes fought back tears.  Even Major Brown, who I believe saved our lives, let tears roll down his cheeks, as he took the Colonels hand. Twelve of our command were buried here, and forty-six wounded were loaded into wagons and taken to Fort Ridgley.


The woman, in compliance with her wishes, had remained in the wagon, and despite several bullets penetrating the bed, the robes and blankets had saved her. When Sibley arrived the Indians withdrew at a leisurely pace, in the direction of Beaver Creek, where they disappeared into the timber. There seemed little inclination to pursue them, and I don’t believe anything would have been accomplished if they had. 


During the fight, the enemy was so close to camp, that if any part of a man’s person was exposed, he was quite sure to receive a shot.  Mr. Faribault seemed to be exempt, as he, very much in front where they could not help but see him, dug a trench for his own protection, with a sheath knife, by cutting up the earth and pawing out the ground with his hands.  He commenced the first thing after the firing began, and had a hole large enough for his whole body in about two hours.


It is a little strange that the favorable direction of the wind at the time, and the contour of the bluffs of the Minnesota River, should have been the means of our guns being heard by the troops at the fort, fourteen miles away.  Early on the morning of the 2nd, one of the guards was strolling along on the bluff of the fort, when he heard gunfire up the river.  This was reported to Colonel Sibley, who satisfied himself of the fact, and then ordered Colonel Mc Phail to take three companies of men and determine the cause.  Leaving as ordered, he returned after two hours, reporting that he could hear no firing.  He was then furnished with three more companies of infantry, one 6-pound field-piece, and one mountain howitzer, and told to proceed to Birch Coolie in search of Major Brown and his detachment. 


Late that afternoon, a messenger returned from Mc Phail’s detachment, reporting that they were surrounded by hostiles and required reinforcements before they could proceed.  General Sibley put his entire command in motion with as little delay as possible, making a night march and reaching the relief at three o’clock in the morning.  Here they bivouacked for a few hours, before continuing their search for Major Brown. Mc Phail was stopped within three miles of our camp, by not over half of the force that had been fighting us all day, considering it unsafe to come to our relief without reinforcements. Mc Phail’s troops received no casualties, the Indians having left at nightfall, after firing only a few shots.


Major Brown’s camp was fourteen miles from Fort Ridgley, an easy march in five hours, yet it took twenty-eight, after the firing was heard on the morning of the 2nd, before Sibley’s troops reached him, and from three o’clock until eleven o’clock, on the morning of the 3rd, to march three miles.


Following the slaughter at Birch Coolie, we were camped at Fort Ridgley for three weeks, during which time three friendly Indians came in from Little Crow’s camp with nineteen women and children they had stolen away when Little crow moved north after the fight at Birch Coolie. They reported that the Hostiles had been camped at Yellow Medicine River, but had moved twelve miles north now, an that the friendly Indians would try to save the remaining white prisoners when the troops approached. 


On the 19th, the command crossed the river at Ridgley and started up river on the west side. We reached Wood Lake on the 22nd, and went into camp in the angle formed by the stream leading from the lake. Here we were to stop for a day, waiting for a delayed wagon train to catch up.  With rations in short supply, it became known in camp that corn and vegetables could be had at Yellow medicine, which was only three miles away, so early on the morning of the 23rd, three men of the 3rd regiment started out with a team to procure supplies.  Within sight of our camp, the party came under attack, two men being killed instantly and the third wounded.  The horses turned and brought the men back.  The Indians had secreted themselves in the ravine and tall grass near the road, and had taken advantage of this opportunity to bring on the fight.  They immediately charged our camp from all directions, excepting the lakeside.  The 3rd rushed out to avenge the deaths of their comrades and were beaten back .  Then Colonel Marshal of the 7th, with five companies of his regiment and one of the 6th, charged, driving the hostiles across the ravine and away from the right.  The 6th protected the left flank and the rear.  The Renvill Rangers took possession of a little rise in front and close to the angle and the ravine where they were well protected.


The battle lasted about two hours before the Indians were driven from sight.  Thirty-three men were wounded and four killed.  Of the wounded, thirty belonged to the 3rd.  Sixteen dead Indians were found, seven of them in front of the Rangers.  The bravery the Indians displayed when they drove the 3rd back into their entrenchments could not have been excelled by a more civilized people.  If they had displayed the same boldness and dash at New Ulm, the place would have been taken; at Birch Coolie the result would have been a massacre.  From what I have heard the Indians say, I believe Little Crow would not consent to an assault at either place, for fear of a ruse.  Here the condition of the camp could not be seen. It proved to be their last effort.


