A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Volume 1
Chicago, Illinois
The Pioneer Publishing Company




Just prior to the attack on Springfield and after the massacre at the lakes Inkpadutah's band was encamped at Heron Lake, a point thirty-five miles northwest of Spirit Lake. Mrs. Sharp writes of two other bands of Indians in the vicinity of the Minnesota-Iowa border. "In the fall of 1856 a small party of Indians came and pitched their tents in the neighborhood of Springfield. There was also a larger band, under the chieftainship of Ishtahaba, or Sleepy Eye, encamped at Big Island Grove on the same river." Big Island Grove was on the north side of High Lake in Emmet County. Major Williams took extra precautions when in the vicinity, but the troops found no Indians here, although their fires and other signs were still fresh, proving that they had just left. These bands did not participate in the massacre at the lakes, but it is practically certain that they were in the attack on Springfield, Minnesota. Mrs. Sharp again writes: "On the 20th of March two strange and suspicious looking Indians visited Wood's store and purchased a keg of powder, some shot, lead, baskets, beads and other trinkets. Each of them had a double barreled gun, a tomahawk and a knife, and one, a very tall Indian, was painted black ‐ so said one who saw them. . . . Soon afterward Black Buffalo, one of the Springfield Indians, said to the whites that the Indians who were at the store told his squaw that they had killed all the people at Spirit Lake." Inkpadutah was all the time encamped at Heron Lake,


although the Springfield Indians gave the information that he had gone to the Big Sioux.

It has been related before that Morris Markham, after discovering the murders at the lakes in Dickinson County, went to Springfield and there told of the massacre and warned the few settlers that a similar attack would in all probability be made there. At Springfield, now Jackson, {MN} at that time were the Wood brothers, who conducted a general store ; Mr. Thomas, Stewart, Wheeler, Doctor Strong, Doctor Skinner, Smith and a few others.

The families immediately sought protection at the house of Mr. Thomas and Mr. Wheeler, determined not to be taken by surprise as the others had been. Charles Tretts and Henry Chiffen were dispatched to Fort Ridgley, seventy-five miles north, for assistance. They did not return before the beginning of the attack. One week‐;Dash;two weeks ‐ passed in anxious waiting, in hourly expectation of the sound of the war-whoop. It is said that the Wood brothers persistently argued that the Indians would make no attack and even sold the red men ammunition a few days before the outbreak. This attitude upon their part placed them in a doubtful position and some of the settlers began to cast hostile glances in their direction.

On the afternoon of March 27th the attack was made, about four o'clock in the afternoon. The men of the settlement had just returned from cutting timber and had partaken of dinner. The attack was delivered simultaneously at the Stewart and the Thomas homes. Mrs. Sharp writes: "The confidence of William Wood in the friendship of the Indians proved altogether a delusion. He was one of the first who fell. It appears that after he was killed the Indians heaped brush upon his body and set fire to it. His brother, George, had evidently attempted to escape, but was overtaken by the Indians in the woods and shot down." One Indian went to the Stewart home and asked to buy a hog. Mr. Stewart started with him to the pen, when he was shot and killed by concealed enemies. The Indians then killed the rest of the family, except an eight-year-old boy who hid behind a log. The following account of the defense of Springfield is from the pen of Charles Aldrich and was read by him before the meeting for the inauguration of the Memorial Tablet in Webster City, in August, 1887:

"We have placed conspicuously on this beautiful tablet the names of Mrs. William L. Church and her sister, Miss Drusilla Swanger, with a high tribute to these heroines. Why we have done this I will briefly explain. Not many months before the massacre the Churches had settled at Springfield, Minnesota, some fifteen miles from Spirit Lake, and about eight miles north of the Iowa line. They resided there when Inkpadutah's band so terribly raided the little settlement at Spirit Lake. . . . At that time, in the absence of Mr. Church to this county (Ham‐


ilton), his wife was living in their log house with her two little boys and her sister. When the news came to this settlement of four or five families of the murders at Spirit Lake, the people assembled at the home of Mr. Thomas, one of the settlers, and prepared to defend themselves. This was what is called a double log house, quite a large building for that locality at that day, and standing in the margin of the oak grove, not far from the west branch of the Des Moines River. There were in the party Mr. Thomas, his wife and five chldren; Mrs. Church, her two children and sister; Mrs. Strong and two children, Miss Eliza Gardner, Jareb Palmer, David Carver and John Bradshaw. . . . Just after they had assembled, two young men, whose names I have forgotten, volunteered to go for aid. Those who were left were well armed, reasonably provisioned, stout of heart and determined to make the best defense in their power if they should be assailed.

"A week had nearly passed when little Willie Thomas, aged nine, came running in, exclaiming that the boys were coming who had gone for soldiers. This was good news, and the people rushed to the door, forming a little group just outside. Sure enough two men were seen coming dressed like whites, but they were Indians in the clothing of men killed at Spirit Lake. Just then the main party of the Indans, who were approaching from another direction, fired a volley from a dozen pieces into the group of men, women and children near the door. Willie Thomas was shot through the head and fell to the ground; Miss Swanger was shot through the shoulder, inflicting a severe flesh wound; Thomas was shot through the left arm, which was broken and bled profusely; Carver was shot in the body, and for a time suffered the severest pain.

