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Old February 22nd, 2011, 04:50 PM   #51
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Lincoln's Visit to Kansas.

Captain J. R. Fitch, of Evanston, Ill., in a contribution to the N. W. Christion Advocate, gives a very interesting account of Mr. Lincoln's visit to Kansas, which is as follows:In the winter of 1859, shortly after the memorable contest between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas for the United States Senate, in which, although Illinois had given a Republican majority of 4,000 votes, the Democrats secured a majority of the Legislature on joint ballot, thereby securing the election of the minority candidate, an invitation was extended- to Mr. Lincoln to pay a visit to the then Territory of Kansas.Mr. Lincoln graciously accepted the invitation, and appointed a time convenient for him to come. A committee was appointed to meet him at the nearest railroad station, ...which was in Missouri between St. Joseph and Neston.If my memory serves me, the committee consisted of Mark W. Delahay, afterwards United States District Judge; D. J. Brewer, now one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court; Hon. Henry J. Adams, Uncle George Keller, Josiah H. Kellogg, and myself. On the appointed day we met Mr. Lincoln at the station with carriages and drove down to Leavenworth city.In the evening a meeting was held in Stockton's hall. The hall was crowded to its utmost capacity, and when Mr. Lincoln rose to speak he seemed to unwind himself, and, as he straightened himself up, he reminded me of a telescope being opened out, joint by joint. He stood there at first like a whipped boy at school, the most awkward specimen of humanity it had ever been my pleasure to look upon.When he began - his address, however, the impression was instantaneous that an orator was talking—a man who thoroughly believed ever}' word he was saying. The audience was spellbound as he told of the crimes committed for the perpetuation of slavery.The pro-slavery Democrats had secured seats for themselves in one part of the hall. Among them was a Presbyterian minister from Kentucky, a fine looking but very vain man.After Mr. Lincoln- had poured his hot shot into the proslavery party as long as the minister, whose name was Pitzer, could stand it, he rose and called out in a loud voice:"How about amalgamation?"Mr. Lincoln, turning toward him, said:"I'll attend to you in a minute, young man," then went on and finished his sentence. Then, turning to where Mr. Pitzer had been standing, said:" Where is the young man who asked me about amalgamation?"Mr. Pitzer rose in all dignity, and in a tone of voice that seemed to say: "Watch me squelch him," replied, "I am the gentleman."Mr. Lincoln, pointing his long, bony finger at him, and swinging his arm up and down, replied:" I never knew but one decent, respectable white man to marry a colored woman, and that was an ex-Democratic Vice-president from the State of Kentucky."Mr. Pitzer turned, and with the exclamation of, "I never heard Colonel Richard M. Johnson so insulted before," made his way out of the hall amid the jeers and gibes of the crowd.Whether Mr. Lincoln knew that Mr, Pitzer was from Kentucky or not I never knew, but all Democrats and Republicans alike felt that the rebuke was well merited.After the meeting was over, Mr. Lincoln and friends were invited to the home of Judge Delahay, where Mr. Lincoln was entertained. We had refreshments, including wine, of which almost everyone, except Mr. Lincoln, partook.The next day we escorted him back to the train, and to my dying day I shall never forget our parting. I was only twenty-two years old.Mr. Lincoln bade each one good-bye, and gave each a hearty grasp of the hand. He bade me good-bye last, and as he took my hand in both of his, and stood there towering above me, he looked down into my eyes with that sad, kindly look of his, and said:" My young friend, do not put an enemy in your mouth to steal away your brains."At that moment I thought I never should again.And, oh, how that look haunted me in after years before I knew the better way, when in my moments of weakness I was tempted to put the intoxicating cup to my lips.And though those loving eyes are closed in death, yet that look is never very far from me. It is with me now while I pen these lines; it is photographed on my heart, A blessed memory of our martyred President.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 05:32 PM   #52

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From prehistoric times, the watershed of this nearly 600 mile long river that the Indians considered extended from its source in Colorado to where it emptied in the Missouri River contained the finest country--nearly 58,000 square miles of it--in all the great plains east of the Rocky Mountains, and it was a main source of supply for all tribes of Plains Indians, all of which made regular trips into this hunting paradise for their annual needs. And though every tribe claimed it as their own, none could make good their claim, and as a consequence many fierce battles were fought within its confines between the various tribes of Indians long before, as well as after, the white man appeared on the scene.