This battle made Colonel Sibley a Brigadier General.  The fact that he was able to hold an entrenched camp with fifteen hundred men, against one-third that number of Indians, was evidently considered sufficient recommendation for this promotion.  I was quite near the General during the engagement, and I believe the fighting was going on independent of his orders, with the exception of his order to protect the rear.


On the 26th, the command reached the Indian camp twelve miles above Yellow Medicine, where ninety-one white captives were turned over to the General by friendly Indians and half-breeds.  Several hundred Indians, supposed to have been engaged in murdering the settlers, were found here and confined; also parties who had left only a few hours previously, were overtaken by the troops and brought back.  Little Crow, with the leaders of the outbreak, had left the camp soon after the fight at Wood Lake.  The friendly Indians and half-breeds, who had secured the captives during the fight at Wood Lake, had placed them in their tents, where they had dug rifle pits within for their defense, in case Little Crow should undertake to seize the whites upon his return. These Indians used their influence with their hostile friends, to get the captives into their possession, believing that Little Crow would be whipped and then leave for the north in such haste to escape the troops, that they might save them.  All of which transpired as they expected.


A military commission was appointed by the General for the trial of those who had participated in individual murders, but as there was such a strong feeling against the Indians, their duties were extended to include all the Indians that had participated in any of the battles.  The commission commenced their work at this place, Camp Release, on the 28th, but closed their duties at the Lower Sioux Agency, where they presented their findings to the General.  In about five weeks time, they had before themselves to act on, nearly four hundred cases.  The evidence against the Indians came from the captives, half-breeds, other Indians, and a Negro who was with the hostiles during all the battles.  Of all those who came before the commission, only fifty were found innocent, twenty were considered fit subjects for imprisonment, and over three hundred were condemned to death by hanging. 


I have no doubt but that a large number were condemned on general principles, which was more in harmony with the prejudice of the whites than justice; some days as high a number as twenty-six would be acted upon in five or six hours.  With but few exceptions, all grown men were subjected to an examination without any specific charges having been made against them, trusting that the innocent could make their innocence appear.  Self-preservation being the first law of nature, it does not seem plausible to me, that three hundred Indians, guilty of individual murders or the violation of white women, would deliberately remain in camp to surrender themselves to the troops, and face justice.


Fifteen hundred women and children, and the men found innocent, along with those who had befriended the captives, were sent down to Fort Snelling under a strong guard, where they remained all winter, and four hundred prisoners, manacled and under guard, were taken to Mankato, where they were to be confined until disposed of by the authorities in Washington.  Thus, in less than three months, the outbreak among the Sioux had been suppressed, and many of the participants in the great massacre taken, condemned, and secured against any chance of escape.


While general Sibley was much censured by the people and the press during the early days of the campaign, due to the dragging and dilatory manner in which he conducted it, The results were so far beyond expectation, that the administration was willing to give him all due praise for his success.


When President Lincoln received the report of the Indian Commission, he placed it in the hands of impartial men, with instructions to report those cases, which, according to the evidence, were convicted of being implicated in individual murders or the violation of white women.  These men found thirty-nine out of three hundred guilty of the crimes specified.  The President then ordered those executed and the others imprisoned.  On the 26th of the following December, thirty-eight were duly hung, one being reprieved a few days before, owing to a doubt as to his identification, a small German boy being his only accuser.  I believe the President’s attention was called to this case by those who knew the Indian to have been a friend to whites, and not a member of either of the bands engaged in the outbreak. 


Back in 1851, when these Indians gave up the country that now constitutes northern Iowa and three-fourths of Minnesota, they were given a strip of land ten miles wide on either side of the Minnesota River, extending from Fort Ridgley to Lac Travers, for their reservation.  They were promised money and annuities to be paid to them in July, and goods and provisions to be issued to them at that time, also schools and agricultural assistance.  They never received any benefit from the last two funds, and money, goods and provisions were not given them at the time specified.  They would come to the Agency from their hunts, at the time specified in the treaty, and then wait two or three months, before the money would be paid them.  During this time, they had to depend for subsistence, on what they could find in the vicinity, and what credit they could get at the stores.  This scanty supply was the cause of great suffering at the time, and a constant source of complaint that found no relief until they made a new treaty in the winter of 1857 & 58, ceding to the government additional land east of the Minnesota River. 