"All except the wounded boy rushed into the house and speedily barricaded the doors and windows. In fact, the poor boy seems to have been forgotten for the instant, but it mattered little in the result. The firing on both sides now became hot and frequent and continued so for two or three hours. Port holes were made on the four sides of the house by removing the chinking from between the logs. Through these the besieged could plainly see the Indians without exposing themselves. Whenever an Indian showed himself he was fired upon and so they were held at bay.. Several times, however, the red devils made a rush toward the house, which they wished to set on fire, but each time discretion proved the better part of valor and they fell back. During this time the condition of things in this remote little fortress can scarcely be imagined or described.

"Miss Swanger and Mr. Thomas were bleeding profusely from their wounds, while the little wounded boy lay shrieking and groaning outside. The little fellow lived about two hours, when death mercifully ended his


sufferings. At one time the poor mother feared her husband would bleed to death in spite of everything she could do, while the shrieks and groans of the dying boy just outside the door could be distinctly heard. Miss Swanger at first bled very freely, but Mrs. Church stuffed her handkerchief under her sister's dress and so stopped the flow of blood, while Mrs. Thomas bound up her husband's arm and stopped the bleeding, which otherwise would have ended his life. Mrs. Church and Miss Gardner loaded the guns and kept watch at some of the portholes. At one time it was thought their bullets would be exhausted, but Misses Swanger and Gardner cast some from an old iron spoon.

"The fight went on until the dusk of evening was beginning to come on. It then happened that Mrs. Church and Miss Gardner were in one of the rooms watching while the men were in the other. They now saw an Indian dodging behind a large oak tree. While here he kept peering out toward the house. No man was handy to 'draw a bead' upon him and Mrs. Church picked up a shot gun heavily charged with buckshot and leveled it in that direction. Presently he stuck his head out again farther than before. Mrs. Church says, 'I saw plainly a large dark object by the side of the tree, which I knew to be the head of an Indian, and at this I discharged my gun. I was terribly excited and fell back and cannot tell you whether I hit him or not. I certainly wanted to kill him.' Miss Gardner, who was watching the Indian, averred that she plainly saw him fall.

"In the account written at my instance for the Hamilton Freeman, by Jareb Palmer, who was one of the besieged, he states it as a fact that Mrs. Church killed the Indian. ... A year or more later the body of an Indian was found upon a rude platform in a tree top, tree burial being the custom of the tribe. The body was then wrapped in a buffalo robe and some white woman's feather pillow was under his head. What was left of this ducky brave was tumbled down upon the ground by the men of H. B. Martin's command, from our county. The skull was brought to me and I sent it to the phrenological collection of Fowler & Wells, New York City. I saw it there some time later with a notice which had appeared in the Freeman pasted across the forehead. Upon the return of some of the men to the locality a few months later the tree was examined and part of the charge of buckshot was still imbedded in it near the spot where Mrs. Church had aimed and the other part had plainly passed on. It would thus seem to be settled as nearly as such an event can be proven that she killed one of the assailants.

"Immediately after this event the Indians ceased firing and left the place. . . . One of the settlers, a man named Stewart, with his wife and three children, had been stopping at the Thomas house. Fort Thomas it really deserves to be called henceforth, but the poor wife and mother EMMET AND DICKINSON COUNTIES 325

became insane through her fears of the Indians, and being in such a crowd of people added to her discomfort and mental trouble. Her husband finally concluded to return to their own house a mile or so distant, believing the danger had passed away. But the same band which had invested the Thomas house came to Stewart's. They called him to the door and shot him the instant he appeared. The fiends then murdered the insane mother and the two little girls. The boy, Johnny, who was eight or nine years of age, managed to hide behind a log. The Indians plundered the cabin and soon left. The boy then fled to the double log house, where he was recognized and taken in at one of the windows.

"The home of the Churches was also pillaged and everything movable carried away or destroyed. The other houses in the settlement shared the same fate. A span of horses was in the barn at the Thomas place, but the Indians took them away when they left. When darkness came at last, the besieged determined to start south toward the nearest settlement with an ox team and sled, which was the only means left them. The oxen were yoked, hitched to the sled upon which were placed the wounded, the little children and such provisions and clothing as could be carried. The forlorn little party, with this poor means of locomotion, probably started near the middle of the night, traveling very slowly, as the ground was covered with snow. Mrs. Church and her sister each led or carried one of her little boys. The march was kept up until the oxen tired out, when there was a short rest. Progress was very slow and most wearisome for some two days. Finally on the third day they saw several men approaching from the south, whom they mistook for Indians.

"This was a trying time for the poor refugees. The men, who were rapidly advancing upon them, wore shawls, which made them look like Indians with blankets. Then it was evident that they were well armed. Some of the women and children were wild with affright, and gave utterance of shrieks and lamentations. Two of the men were helpless from wounds, and another was not naturally an Indian fighter, though doubtless brave enough. John Bradshaw thought his time had come, but far from flinching, he took their eight loaded guns and stacked them some rods in advance. He asked the other well men to stay with the women and children and wounded and keep them from embarrassing him and he would sell his life as dearly as possible. Thus the dauntless hero stood until he saw a signal from the advancing party and knew they were friends. When the latter came up his face was pale as ashes, but no one doubted that he would have fought while life lasted. We can well imagine that men can be brave when surrounded by other brave men, whatever the odds. But what a grand figure was that of our Hamilton County Bradshaw, going out alone to yield up his life, as he supposed, in so hopeless a


fight with merciless savages. It seems to me that that was a scene for a painter or sculptor, and that some time it will be placed upon canvas or in imperishable marble for the adornment of our magnificent capitol."