In the map below you see that freemont is one of the first American explorers to move east down the Smoky in his 1844 expedition.

Click the image to open in full size.


This great river was known by some of the Plains Indian Tribes as CHETOLAH, and by others as OKESEE-SEBO. The early French and English explorers designated it the RIVER OF THE PADOUCAS, but it finally became known as the SMOKY HILL, some historians say because of the hazy or smoky appearance of its dark shale hills. George Bird Grinnell maintained that the big cottonwood grove known as Big Timbers was the origen of the name. This was a very large grove of immense cottonwood trees on the Smoky Hill almost on the line of Kansas and Colorado. It was a favorite camping place of the Indians, over 1000 under Black Kettle camping there early in 1864, and it was also the place of refuge of the survivors under Black Kettle of the Chivington Massacre on Sand Creek in November, 1864. The trees were very tall and dense with no underbrush and could be seen for a great distance, looking like a cloud of smoke. To Lt. Fitch's party surveying the Butterfield Overland Despatch route it appeared for many miles, as they approached it, like a large blue mound, hence the station built there was called Blue Mound.

Bourgmont went up the Smoky to about Monument Rocks before turning back in 1724.

Click the image to open in full size.


Capt. John C. Fremont took particular note of this outstanding landmark when, in 1844 he searched out the River's source and followed its course to its junction with the Missouri River. This intrepid and fearless explorer was best known as "The Pathfinder" because of his several expeditions in which he explored and mapped much of the vast territory between the Missouri River, and the Pacific Ocean, actually saving California to the United States. And all these expeditions were outfitted and started from the mouth of this great Smoky Hill River where it empties into the Missouri River, and all returned to this same starting point. And though in his travels he was often in extreme danger, he perhaps never came nearer death than when he stopped at an Indian camp on this Smoky Hill River in what is now Ellis County on the return trip of his second expedition.

The map below shows where the Pawnee trail ends at the Smoky Hill River, this is close to where fremont almost lost it to the Pawnee, this site is back by Cedar Bluffs.



Click the image to open in full size.


From the Rayneford Papers.

One of the most colorful characters of our great West so renowned that he is best known as the "Great Pathfinder", was the intrepid and fearless John Charles Fremont. All of his several exploring expeditions, in which he surveyed and mapped the vast territory between the Rocky Mts. and the Pacific and actually saved California to the United States, were outfitted and started from the mouth of the Kaw, and all traversed Kansas and returned through Kansas back to the mouth of the Kaw, their jumping-off place. And though he was often in extreme danger, perhaps he never came nearer death than when he stopped at an Indian camp on the Smoky Hill River in what is now Ellis County on the return trip of his second expedition.


Below the Golden Belt road is pretty much the Smoky Hill Trail, the Santa Fe trail road also fairly closly followed that trail, the Canon Ball is I-50.


Click the image to open in full size.

Howard tells of the location of the Pawnee camp on the Smoky.

Fremont's report of the expedition was accompanied by a good map, from which most of his campsites can be located. This report states, "On the 5th July we resumed our journey down the Arkansas and encamped about 20 miles below the fort. Agreable to your instructions which required me to complete as far as practicable our examination of the Kansas River, I left at this encampment the Arkansas River, taking a northeasterly direction across the elevated dividing grounds which separate that river from the waters of the Platte. On the 7th we crossed a large stream about 40 yards wide and one or two feet deep, flowing with a lively current on a sandy bed..." The map shows that this stream was the Big Sandy. "Beyond this stream we traveled over high and level prairies, halting at small ponds and holes of water. On the morning of the 8th we encamped in a cottonwood grove on the banks of a sandy stream where there was water in holes sufficient for the camp. Here several hollows or dry creeks with sandy beds met together, forming the head of a stream which afterwards proved to be the Smoky Hill fork of the Kansas River." Fremont's map shows that this camp was made in Colorado about 20 miles west of the Kansas line. On the 9th he camped about 8 miles east of the Colorado line. On the 10th near the present town of Wallace. On the 12th somewhere east of Russell Springs. On the 13th somewhere east of Jerome near the mouth of Plum Creek. On the 14th near the mouth of Indian Creek near Alanthus. At this camp his report states, "...we were encamped in a pleasant evening on a high leval prairie, the stream [Smoky] being less than a hundred yards broad. During the night we had a succession of thunder storms with heavy and continuous rain, and toward morning the water suddenly burst over the banks, flooding the bottom and becoming a large river 5 or 6 hundred yards in breadth. The darkness of the night and the incessant rain had concealed from the guard the rise of the water and the river broke into the camp so suddenly that the baggage was instantly covered and all our perishable collection almost utterly ruined and the hard labor of many months destroyed in a moment."