At that time Joseph R. Brown was their Agent, and secured for them all that was specified in this as well as former treaties.  All those disposed to farm, and there were many, he furnished with everything necessary for farming, assisted them in building houses, established schools, and their annuities were more promptly given them.  Everything appeared to indicate that they were on the road to civilization, but there was a constant contest going on between those disposed to farm and those opposed to these innovations, and Little Crow, being the leader of the latter, used all of his influence to counteract the work of the Agent.  In order to protect the farming Indians and make them feel sure of not being molested in their improvements, and to overawe Little Crow, the Major had barracks built at Yellow Medicine and U.S. troops stationed there during the time that he was Agent.  Major Brown was too well acquainted with the Indian character, especially that of Little Crow, not to know that he would resort to some desperate means before he would see the tribal relations of his two bands dissolved, and he, the petted chief of the whites, of no more consequence than the most humble in the tribe.


When the new administration came in, in 1861, the superintendent promised the Indians at the two Agencies, $20,000.00 worth of goods, to be given them in the fall.  When the goods were delivered they wanted to know where the money came from to pay for them, and they were told that the money would be deducted from their annuities for the following year. The Indians considered this expenditure of their funds as bad faith on the part of the government, and became understandably exasperated. There were white men in the country who were very bitter against the government for the course being pursued toward the south, and they took this opportunity to work on the fears of the Indians by telling them that they would receive no more annuities, as the money was being spent on the war efforts against the Confederacy. 


When ’62 arrived and their annuities were not received, and the traders refused them credit, and their families were suffering for want of the barest necessities, Little Crow believed that the time was at hand when he could not only destroy the little farming communities about him, but reclaim the country that had been taken from him by the whites. He used his suavity of manner, in which he was gifted beyond any other Indian that I ever met, to assure the whites at the Agency of his peaceful disposition, and his persuasive eloquence on his own people, recalling the many wrongs they had suffered, until he had them well under control, so that when the young braves returned from their murderous theft at Acton, the wholesale slaughter could no longer be delayed.


The number of Indians at the several battles, as given by their own account, was from four to five hundred.  Back at Birch Coolie, sixty warriors had started down the day before, observed major Brown’s command, and sent smoke signals back, recruiting three hundred and sixty additional hostiles that left their camp at Yellow Medicine to join the first party.  There must have been at least four hundred firing on us during that battle.


Having credited individual Indians with saving captives which were safely delivered to General Sibley at Fort Ridgley, I think it appropriate to mention Otherday, who saved seventy-two, men, women, and children at the Yellow Medicine Agency. Collecting them on the afternoon of the outbreak, he took them across the river that night and guided them in safety to the white settlements. Reverend S. R. Riggs, along with his family and visitors, and Reverend, Doctor Williamson with his family, were also saved by friendly Indians.


The Upper Sioux were not engaged in the massacre, but were the principals in saving all the captives and missionaries, as well as those at the Agency.  The lower Indians left their own buildings, burning and destroying those of the Upper Sioux because they would not help.


It is only natural that everyone be curious as to the cause of such an uprising, of a people who have always striven to live in peace and harmony with their more civilized neighbors.  To state a fact that is as old as the history of our country’s Indian relations, and the great cause of all our trouble with our country’s Native Americans, is to say, very clearly in my estimation, “violated treaty obligations on the part of our government.”


General Sibley’s Campaign



General Sibley’s Indian campaign of 1863, as I witnessed it, provided fewer numbers of Indians observed or killed, as those reported by several other writers of the expedition. Being well acquainted with the Sioux myself; I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity with these people, to ascertain by their account, the number of their casualties during several engagements with our troops, and I find the discrepancy so great as to call into question the accuracy of reports by the officers. The largest number of Indian deaths during all of these engagements resulted from their battle with General Custer’s command, when thirty-two Indians were killed and four braves died of their wounds.


On June 16th, about 11 o’clock in the forenoon, Sibley left Camp Pope, in the bottomlands above the Redwood River, with 3,000 Infantry, 800 Cavalry, 48 Artillery, and 225 six-mule wagons, for the purpose of chastising a few Indians that he’d failed to capture during his campaign of the previous fall.  Three thousand of these troops had been raised to address secession in the south, and should have been sent there, instead of tramping all over the plains after a few Indians.  This was the opinion of many of the officers as we started, as it seemed as though we were turning our backs on those needing help to put down the rebellion.