The day following the attack at Springfield, Tretts and Chiffen returned from Fort Ridgley with a company of regular troops under Captain Bee and Lieutenant Murray. The soldiers had undergone hardships, suffering privations such as the Fort Dodge expedition had experienced and were totally exhausted when they reached the scene. Judge Flandrau wrote as follows regarding the expedition: "The people of Springfield sent two young men to my agency with the news of the massacre. They brought with them a statement of the facts as related by Mr. Markham, signed by some persons with whom I was acquainted. They came on foot and arrived at the agency on the 18th of March. The snow was very deep and was beginning to thaw, which made the traveling extremely difficult. When these young men arrived they were so badly afflicted with snow blindness that they could scarcely see at all and were completely worn out. I was fully satisfied of the truth of the report that murders had been committed, although the details of course were very meager. I at once held a consultation with Colonel Alexander, commanding the Tenth United States Infantry, five or six companies of which were at Fort Ridgley. The colonel, with commendable promptness, ordered Capt. Barnard E. Bee with his company to proceed at once to the scene of the massacre and do all he could, either in the way of protecting the settlers or punishing the enemy. (Bee afterwards became a Confederate officer and was killed in the first battle of Bull Run.)

"The country between the Minnesota River at Ridgley and Spirit Lake was, at that day, an utter wilderness, without an inhabitant In fact, none of us knew where Spirit Lake was, except that it lay about due south of the fort at a distance of from one hundred to one hundred and twenty&dash five miles. We procured two guides of experience among our Sioux half‐ breeds. . . . These men took a pony and a light train to carry the blankets and provisions, put on their snow shoes and were ready to go anywhere, while the poor troops, with their leather shoes and their back loads, accompanied by a ponderous army wagon on wheels, drawn by six mules, were about as fit for such a march as an elephant is for a ballroom. But it was the best the government had and they entered upon the arduous duty bravely and cheerfully. . . . We started on March 19th, at about one o'clock p. m., at first intending to go straight across the country, but we soon decided that the course to be utterly impossible, as the mules could not draw the wagon through the deep snow. It became apparent that our


only hope of reaching the lake was to follow the road down by the way of New Ulm to Mankato, and trust to luck for a road up the Watonwan' in the direction of the lake, we having learned that some teams had recently started for that place with some supplies. The first days of the march were appalling. The men were wet nearly up to their waists with the deep and melting snow and utterly weary before they had gon [sic] ten miles.

"Neither of the officers had ever made a snow camp before and when we had dug out a place for our first camp and were making futile efforts to dry our clothes before turning in for the night, I felt that the trip was hopeless. So much time had elapsed since the murders were committed, and so much more would necessarily be consumed before the troops could possibly reach the lake, that I felt assured that no good could result from going on. I told Captain Bee that if he wanted to return I would furnish him with a written opinion of two of the most experienced voyageurs on the frontier that the march was impossible of accomplishment with the inappropriate outfit with which the troops were furnished. . . . The Captain agreed with me that the chances of accomplishing any good by going on were very small, but he read his orders and in answer to my suggesion, 'My orders are to go to Spirit Lake and do what I can. It is not for me to interpret them, but to obey them. I shall go on until it becomes physically impossible to proceed farther. Then it will be time to turn back.' And go on we did. We followed the trail up the Watonwan until we found the teams that had made it stuck in a snow drift, and for the remaining forty or fifty miles the troops marched ahead of the mules and broke a road for them, relieving the front rank every fifteen or twenty minutes.

"When the lake was reached the Indians were gone. A careful examination was made of their camp and fires by the guides, who pronounced them three or four days old. Their trail led to the west. A pursuit was made by a portion of the command, partly mounted on mules and partly on foot, but it was soon abandoned on the declaration of the guides that the Indians were by the signs several days in advance. ... I learned afterward by Mrs. Marble, one of the rescued women, that the troops in pursuit came so near that the Indians saw them and made an ambush for them, and had they not turned back the prisoners would have all been murdered. The guides may have been mistaken or they may have deceived the troops. I knew the young men so well that I never have accused them of a betrayal of their trust, but it was probably best as it was in either case, because had the troops overtaken the Indians the women would have certainly been butchered and some of the soldiers killed. The satisfaction of having killed some of the Indians would not have compensated for the result."


Mrs. Sharp writes that the Indians, when they returned to Heron Lake after two days' absence at the Springfield attack, were loaded down with plunder. "They had twelve horses heavily laden with dry goods, groceries, powder, lead, bed quilts, wearing apparel, provisions, etc. Among this plunder were several bolts of calico and red flannel. Of these, especially the flannel, they were exceedingly proud, decorating themselves with it in fantastic fashion. Red leggings, red shirts, red blankets and red in every conceivable way was the style there as long as it lasted."