The road system in Kansas today, the white areas are what's left of open range.


Click the image to open in full size.


On the 16th they camped near the mouth of Page Creek and his report continues "On the 17th we discovered a large village of Indians encamped at the mouth of a handsomely wooded stream on the right bank of the river. Readily inferring from the nature of the encampment that they were Pawnee Indians and confidently expecting good treatment from a people who received an annuity from the Government, we proceeded directly to the village where we found assembled nearly all the Pawnee Tribe, who were now returning from the crossing of the Arkansas where they had met the Kiowa and Commanche Indians. We were received by them with unfriendly rudeness and characteristic insolence which they never fail to display whenever they find an occasion for doing so with impunity. The little that remained of our goods was distributed among them but proved entirely insufficient to satisfy their greedy rapacity; and after some delay and considerable difficulty we succeeded in extricating ourselves from the village and encamped on the river about fifteen miles below."

The Smoky is pretty docile know days.

Click the image to open in full size.


It is not known when the camp ceased to be frequented by the Indians but Mr. Wm. Schutte, who had been a Government scout on the plains and had often traveled the Smoky Hill Trail, said he saw it in use as late as the early sixties. In the early eighties Mr. Schutte took up a claim three miles south of the Smoky and while passing the village site on the trail to Hays, told his son August in response to his wondering inquiry, that those many circles of stones marked the location of the Indian teepees. The old scout explained that this camp was so frequently and constantly used that the Indians had gathered from an exposed ledge on the creek bank these large flat stones to use to keep the teepee sides on the ground instead of fastening them down with pegs.
When the camp was finally abandoned these stones were simply left in the large rings or circles, and since there were about fifty teepees they presented a really curious and odd sight.
Tom Fulghum bought the land in the seventies and built a stone house, and immense barn and a grist mill within a hundred yards of these stone rings or circles. When the Palatine Post Office was moved from across the Smoky on the original Ft. Hays-Ft. Dodge Trail to a new location on the new cut-off trail a half mile east of the Indian village site, a rock crossing on the Smoky south of the Post Office was made but it soon washed out. Thereafter the old Indian crossing was used and the trail passed close along the east side of this unusual looking sight. When the Unreins bought the place these stones were all gathered up and were used to build a barn and nothing was left to identify the location of the teepees but the slight circular depressions. But Mr. Unrein has become so interested in preserving their locations that he has driven a large iron pin into the center of each teepee depression, and to carry out the phantasy, he calls his fine farm with its ultra-modern ranch house, built within a few feet of where the original Fulghum house stood, CHETOLAH, the Indian name for the Smoky Hill River.
Sometime in the 1930s Mr. H.M. Pollack made a partial survey and located forty-eight teepees, and later this survey was complete by H.C. Raynesford and a map made. Thirty of the teepees were seventeen feet in diameter, while another group of sixteen were nineteen feet, and one, a little apart and to the south of the rest, was twenty-four feet in diameter.There were probably others whose location has been obliterated by time and the elements.

This Indian village site positively identifies the place where General Fremont, The Great Pathfinder, perhaps came as near to losing his life as at any time in all his extensive explorations, and so is possibly as historical a place as any in our historic Ellis County and should merit a suitable monument to preserve its identity.
Howard C. Raynesford

Ellis, Kansas

1953

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Old February 22nd, 2011, 05:45 PM   #53

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Julian, you might try the Raynesford papers, they are housed at the Hays public library. Here is a link to a small amount of his papers. Your Great Grandfather is mentioned more than once in Howards papers.
The Raynesford Papers
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Old February 26th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #54

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Monument Rocks, Kansas.