The other troops had been raised to fight Indians and protect the frontier.  The men were required to carry their knapsacks during the march, which, owing to the extreme heat, represented such a severe task for some that, in reaching camp that night, I asked Colonel Crooks if their gear could not be put on the wagons.  I noticed that the men were not burdened with them after that.  The monotony of the march, in the broiling sun, over a dry prairie, did not vary much, until we reached the Cheyenne River on July 4th, at which time a shower cooled the air and the green grass offered relief to the eyes of men and animals alike, despite the fact that locusts had denuded the trees along the river of their leaves, and guards had to be stationed to prevent them from devouring our tents. 


This being the 4th, a national salute was fired that evening, and soon after, by invitation only, the field ands staff officers assembled at general Sibley’s quarters, where they were most royally entertained by partaking of fruitcake and wine, which had been stowed away in the Generals’ outfit by his noble and thoughtful wife, to be brought forth at this time.  This diversion, with toasts, speeches, and the band discoursing enlivening music, gave great relief to the fatigued mind and tired body. In order to show due respect to the General, the officers of the 6th Minnesota Infantry, were the only ones in full dress.


Here, by digging down about six feet, we found good, cool water, which seemed to be a great restorer of spirits, to those who had begun to feel the depressing effect of the sun’s rays while on march. According to an officer of the 6th, who was prostrated by the heat just as we went into camp the day before our arrival here, “a days rest and this water makes one feel all right again.” 




Having marched thus far without sight or sign of our quarry the Indian, many began to doubt very much an opportunity to fight them.  “It’s a big thing!” had got to be a by-word of both officers and men, but when the scouts reported the discovery of the track of a lone Indian, on the shore of the river, that it was not over a week old, and that it’s maker was going in the direction we were marching, hopes were revived of our coming in contact with those the General was hunting.  We had fifteen scouts, made up of Indians, half-breeds, and white men, all capable and trustworthy. 


The track in question turned out to have been made by the son of Little Crow, who with his father, had gone to the settlements, where Little Crow had been shot from ambush and killed while picking berries.  The son was returning home.  The young man was found ten days later, at Devil’s Lake, nearly starved to death.  The Indian scout that had discovered the track had deduced that it had been made by a young man who was very tired, which was undoubtedly the true condition of the feeble young man at that time.


According to Sioux tradition, our camp is on grounds, which were once occupied by the Cheyenne.  Here they planted and lived in peace with their neighbors, until a young man of the Cheyenne tribe attempted to abduct a Sioux maiden against her consent, and was killed, provoking a Sioux war party who dispatched once and for all the remaining Cheyenne.


On the 17th, the scouts found two Chippewa half-breeds, and a company of cavalry was sent out to bring them in.  These people reported that their camp was on James River, and that five days before there was a Sioux camp of six hundred lodges sixty miles from here, on the Choteau de Missouri. This news was sufficient to give new life to the command, which was quite apparent in the cheerfulness of all, when we went into camp that night.  The idea in camp was prevalent that if we could just find the Indians and have a fight, the command could return home, so any suggestion that a fight was imminent, was agreeable.


On the 18th, we went into camp at a lake that was named after Captain Atchison’s mother , Emily; here all the sick and disabled men, mules and horses, were left with a force sufficient to protect them, and the balance of the command went on, with twenty-five days ration for man and beast.  A few buffalo were seen for the first time on the 20th, but they were so far off, no one was allowed to give chase, for fear the hunters might be cutoff by those were hunting.


That evening about two hundred mounted half-breeds came into camp to pay their respects to the General and share such information as they had of the Indians.  A Catholic Priest who accompanied them made a speech to the general, in French, 6the substance being, that he had heard of the atrocities committed by the hostiles, and that he hoped those responsible would be punished, and that he was sorry they could not help the troops.  Just as they were leaving, he called upon his followers to give three cheers to general Sibley and the soldiers, which was well done.  The day before, Paul and Shaska, with two Half-breeds, were sent out to locate Standing Buffalo’s camp, with a letter for him from the General, but reaching the camp of these half-breeds, they were persuaded to turn back for fear of being killed if they proceeded.  They returned today without carrying out their instructions.  I believed at the time that the general wished to inform Standing Buffalo and his people the Sisseton’s, that he did not come to make war on them, but on those who fought the whites the year before. 

