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Accounts published in The New York Times / August 21, 1873

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20. -- The following accounts of the fight between the Pawnee and Sioux Indians, on the 4th of August, have been received at the War Department, through Gen. Sherman:


RESPECTED FRIEND: I have sorrowful tidings from the Pawnee hunt yesterday. After reading the encouraging letter from the War Department respecting peace with the Sioux, a runner came in from the hunt, and informed me that the Pawnees were attacked in camp, on the waters of the Republican, by the Sioux, and great numbers had been killed. This produced intense excitement in the village. Sorrowful wailings were heard all day.

This morning John Williamson, sub-agent, in charge of the Pawnee hunters, returned, and confirmed the sad news. After a successful hunt, in which they had killed a thousand buffalo, and being heavily laden with meat and hides, on their return home they were surprised in camp by the Sioux, supposed to be 1,000 strong, and before they could escape or make successful resistance nearly 100 men, women, and children were slain and scalped.

The wounded, dead, and dying women and helpless children were thrown into a heap and burned in the most barbarous manner possible. Comparatively few of the women and children of the tribe were with them, but nearly all who were there became victims of the ruthless and unprovoked slaughter. Buffalo had just been seen, possibly decoyed within their view. Many of the men were out after them. Sky Chief was killed.

Williamson made his escape on horseback, but lost his pack-horse and all his goods. Young Platt, companion to Williamson, also lost a horse. They met a few soldiers from Fort McPherson, and gave them the particulars of the massacre. The Pawnees, sorrowful and disheartened, are returning home as fast as possible.

Williamson brought six badly wounded ones in the train to Silver Creek Station, and Dr. Davis, with the teams, has left to bring them home. I will write further as soon as I can learn the exact date, numbers, and other particulars. Much excitement prevails, and the spirit of war is running at fever heat. Williamson's runners report only two Sioux killed so far as they know. Respectfully, thy friend,
BARCLAY WHITE, Superintendent Indian Affairs, Omaha, Neb.

MONTE PLATTE, Neb., Aug. 11, 1873.

To Gen George D. Ruggles, Omaha, Neb.:

Two of Capt. Winhold's men who got lost came in here to-day, via Alkali Station. They report that the Captain came on the ground of the Pawnee and Sioux battle about four hours after it took place, at 3 P.M., on the 5th. They counted between sixty and seventy bodies, all squaws and children except eight or ten, most terribly mutilated, and scalped, and some still alive, but in a dying condition. The Sioux had left, but the Captain communicated with the Pawnees. The fight took place between the White Man's Fork and the Republican, about eighty miles a little west of south from this place.
(Signed,) ANSON MILLS,
Captain Third Cavalry.


Col. Woodward, Commanding Post Sydney, Nebraska:

SIR: On the morning of the 2d of this month six Ogallalla Sioux Indians came in from a scout, and reported the Pawnees in camp on the Red Fork of the Republican. The news created great excitement in the camp, and the Sioux decided to go and fight them before they had time to attack our camp. Little Wound came to me and asked me if I had any orders to keep him from going to fight them. I told him I had not. He said he had orders not to go to their reservation or among the whites to fight them, but had no orders in regard to this part of the country. I told him I would go with him and see the Pawnees, but he said it would be of no use, as the young men had determined to fight, and no one could stop them.

They say I prevented them from going to the Utes, and they came and stole their horses and killed one of their men, and they thought the same thing would occur if they did not strike the Pawnees first. They started out on the 3d inst., and were joined by the Brules from Mr. Estes' camp, and proceeded to the Pawnee camp.

On the morning of the 4th they came on a camp of about thirty lodges. They were just moving camp when the Sioux charged on them. The Pawnees killed are variously estimated from fifty to 118, principally women and children, most of the men being absent, supposed by the Indians to have been out hunting.

The Ogallallas took seven prisoners -- three women and four children, all girls from two to ten years old. The Indians who have the prisoners are Black Bear, Torn Belly, Mad Horse, Black Hawk, Grey Eyes, and his son-in-law, Flying Cloud, and Little Blue Sky.

A white man named John Williamson had charge of the Pawnees. They fought bravely, but the Sioux outnumbered them, having 500 or 600 men. This report is as near as I can get at the number killed from the Indians. The Pawnees will know the exact number they lost. Black Bear has expressed his willingness to give up his prisoners if the Government desires it, and I think the others will undoubtedly do so.

Your obedient servant,
In charge of the Southern Indians of the Ogallalla and Sioux bands.

P.S. -- We are now camped on Whiteman's Creek, about twelve miles above the timber.



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