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_znb0MlHTY"]YouTube - Robert Mirabal - The Dance[/ame]

It is kind of ironic that John German could of been out guarding this very road in 1864 if while a prisoner of war of the North he had taken the offer of being a Galvanized Yankee, and duty on the frontier, instead it had taken him all most nine years to get to this point of his Colorado dream, the family had seen very few people along the Old Smoky Trail, by 1874 the trail was bairly used as all freight and passengers were on the train to the north of the trail, mainly hunters used it now, the girls would later say that they had seen hardly a soul from Ellis to just 12 miles east of Fort Wallace.


Click the image to open in full size.



1874 Was a horrible year on the Kansas plains , drought was hammering this area, 74 was a year of grass hopper plague, crops were destroyed across the state. For a people who had not been out here long enough to bank anything and had everything riding on their crops it was a devistating year, Kansan's were hurting on the plains, the German family tragedy just threw salt in the wounds.


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I have read that over five million Buffalo were killed from 1872 to 1874, hunters actualy started skining only the top part of the animal to speed the process of skining, i have read storys of the stink of dead buffalo left to rott on these plains, settlers would suplement their meager earnings by picking up the bones for shipment back east, but that would only last a few years and then even the bones were gone as if the buffalo had never been.



Click the image to open in full size.


The legend of the Key Hole, as the story goes a buffalo hunter shot the formation the slug hiting a narrow part blowing a small hole through, and erosion over the years has formed the arch, many of the formations that were here and at Castle Rock are eroding, some of the named formations have fallen and are now gone, the striping through the rock that you can see are the layers of sea bed sediment, if you get up close you can see sea shell fragments all through it, it is fairly fragile.


The Key Hole.


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About the time the German family passed Castle Rock in sept of 1874, another massacre was happening in southern Kansas, the Lone tree Massacre, and Medicine Water and a war party were riding north toward the Smoky with bad intent. Two hundred miles to the south on the Red River, General Miles, was in the field it was sept 7th and the Cheyenne, and Comanche, were pissed and off the reservation, by sept 9th General Miles, had his supply train under seige by Santana, with the freight wagons led by Captain Lyman, just into Texas, the Red River war was on, in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Kansas, and the German sisters would play a roll in how long it would last, and how hard the Southern Cheyenne would be pressed the following winter.


Click the image to open in full size.



Monument Rocks, is a national natural landmark. It was the first landmark chosen by the US Department of the Interior as a national natural landmark.



Click the image to open in full size.


When the German family passed by Monument Rocks they were about thirty miles east of what is now known as Death Hollow, before sept of 1874 it was just another camp spot on the Smoky, with the drought of 1874 John German would have had to dig in the dry river bottom for water. Sept 4th was His birthday he had turned forty four years old probably back about Castle Rock or there about.


The Camel.


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Folks came out here in droves under false assumtions, the Railroad in which the United States had deeded millions of acres along the right of way to,the Railroad was in high gear trying to turn those acres into dollars, overly optimistic reports had come of the plains from the Railroad and land speculators, the Railroad even had offices across Europe promoting colonys to come to Kansas, for free land in a land of abundence. But we all know nothing is free. The reality was much different than what most had expected, some made it, many just packed up and left, some went mad in these isolated farmsteads under the stress, there are reports of people killing their familys and then themselves, along with many suicides, these prairies were not a gentle place but were so foreign that some could never come to grips with the early days of Kansas.


Click the image to open in full size.



A little of the Lone Tree story, it pertains to the German Family in the fact that Medicine Waters small war party, came upon Capt Shorts surveying party that late summer of 1874 as they moved north towards the Smoky. The Lone Tree massacre happened in Meade, County, the county my great great grandparents first homesteaded.


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U.S. Contract No. 382 was signed by Captain Oliver Francis Short and Abram Cutler for the sum of $9677.92 and called for 1055 miles of section lines. Their parties consisted of Harold Short, age 16; Truman Short, age 14; James Shaw, age 51; his son, J. Allen Shaw, age 15; J.H. Keuchler, age 18; Harry C. Jones (about 22); Fleming Duncan; William and Richard Douglas; and Frank Blackledge, all of Lawrence, Kansas.


Click the image to open in full size.