On the 22nd, we saw the Choteau in the distance when we broke camp, but on making camp again at half past one, it did not seem to be much nearer. There was some anxiety about reaching that point, as we felt certain of a battle at that juncture, but when the scouts returned and reported the hostiles all gone, there was a renewal of the old byword, with many expressions of doubt as to the correctness of what the half-breeds had told us.  The great uncertainty of finding the Indians made such an impression on the General’s mind, that he proceeded only after calling a council which decided to go on.  The 23rd, we crossed the Choteau, but still saw no sign of Indians, resulting in a very disgusted state of feeling, and the universal sentiment, “Why don’t the General just send the cavalry to find ‘em?”


It was half-past one on the afternoon of the 24th, when the scouts reported that they had met the Indians, shaken hands with them, and had seen their camp, which was about two and a half miles in advance on the left.  Gabriel Renville, one of the scouts, reported that he met Red Feather, a Sisseton Chief, who told him to tell the general to get his soldiers ready, as the young men were crazy to fight!  Soon another scout came in and said he had seen Standing Buffalo, who wished to talk with the general.  These reports seemed to impress everyone with the belief that all of the Indians seen were our friends, and, as two of these men were the great Chiefs of the Sisseton’s, the general impression was that there would be no fighting.


 The command was halted, waiting for all of the scouts to come in, when the last one, Paul, made his appearance with his son, who had been among these Indians since the fall before.  He said the young men would fight certain.  Order was given to corral the wagons by the lake, where they were near on our right, and make preparations for a defensive fight.  Although the General was informed that the water was bad and there was no grass for the animals, it was thought impracticable to try to do better.  Entrenching began immediately, and anticipating an attack at any moment, the men were not slow in making the place as secure as possible. While looking through my field glass, about three o’clock, I saw on the brow of the hill in front of the camp, four Indians who had advanced to within a couple of rods of two of our men; shortly, two of the former and one of the latter advanced towards each other, and while in the act of shaking hands, one of the Indians fired a gun and the soldier fell from his horse.  All had been mounted and dispersed immediately, the riderless horse returning to camp.  This scene took place at such a distance, I could not distinguish the persons, but I recalled immediately Doctor Weiser’s remark to me as we’d entered camp.  Having overheard the scout remark, “Come, let us go and shake hands with our friends; I know them.” I had cautioned the doctor that these people were not all our friends, and I did not think it wise to drop our guard.  Having observed the treacherous deed from a distance, this exchange came immediately to mind.  Colonel Crooks was near, and I called his attention to what had taken place.  The Colonel had the long roll sounded as Surgeon Wharton and I mounted and hastened to headquarters to find out who had been killed, but, meeting a rider just down from the hill, we were informed that the casualty was indeed Surgeon Weiser.


About this time Shaska came in and reported that Lieutenant Freeman had been killed while on a hunting expedition with George Bracket, and that Shaska had saved Mr. Bracket by secreting him in the tall grass.  This news was an additional impetus for the troops to hasten their steps in seeking satisfaction.  I was assigned to the cavalry to replace Surgeon Weiser, and we were ordered to the center, where I remained until we returned about two o’clock in the morning.  From this point, I kept close to Captain Austin’s Company, as they seemed to be engaged in the better part of the fighting.  Cresting a hill and advancing down slope to the prairie, the Indians came into view, running in all directions, with a dark body some distance in advance that I took to be the women with their camp equipage.  There were a few horsemen in the rear, making a feeble effort to hold the troops until their families could get away.  In passing through their camping place, I could only make out where ten lodges had been set up, near a reed marsh that skirted a lake on our left.  To the right, a little in advance and not over twenty rods apart, was another lake, so that the Indians had to escape between these two or encounter the Infantry should they attempt to go around.  Had the cavalry been deployed to the right, around the lake, and the Infantry on the center, many of the Indians would have been cut off from escape.  The Commander however, could not have known this topography, and it is not often that cavalry are advanced up the center.


In going down the slope from the hill in front of our camp, we had a thundershower and the lightening killed one man, even though he was passing through a ravine and at least twenty-five feet lower then the men on his right and left. 


The Indians having departed post haste, some of their camp equipage and meat was found among the reeds; the latter becoming very acceptable before we returned to camp.  It seems the Indians had been drying buffalo meat, and the headmen had no idea of fighting the troops, until the Indian came in after killing Lieutenant Freeman and his boasts of the ease of the effort created such excitement that all the young men wanted to try their hand. 