The Indians did not remain at Heron Lake, but packed up and moved westward, with their four captives, Mrs. Marble, Mrs. Thatcher, Mrs. Noble and Abbie Gardner. They realized that the pursuit was practically abandoned and so took their time and leisure in traveling. Mrs. Sharp is authority for the statement that in covering the one hundred miles from Heron Lake to the place of crossing the Big Sioux, near he town of Flandreau, six weeks were consumed.

Joe Gaboo and Joseph La Frombone, the Indian guides for the soldiers pursuing the Sioux, were undoubtedly more concerned in the escape of the quarry than in the success of the soldiers in capturing them. Their statement that the trail was two or three days old was probably made when they knew that the Indians were just ahead, within sight practically. The soldiers returned to Springfield. Mrs. Sharp made the statement in her book that "whether the guides were true or false or whether or not the soldiers were justified in turning back it was life to us as captives."


After the scouts for the fleeing Indians had discovered the pursuing soldiers and the main body had cleverly prepared an ambush for the detachment, the soldiers decided to return and give up the pursuit as a hopeless task. When it became apparent that the troops had returned toward Springfield, the Indians made off with increased speed, traveling steadily all day and all night. They went by way of Pipestone Quarry, in Pipestone County, Minnesota, where they stopped for a time and made pipes for themselves. Mrs. Sharp writes: "After six weeks of incessant marching over the trackless prairie and through the deep snow, across creeks, sloughs, rivers and lakes, we reached the Big Sioux at or about the point where now stands the town of Flandreau. Most of the journey had been performed in cold and inclement weather, but now spring seemed to have come. The vast amount of snow which covered the ground that memorable winter had nearly gone by reason of the rapid thawing during the last few weeks, causing the river to rise beyond all ordinary bounds and assume majestic proportions."



Here it was, while crossing one of the driftwood bridges across the stream, that Mrs. Thatcher was cruelly murdered by her captors. For many days Mrs. Thatcher had been too ill and suffered too much to carry a pack, which the captives were required to do. Upon this day she had recovered somewhat and was again forced to assume her part of the work. Mrs. Sharp thus describes the murder:

"As we were about to follow the Indians across one of the uncertain bridges, where a single misstep might plunge us into the deep waters, an Indian, not more than sixteen years old, the same who snatched the box of caps from my father, and who had always manifested a great degree of hatred and contempt for the whites, approached us, and taking the pack from Mrs. Thatcher's shoulders and placing it on his own, ordered us forward. This seeming kindness aroused our suspicions, as no assistance had ever been offered to any of us, under any circumstances whatever. Mrs. Thatcher, being confident that her time had come to die, hastily bade me good-bye, and said, 'If you are so fortunate as to escape, tell my dear husband and parents that I desired to live and escape for their sakes.' When we reached the center of the swollen stream, as we anticipated, this insolent young savage pushed Mrs. Thatcher from the bridge into the ice cold water, but by what seemed supernatural strength she breasted the dreadful torrent, and making a last struggle for life reached the shore which had just been left, and was clinging to a root of a tree at the bank. She was here met by some of the other Indians, who were just coming upon the scene. They commenced throwing clubs at her, and with long poles shoved her back into the angry stream. As if nerved by fear, or dread of such a death, she made another desperate effect for life, and doubtless would have gained the opposite shore, but here again she was met by her merciless tormentors and was beaten off as before. She was then carried down by the furious, boiling current of the Sioux, while the Indians on either side of the stream were running along the banks, whooping and yelling, and throwing sticks and stones at her, until she reached another bridge. Here she was finally shot by one of the Indians in another division of the band, who was crossing with the other two captives some distance below."


After crossing the Big Sioux the Indians continued on into Dakota. Mrs. Sharp remarked in her story of the journey that when they met other bands of Indians they seemed to treat Inkpadutah's men with great friendliness, thus refuting in a way the statement that the latter were regarded