All, except the contractors and James Shaw, a farmer, were students at Kansas University. One of the four men assigned for camp duty was Prather, one Mulatto, and names of others are unknown. Captain Short, who had served in the Civil War as a Captain, was one of the first professional surveyors in Kansas. One of his early contracts was No. 303, dated 1864. He served on all frontiers of Kansas, having worked from the Dakota line into the Indian Territory. He was obviously a man of considerable experience, both in his profession and in he hardships of dealing with the harsh landscape of the Kansas prairie. Captain Short was well aware of the dangers the Indians imposed. On a visit with his sister, Mary, the year before his last survey trip he told her, “The Indians are angry and not unjustly so, but I am sure I shall have no trouble with them if I take the surveying contract, for I have worked among them for eighteen years and have treated them kindly, they know me as a friend and will not harm me.”


Click the image to open in full size.



With this attitude and the firm belief that the army would provide an escort in the event of danger with Indians, Captain Short commenced work on August 10, working with three crews which included his own sons, Harold and Truman. Captain Short usually left the general camp several days at a time running the township lines while Captain Thresher and Mr. Cutler would run the section lines and spend the night in the main camp.


Click the image to open in full size.



It was a typical Kansas August. The wind was hot and the countryside was dry, making water a precious commodity. The crews had a drive pump that they could drive several feet into the bottom of a creek or pond and pump good clean water. Their pump may very well have been used at their main camp on Crooked Creek while laying out Township 33, Range 28, in Meade County. They picked a spot by a lone cottonwood tree in the northeast quarter of section 4.
Captain Short sent the following letter to his family describing his last few days there: “Crooked Creek, August 16, 1874. This very pleasant Sunday morning, you are all wondering where Pa and Harold and Truman are and what are our surroundings. “We have commenced work and made a few very hard days on account of water which is very scarce. The creek's all dry and the pool's nearly all dry. Last night we found a marsh and have excellent spring water for our Sunday camp. To make matters worse the prairie has all been burned off and last night when we came into camp, the cook, Mr. Shaw, and his son and all the teamsters had all been fighting fire to save grass for the cattle and no supper was got that night and this morning, Harold, Captain Thrasher, and I went out and finished it.
“We have started three compasses to work. The ground is so hard we can scarcely dig, so we will be at great disadvantage to haul stone. If we could get a soaking rain it would be a great saving to us. “A great many soldiers have gone below so we have no apprehensions of Indians, still we shall keep a careful watching.
“We may have a chance to send this up (to Ft. Dodge) with hunters, if not will continue next Sunday.
“Harry Keuchler flags and yesterday suffered greatly for water, wished himself any other place, but after it was in the past was satisfied.
“(No opportunity was found to mail this letter and it continues) Saturday Evening, August 22. You are all doubtless thinking and talking of us as the sun is just setting behind the prairie horizon. Our boys, Harry and two others and myself have been about all week, excepting Tuesday night, on exterior work and have found plenty of water and grass, many fine springs and abundance of stone. So if Thrasher's work proves as well as mine we shall have a good time. No sign of Indians. Have seen no buffalo but heard them this morning. Hunters are camped near us a will proceed to Ft. Dodge tomorrow and will carry up this letter. I have no idea when we shall get mail but as soon as we get exterior work done will send or go up which will be three or four weeks. The men sent up mail this week while we were out.
“Our boys work well and get along very well. Harold's shoes have run over and are nearly worn out. I have been quite unwell for a few days but feel well tonight.
“Our pump is great help, since we came in, have driven it down and got good cool water.
“You need not think my nights lying out in an Indian country with ears alert are as if with you but it will not last long I hope. Now it is getting dark, so good night.
“Morning Sunday 23rd. A very good rain last night - All well. Hunters starting so good-by. O.F.S. P.S. Truman has written but it is mislaid.”



Click the image to open in full size.


Early Monday morning, August 24, the crews set out to work. Captain Short's crew consisted of himself, son Truman, Mr. Shaw and his son, J. Allan, Harry Keuchler and Harry C. Jones.