Casualties to the cavalry today consisted of Surgeon Weiser, Lieutenant Freeman and two privates.  Three privates were wounded.  I saw only four dead Indians, the first being a lame man whom I had known at Yellow Medicine, and then three old people; one woman and two men, one of which had the U.S. flag wrapped around him. If there were more killed I did not see them. 


On the 25th, the command moved four miles to the southeast, in order to get good water and grass, and to rest.  This afternoon a party of hostiles approached the pickets in order to get a shot at the ambulance master who was out retrieving horses, otherwise there was no appearance of hostilities. 


On the 26th, we camped at Dead Buffalo Lake, given that name, as one might surmise, because a dead buffalo was found in the lake.  Indians were seen on the right for most of the day, but only with great difficulty were the troops able to get near them.  On one occasion the Indians were baited by sending out a company of cavalry and then having them hastily retreat.  In this way the hostiles were caught by the rear guard, resulting in five dead Indians, and one cavalryman so badly wounded that he later succumbed to his wounds. In going over the trail of the Indians we’d fought the previous day twenty-one Indians were reported dead.  I saw only four.


Went into camp at Stony Lake on the 27th, observed Indians ahead of us during the forenoon; one dead Indian was found in the lake.  On the 28th, just as the command was leaving camp, the Indians made a good showing, maybe three hundred, in front on high ground and on the right flank; they fired on the troops, and the troops returned fire hurting no one. 

Our camp tonight is on Apple River.  A short time before we halted, some cavalrymen observed a lone Indian leading a played out horse.  The cavalrymen killed the straggler, taking his scalp as evidence of their bravery.  While a cavalry company was out after hay, they captured and scalped a second.  While advancing, the skirmish line, which consisted of one regiment, they flushed out another Indian, not fifty yards in front; as many as thirty shots were fired at him without result.  Gabriel Renville charged ahead and caught him.  He claimed to be a visiting Teton who had been up all night and had lain down to rest.  He had nothing but a hatchet for defense.


The entrenchments tonight are made much stronger than usual, especially about headquarters.  As not a half dozen Indians had been seen since leaving camp, I believed that those observed had been crossing the Missouri River.  This later proved to be the Case.  It appeared thus far as though the best way to fight these hostiles was to act only in self-defense, and then to avoid the necessity of small arm fire, by keeping them at a distance with the large guns.  If their truly was any desire on the part of the young braves to fight, which I don’t believe to be the case, this desire must have been greatly subdued when they saw the formidable array of troops during our first encounter.  At no time have these braves shown any sign of energy or bravery, as compared with that displayed at Wood Lake the previous fall, but acted as though they only intended to divert the attention of the troops, while the old men, women and children escaped.


On the 29th, camp was pitched on Apple River near the Missouri.  All day long, the 6th Infantry had four companies deployed on the march, out front.  Upon reaching the timber on the Missouri bottoms, three companies and four sections of the battery were ordered to skirmish through to the river.  They encountered no Indians until reaching the river, and then the hostiles were on the opposite side, and too far off for their weapons to be effective, though about fifty hostiles made an effort, their shots falling like hail on the trees about us.  Orders to return to camp were delivered by the General’s aid, Lieutenant Beever, who, along with his orderly took the wrong trail back, arriving eventually at the river where both were killed.


On the 30th, Colonel Crooks, eleven companies of Infantry, and two sections of the battery skirmished the timber for three miles, encountering no Indians but discovering the grizzly remains of Lieutenant Beever and his orderly.  The lieutenant had received two bullets, been pierced by two arrows, and his skull was smashed.  The orderly had been shot three times, scalped, and had his head crushed.


The 31st was an extremely hot day, with no wind and not the least breath of air stirring.  It was a dry heat, causing a great thirst, and the warm, braches, alkaline water of Apple Creek only aggravated that condition. A battalion of men was required in order to go to the river for good water, as the timber was alive with hostiles waiting in ambush for any smaller party that might venture out.  Lieutenant Beever’s body was buried with both Masonic and military honors, the body of the private receiving military honors only.  Both were deposited in the ground at a point where they would be retrievable when required.  


   Jared Waldo Daniels     

 To be continued

See grave stone:





Subpages (1): Camp Genealogy