as outlaws by other bands. On May 6th, when the Indians were encamped about thirty miles west of the Big Sioux two young Indians from the Yellow Medicine Agency visited the camp and became inerested in the captives. They selected Mrs. Marble and took her with them on their return to the agency. A ransom was demanded and afterward Riggs and Williamson and Major Flandrau raised $1,000 which was paid to the Indians for Mrs. Marble. Major Flandrau's report in part follows: "I was engaged in devising plans for the rescue of the captives and the punishment of the Indians in connection with Colonel Alexander of the Tenth Infantry, but had found it very difficult to settle upon any course which would not endanger the safety of the prisoners. We knew that any hostile demonstration would be sure to result in the destruction of the women, and were without means to fit out an expedition for their ransom. While we were deliberating on the best course to pursue, an accident opened the way to success. A party of my Indians were hunting on the Big Sioux River, and having learned that Inkpadutah's band was at Lake Chauptayatonka, about thirty miles west of the river, and also knowing of the fact that they held some white women prisoners, two young men (brothers) visited the camp and after much talk they succeeded in purchasing Mrs. Marble. They paid for her all they possessed and brought her into the agency and delivered her into the hands of the missionaries stationed at that point. She was at once turned over to me with a written statement from the two Indians who had brought her, which was prepared for them at their request by Mr. Riggs, who spoke their language fluently. I will allow them to tell their own story. It was as follows: 'Hon. C. E. Flandrau: Father. In our spring hunt, when encamped at the north end of Big Wood on the Sioux, we learned from some Indians who came to us, that we were not far from Red End's camp. Of our own accord, and contrary to the advice of all about us, we concluded to visited them, thinking that possibly we might be able to obtain one or more of the white women held by them as prisoners. We found them encamped at Chauptayatonka Lake, about thirty miles west of our own camp. We were met at some distance from their lodges by four men armed with revolvers, who demanded of us our business. After satisfying them that we were not spies and had no evil intentions in regard to them we were taken into Inkpadutah's lodge. The night was spent in reciting their massacre, etc. It was not until the next morning that we ventured to ask for one of the women. Much time was spent in talking and it was not until the middle of the afternoon that we obtained their consent to our proposition. We paid for her all we had. We brought her to our mother's tent, clothed her as we were able, and fed her bountifully on the best we had ‐ duck and corn. We brought her to Lac qui Parle, and now, father, after having her with us fifteen days, we place her in your hands. It was perilous business, for which we think we should


be liberally rewarded. We claim for our services $500 each.' This communication was signed by the Indians and witnessed by the missionary, Mr. Riggs. ... By the action of these Indians we not only got one of the captives but we learned for the first time definitely the where&das; abouts of the marauders and the assurance that the other women were still alive as these Indians had seen them in Red End's camp."


About a month after the release of Mrs. Marble Inkpadutah's band met a small number of Yanktons while roving over the prairie country. The leader of the Yanktons succeeded in buying from the Sioux both captives, Mrs. Noble and Abbie Gardner. However, he did not immediately leave with his purchase, but remained with the Sioux in their meandering travels. This delay resulted in the death of Mrs. Noble, the details of which are better described by Mrs. Sharp, who witnessed the scene. "One evening, a few days after we were sold, just as we supposed we were settled for the night, and as Mrs. Noble and I were about to lie down to rest, a son of Inkpadutah, Roaring Cloud, came into the tent of the Yankton and ordered Mrs. Noble out. She shook her head and refused to go. I told her that she had better as I feared he would kill her if she did not. But still she refused. Mrs. Noble was the only one of us who ever dared refuse obedience to our masters. Frequently before she had refused obedience, but in the end was always compelled to submit. No sooner did she positively refuse to comply with Roaring Cloud's demand, than, seizing her by the arm with one hand, and a great stick of wood she had a little while before brought in for fuel in the other, he dragged her from the tent. When I saw this I well knew what would follow. I could only listen in silence to the cruel blows and groans, as the sounds came into the tent; expecting he would return to serve me in the same manner. He struck her three blows, such as only an Indian can deal, when, concluding he had finished her, he came into the tent, washed his bloody hands, had a few high words with the Yankton, and lay down to sleep. The piteous groans from my murdered companion continued for half an hour or so ‐ deep, sorrowful and terrible; then all was silent.

"The following morning the warriors gathered around the already mangled corpse and amused themselves by making it a target to shoot at. To this show of barbarism I was brought out and compelled to stand a silent witness. Faint and sick at heart, I at length turned away from the dreadful sight without their orders to do so, and started off on the day's march expecting they would riddle me with their bullets, but why should I escape more than others? But for some unaccountable reason I was spared. After going a short distance I looked back and they were still


around her, using their knives cutting off their hair and mutilating her body. At last the bloody camp was deserted and the mangled body left lying on the ground unburried. Her hair, in two heavy braids, just as she had arranged it, was tied to the end of a stick, perhaps three feet long, and during the day as I wearily and sadly toiled on, one of the young Indians walked by my side and repeatedly slashed me in the face with it, thus adding insult to injury. If Mrs. Noble could only have escaped the vengeance of Roaring Cloud a few days longer she doubtless would have been set at liberty and restored to civilized society and the companionship of her sister and brothers. . . . Could she only have known the efforts being made for her rescue and how near they already were to success, she would have had courage to endure insults a little longer and hope to bid her look forward. At the very moment when she was dragged from her tent and brutally murdered, rescuers under the direction of the United States Commissioner fully prepared for her ransom were pressing forward with all the dispatch possible."


After Mrs. Marble's rescue and full knowledge of the fate of the captives had been obtained, steps were taken to fit out an expedition for the purpose of rescue. Major Flandrau was the leader of this and he describes his work thusly: "The question of outfit then presented itself and I ran my credit with the traders for the following articles at the prices stated: (Three scouts had been selected for the work of rescue.)

Wagon $110.00
Four horses 600.00
12 3-point blankets; 4 blue, 8 white 56.00
32 yds. squaw cloth 44.00
37 1/2 yds. calico 5.37
20 lbs. tobacco 10.00
1 sack of shot 4.00
15 lbs. powder 25.00
Corn 4.00
Flour 10.00
Coffee 1.50
Sugar 1.50

"With this outfit, and instruction to give as much of it as was necessary for the women, my expedition started on the 23d day of May from Yellow Medicine. I at once left for Fort Ridgley to consult Colonel Alexander as to the plan of operation for an attack upon the camp of Inkpadutah the instant we could get word as to the safety of the white women.