Harold Short later wrote: “It seems that the Indians about 25 were expecting the party to continue in their western course and were lain in the deep ravine just beyond the west of the corner but when my father and brother turned to run the line north, they followed along the ravine to where the north line crossed then waited until my brother had crossed over and set his flag and continued north. When my father and men came north to the ravine they were surprised and attacked. It is the impression that my father was shot dead through the body the first man, leaving the others in an excited state...”
The battle was fought by the surveyors from the shelter of their wagon driving the oxen, loading their guns, laying their dead and wounded in the wagon and heading as fast as they could toward the lone tree camp and their comrades. At the end of four miles, as dusk fell, the Indians surrounded them. The oxen were killed and at the wagon tracks of only one white man were found, those of Mr. Shaw, recognized by the marks of iron from his boot heels. The men were all well armed with riffles and the trail was well marked with shells as well as dishes and utensils from the wagon.
It was agreed among the surveyors that should any crew be attacked the signal would be to set the prairie on fire, but this was not possible since it had been burned off only a few days before. The strong north wind carried the report of the riffles away to the south and the men back at the lone tree camp had no idea of what had happened to their comrades who now lay dead just three miles south of their camp. Just at dusk on Monday, they saw a party to the southwest appear over a hill and then disappear, but thought nothing of it--perhaps that it was hunters. Little did they know it was Captain Short's crew with only one or so still alive.
In the cover of darkness the Indians recovered their dead and left the survey crew by their wagon on the banks of Crooked Creek.
The next day as Captain Thrasher worked the section lines he went six miles south from the camp to the township line, then back to the north six miles. He passed very near to the bodies as he worked the section line east of Crooked Creek but they and the wagon were hidden from view by the bluffs. About noon on Wednesday, as he worked south, setting the northwest cornerstone on section 20, they looked east and caught view of the scene where the last man had fallen.
When they went to investigate they found the dead laid out side by side. Their small dog was also dead and laying beside them. The oxen had been killed, yoked to the wagons and their hind quarters gone. The wagon and water barrel were shot full of holes.
Captain Thrasher and his men loaded the bodies into the wagon and headed back to the main camp. Harold Short later described the scene: “The bodies were found by Capt. Thrasher's party about 2 o'clock Wednesday the 26th and late in the afternoon I noticed the men coming in from the southwest with a wagon railing behind their cart. The compassmen generally had a cart with them, it being more easily gotten over a new and broken country, hauled by a team of oxen. The men in camp wondered what had happened, I said my father and party I am sure have been murdered, they laughed saying no such thing could have happened, but as they came nearer, Capt. Thrasher a little ways ahead came up to me and said, 'Little man you must be a brave boy for the Indians have killed your father and brother and all his party, we found them dead lying side by side near their wagon.. put them all in the wagon and hitched to our cart and have trailed it into camp.' They were all taken out and buried in graves just a little south and east of the lone cottonwood tree.”



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Medicine Water would be riding Captain Shorts, Bay when the Cheyenne attacked the German family to the north. This war party rode with a woman warrior Medicine Waters wife Buffalo Calf Woman.

Medicine Water and Buffalo Calf Woman.


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Old February 27th, 2011, 11:26 AM   #55
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This stuff in a slightly more concise form and with a little polish deserves to be published and would earn you my recommendation as a former Academcian for a Masters in Early American history.....it's that good. It shows real emotion, real talent and a rich and convincing love of the subject matter.

SB you deserve better accolades then what I can give but there they are.

Well done.

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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:27 AM   #56

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Centrix and jegates, I am really appreciative of your kind words. I know this thing jumps around like a nut in a rock pile, mainly I am just trying to match first hand acounts to the sections of the old trail as i go along. A question for those on this forum who are following this thread. Does the Kansas I have been showing match what you thought it would look like, when you read acounts of the old west?
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #57
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I've been there and on the Trail. hence my answer is biased. It's Kansas and its real.

Don't believe me just visit Camp Forsthye.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:49 PM   #58

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That's awesome Centrix, that you've been on the Smoky! The storys shared here about this trail are but a few of hundred's of tales of the Smoky, many known and even more unknown. I really recommend Howard Raynesford's book Tales of the Smoky Hill trail, if you love the old west you need it for your collection or reference.