The colonel entered into the spirit of the matter with zeal. He had four or five companies at the fort and proposed to put them into the field, so as to approach Skunk Lake, where Inkpadutah had his camp, from several different directions and insure his destruction. If an event which was wholly unforseen had not occurred, the well laid plan of Colonel Alexander would undoubtedly have succeeded. But unfortunately for the cause of justice, about the time we began to expect information from my expedition, which was to be the signal for moving on the enemy, an order arrived at the fort commanding the colonel, with all his available force, to start immediately and join the expedition against the Mormons, which was then moving to Utah, under the command of Gen. Sidney Johnston. So peremptory was the command that the steamboat that brought the order carried off the entire garrison of the fort and put an end to all hopes of our being able to punish the enemy."


Several days after the murder of Mrs. Noble the Indians arrived at the James River in South Dakota, at a point where is now located the town of Old Ashton, Spink County. There was an immense camp of Yanktons across the river at this point, a tribe described as being very primeval, still using bows and arrows and wearing garments made only from animal skins. The white captive was a source of much wonderment to them.

After a few days here there arrived in camp the three scouts, who were also Indians and who had been sent by Major Flandrau. These scouts entered into negotiations with the Yanktons and after several days in bargaining, purchased Miss Gardner from her captives. Mrs. Sharp wrote that the price paid for her was: two horses, twelve blankets, two kegs of powder, twenty pounds of tobacco, thirty‐ two yards of squaw cloth, thirty-seven and a half yards of calico, and ribbon and other small articles which had been supplied by Major Flandrau. After the sale was completed the scouts took Miss Gardner across the river to a point where a horse and wagon had been concealed. Mrs. Sharp wrote of the rescue: "Almost the first move was to cross the James River. I was put into a frail little boat made of buffalo skin stripped of hair and dressed so as to be impervious to water. The boat was not more than five feet long by four wide and incapable of carrying more than one person. When I found that I was the only occupant I concluded that the story of the Indian who told me I was to be drowned was after all a true one. ... I was, however, happily disappointed to see my new purchasers divest themselves of their fine clothes and swim across, holding the end of a cable made of buffalo hide which had previously been fastened to the boat. With this they drew


the boat with me in it to the eastern shore. Thus, though I knew it not, I was being drawn toward home and friends, and the river was put between me and my cruel foes. . . . Hiding the team and wagon was not only a piece of sharp practice, but a wise stroke of policy, and showed diplomacy. . . . The names of the persons composing this rescue party should be put on record and held in remembrance not only for their mission, but for other humane deeds done by them. They were Mazaintemani, now familiarly known among the whites as John Other Day; Hotonhowashta, or Beautiful Voice; and Chetanmaza, or Iron Hawk.

"The Yankton chief having been placated and I safely towed across the river the team was brought out. The Yanktons filled the wagon with dried buffalo meat and buffalo robes. I was installed driver and the five Indians (three Yellow Medicine and two Yanktons) leading the way in single file we took up our march. . . . After seven days of incessant traveling we came into a region thickly peopled with Indians."

Not until arriving at the home of a half-breed two days later did Miss Gardner learn her destination and that she had been purchased by friendly Indians. "I also learned from this half-breed that Mrs. Marble had been there about a month before and had gone on to St. Paul. . . . After a day and a half spent at the half-breed's trading post in which time I had tried to make myself as presentable as possible, we proceeded to the Yellow Medicine Agency and then to the mission station of Dr. Thomas Williamson."

The three Indians who went to the rescue of Miss Gardner were well known at the Yellow Medicine Agency. John Other Day became prominent as a spy and scout in the Sioux Indian wars of later years. Chetanmaza visited Mrs. Sharp at the dedication of the momument in 1895.

Having arrived at the agency Miss Gardner was presented with a war-cap by the Indians, in honor of her bravery, a quality which the Indians said alone saved her from death by Inkpadutah's followers. The cap gave her the protection of all the Dacotah tribes.

From the agency the party went down the river to Fort Ridgley, then to Traverse, the head of navigation on the Minnesota River, and then by steamer to St. Paul. There numerous festivities were held in celebration of the return of the captive, including an audience with the governor. Each of the three Indians received $400 in addition to the amount paid the Yanktons.


It is a well known fact that had the United States government assumed an aggressive attitude and vigorously attacked the savages dur‐ EMMET AND DICKINSON COUNTIES 335

ing the summer, the guilty ones could have been wiped out and the debt of the white man paid. It was known, too, that the camp of the band was located at Skunk Lake, in Dakota. But, despite the urgings and pleadings of the settlers, the appeals from the state government, nothing was done by the war department. The men at Washington seemed completely indifferent to the situation in this part of the country. About the only thing that was done was the suggestion that all annuities to the Indians be withheld until the outlaws were surrendered, an act which very nearly created another uprising. Some authorities have placed this as one of the sources of the Minnesota uprising in 1862.


In July the information came to the agency that a part of Inkpadutah's band was encamped on the Yellow Medicine, and immediately Major Flandrau decided, with the commander of the fort, to send a force of men after them. Lieutenant Murray, with a score or so of regular troops and about as many volunteers, and John Other Day as scout, left Fort Ridgley at nightfall for the camp. The Indian scout returned to them when they were within a few miles of their destination and reported that the Indians were just ahead. At daylight they reached the river, the Indian camp in full view on the other side. When the soldiers approached one brave dashed from one of the teepees, dragging a squaw with him, and started for the river. John Other Day quickly identified him as Roaring Cloud, the son of Inkpadutah. The soldiers fired upon him until he reached cover on the bank. From his hiding place the Indian returned the fire, but in turn was answered by a volley of lead. Soon the murderer of Mrs. Noble was filled with bullets and one of the soldiers polished off the job with his bayonet. However, the other Indians escaped. The squaw was taken prisoner and taken to the agency. Enroute the other Indians resented the fact that one of their number was a prisoner in the hands of the whites and for a time serious trouble threatened. The soldiers reached the agency safely and prepared for an attack. None was forthcoming, though, and a few days later additional troops arrived for the payment of annuities. The squaw was eventually released and the Indians appeased.

One more attempt to capture the noted Inkpadutah was made when the government informed the Indians that until they could deliver Inkpadutah and his band to the authorities their annuities would be withheld. This did not please the Indians and they grew very indignant. A small party was organized under the leadership of Little Crow, and a camaign [sic] tarted against the outlaws. After a fortnight the Indian expedition returned, claiming that they had killed three of Inkpadutah's


band and captured a squaw and papoose. This, they said, was all they could accomplish. The government at first refused to accept this as final and again demanded Inkpadutah and his whole band before annuities were paid. The situation rapidly became ominous. Trouble with the entire Sioux Nation was eminent. The settlers were in favor of paying the annuities and closing the incident, and finally the government concurred in this opinion and ordered the annuities paid. This ended the government's effort to capture Inkpadutah.


Inkpadutah, according to Cue's History of Iowa, was last heard of among the Sioux who fled to the far West, pursued by Sibley's Army, in 1863. Of the four sons. Roaring Cloud's fate has been described. The remaining three were trouble makers for years along the border. They played a prominent part in the outbreak of 1862, and in the fights on the plains afterwards. They are known to have been engaged in the Custer Massacre on the Little Big Horn in 1876. Joseph Henry Taylor, in "Twenty Years on the Trap Line," writes: "Striking the valley of the Little Sioux at least once a year on a hostile raid seemed to be a fanatical observance of Inkpadutah's band that they could not abandon. Whether fishing for pickerel around the shores of Lake Winnipeg, or hunting antelope on the plains of the upper James River, or buffalo in the Judith Basin or along the Musselshell River, time and opportunity were found to start out hundreds of miles on a dreary foot journey to count a 'coup' on their aggressive conquerers. The battle on the Little Big Horn is still rated the most important engagement between the whites and Indians since that day on the banks of the turgid Tippecanoe, when the sycamore forest hid the broken columns of Tecumseh and the Prophet from Harrison's victorious army. Various writers have ascribed Custer's death as the culminating episode in this latter day fight and to heighten the color of the picture have laid his death to the personal prowess of Rain in the Face or on the field altar of Chief Priest Sitting Bull. It has long since been proven that Rain in the Face was not on the field Of battle that day, but was miles away in charge of the pony herd. About Sitting Bull's hand in the affair, he has expressed himself again and again in saying about these words to the charge, 'They tell you I murdered Custer. It is a lie. I am not a war chief. I was not in the battle that day. His eyes were blinded that he could not see. He was a fool and rode to his death. He made the fight, not I. Whoever tells you I killed Custer is a liar.' Any intelligent Yankton, Santee, Uncpapa, Blackfoot or other Sioux, who participated in the fight against Custer's battalions on that 25th day of June, 1876, will tell you it was


difficult to tell just who killed Custer. They believed he was the last to fall in the group where he was found. That the last leaden messengers of swift death hurled amongst this same group of falling and dying soldiers were belched forth from Winchesters held in the hands of Inkpadutah's sons."


The Twenty-fifth General Assembly of the State of Iowa made it possible that the massacre of 1857 should be perpetuated by the erection of a monument. The act was entitled "An act to provide for the proper interment of the remains of pioneers on Okoboji and Spirit Lakes, massacred by Sioux Indians in 1857, and for the erection of a commemorative monument." C. C. Carpenter, John F. Duncombe, R. A. Smith, Mrs. Abbie Gardner Sharp and Charles Aldrich were appointed a commission. The monument was completed in March, 1895, and accepted by the commission. The shaft is fifty-five feet in height, composed of Minnesota granite, with alternate sections highly polished. The base is fourteen feet square. The top is in the form of an arrow head. The inscriptions are upon bronze tablets on the four sides of the column. The dedication exercises and the presentation to the state occurred on July 25, 1895. Many pioneer notables were present including: Ex-governor Carpenter, a member of the expedition from Fort Dodge; Mrs. I. A. Thomas, a survivor of the Springfield massacre; Jareb Palmer, survivor of Springfield; R. A. Smith, member of the expeditionary force; Charles E. Flandrau, the Indian agent at Yellow Medicine; Mrs. Abbie Gardner Sharp, the survivor of the Gardner family massacre; Chetanmaza, who bought Miss Gardner from the Indians ; Charles Aldrich, W. S. Richards, Judge Given, Senator Henderson, Col. Warren S. Dungan and Judge Hendershott.


The inscriptions upon the monument are valuable in that they give accurately the names of the massacred, the rescued, the expedition, and the proper dates. On the north tablet under a seal are the words: "Erected by order of the Twenty-fifth General Assembly of the State of Iowa, 1894."

On the east tablet is the following:

"The Pioneer Settlers named below were Massacred by Sioux Indians, March 8-13, 1857. The Barbarous Work was Commenced Near this Spot and Continued to a Spot North of Spirit Lake.

"Robert Clark, Rowland Gardner, Francis M. Gardner, Rowland Gardner, Jr., Carl Granger, Joseph Harshman, Isaac H. Harriott, Joel


Howe, Millie Howe, Jonathan Howe, Sardis Howe, Alfred Howe, Jacob Howe, Philetus Howe, Harvey Luce, Mary M. Luce, Albert Luce, Amanda Luce, William Marble, James H. Mattock, Mary M. Mattock, Alice Mattock, Daniel Mattock, Agnes Mattock, Jacob M. Mattock, Jackson A. Mattock, Robert Mattheson, Lydia Noble, Alvin Noble, John Noble, Enoch Ryan, Bertel E. Snyder, Joshua Stewart, wife and two children, Elizabeth Thatcher, Dora Thatcher, William Wood, George Wood.


"Mrs. Margaret Ann Marble, Mrs. Lydia Noble, Mrs. Elizabeth Thatcher and Miss Abbie Gardner were carried into captivity. Mrs. Marble was rescued May 21st and Miss Gardner June 27, 1857, through the efforts of Gov. Sam Medary and Hon. Charles E. Flandrau, of Minnesota.

"Mrs. Noble and Mrs. Thatcher were murdered by the Indians."

On the west tablet is the following:

"Roster of the Relief Expedition, Fort Dodge, March 24, 1857.

"Major Williams, Commanding.

"Company A

"C. B. Richards, captain; F. A. Stratton, 1st lieutenant; L. K. Wright, sergeant; Solon Mason, corporal.

"Privates: William Burkholder, G. W. Brizee, C. C. Carpenter, L. D. Crawford, Julius Conrad, Henry Carse, Chatterton, William Defore, J. W. Dawson, William Ford, John Farney, John Gales, Andrew Hood, Angus McBane, William McCauley, Michael Maher, E. Mahan, W. P. Pollock, W. F. Porter, B. F. Parmenter, L. B. Ridgeway, Winton Smith, R. A. Smith, George P. Smith, 0. S. Spencer, C. Stebbins, Silas Van Cleave, R. U. Wheelock, D. Westerfield.

"Company B

"John F. Duncombe, captain; James Lane, 1st lieutenant; S. C. Stevens, second lieutenant; W. N. Koons, sergeant; Thomas Calagan, corporal.

"Privates: James Addington, Asa Burtch, Hiram Benjamin, D. H. Baker, Orlando Bice, Richard Carter, A. E. Crounse, R. F. Carter, Michael Cavanaugh, Jere Evans, John Heffley, 0. C. Howe, D. F. Howell, A. S. Johnson, Jonas Murray, Daniel Morrisey, G. F. McClure, A. H. Malcome, Michael McCarty, J. N. McFarland, Robert McCormick, John O'Laughlin, Daniel Okeson, Guernsey Smith, J. M. Thatcher, W. Searles, John White, Washington Williams, Reuben Whetstone.


"Company C

"J. C. Johnson, captain; J. N. Maxwell, first lieutenant; F. B. Mason, second lieutenant; H. Hoover, sergeant; A. N. Hathaway, corporal.

"Privates: Thomas Anderson, James Brainard, T. B. Bonebright, Sherman Cassaday, W. L. Church, Patrick Conlan, H. E. Dalley, John Erie, John Gates, Josiah Griffith, James Hickey, H. C. Hillock, M. W. Howland, E. D. Kellogg, W. K. Laughlin, A. S. Leonard, F. R; Moody, John Nowland, J. C. Pemberson, Alonzo Richardson, Michael Sweeney, Patrick Stafford, A. K. Tullis.

"G. R. Bissell, surgeon. G. B. Sherman, com'ary."

On the south tablet is inscribed the following:

"Captain J. C. Johnson, of Webster City, and William Burkholder, of Fort Dodge, were frozen to death on the return march in Palo Alto County, April 4, 1857.

"Persons who fled from the Attack on Springfield, Minn., and were Rescued by the Relief Expedition:

"John Bradshaw, David Carver, Mrs. S. J. Church and two children, Eliza Gardner, George Granger, Mrs. Harshman and children, Mr. Harshman (son of preceding) and wife, Morris Markham, Mrs. William Nelson and child, Jareb Palmer, A. B. Shiegley, J. B. Skinner and wife, Mr. Smith and wife. Dr. E. B. N. Strong, wife and two children, John Stewart, Drusilla Swanger, J. B. Thomas, wife and five children."