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt_CDU4d1tU"]YouTube - Mosasaur Summer[/ame]



[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV1_74mEkAg&feature=related"]YouTube - Sea Monsters: a Prehistoric Adventure[/ame]

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Old March 1st, 2011, 01:23 PM   #59

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Sod...see, Black Knight agrees with me about the book. You practically have it written on this forum already!

Put me down for one autographed copy, please
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 04:24 PM   #60

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Monument Rock's, Kansas.


[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ8XbikU26w"]YouTube - Native American Music & Ly o Lay Ale loya & ancient times[/ame]


This photo is looking north from the Trail, this is the view the German family would have had of the monuments as they rolled by, you know they would have had to of stoped and explored around them a little, maybe picking up a sharks tooth, just as every family since who has stoped at the monuments. When Custer left Fort Wallace to ride back east during the Cholora epidimic for which he would later be court martialed, he rode right down the Smoky Hill past these old Monument Rock's.


(left of pic is west, Monument station is just west 1/4 mile, pic facing north)

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Here is the continued first hand account of an 1865 stage ride up the B.O.D. from earlier in this report. From the Raynesford Papers.

In the afternoon we reach Downers. The devastation here has been complete. The coach and everything that would burn about the station was destroyed. The ground was everywhere tracked over by the unshod hooves of the Indian ponies. We broke camp at daylight and a few miles from Downer we found a body, or rather the remains of a man, evidently killed the night before. The scalp was gone and the few arrows that still remained in the ribs marked the tribe to which the victim belonged, Cheyennes and Arapahoes. The stations thus far had been deserted but at noon the next day we reached a station where we found a government train corralled. The Indians had attacked the train and driven off a number of the mules. One soldier had been killed, and another shot through the neck with an arrow and scalped, having feigned dead while the Indian was engaged in lifting his hair.




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The Monuments were reached this evening. Near them is a camp of more than 200 soldiers. A fort is to be built, also a station. These monument rocks are considered the most remarkable on the plains. At a distance it is difficult to realize that they are not the handiwork of man, so perfectly do they resemble piles of masonry. We left Monument early on the morning of the 25th to continue our journey. An ambulance, containing a surgeon and four men, accompanied us, as well as the escort of five cavalrymen, Col Tamblyn having left us, considering it safe to go on.

(the fort, station was about even with the post in the tree line, this is looking south west)

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The next station was 22 miles distant and by 11 o'clock the driver pointed it out to us. "Thar's Smoky Hill Springs -- purty place, a'int it?" When within half a mile the ambulance left us, taking a short cut to the road on the other side of the station, which was located for convenience to water at some distance from the direct route. The cavalrymen galloped on to the station, which they reached while we were some distant from it.


(looking back east across the prairie, sea shells visible in post rock marker)


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When within 200 yards of the station we glanced back to see the country over which we had passed and discovered, within 60 yards of the coach, a band of nearly a hundred mounted Indians, charging directly toward us. The sight, frightful as it was, seemed grand. "Here they come!" and the crack of a rifle was responded to by a yell, followed by the singing whiz of arrows and the whistle of revolver bullets. The first shot dropped an Indian, next a pony stopped, trembled and fell. The driver crouched as the arrows passed over him, and drove his mules steadily toward the station. The deadly fire poured from the coach windows kept a majority of the Indians behind the coach, some however, braver than the rest, rushed past on their ponies, sending a perfect stream of arrows toward the coach as they sped along. We were by this time in front of the station. The cavalrymen opened with with their revolvers and the Indians changed their tactics from close fighting to a circle. One, more daring than the rest was intent on securing the scalp of a stockherder whom he had wounded but lost his own in so doing.

(looking back north east towards the monuments from the trail)

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The first brush was over. Then we discovered a sight that was not to be looked at quietly. The four mules attached to the doctor's ambulance were flying across the plain at a dead run, the Indians enveloping it like a swarm of angry hornets. The men in the ambulance were fighting bravely, but the Indians outnumbered them ten to one. If rescue was to be attempted there was not an instant to lose. The five cavalrymen went off at a gallop and seeing them, the men in the ambulance jumped out and ran through the Indians toward them, rightly conjecturing that the indians would secure the ambulance before turning to attack them. It was a plucky thing for them to do but the doctor determined that it was their only chance. The Indians caught the mules then turned to look for scalps, which they supposed were to be had for the taking. The doctor and his men were giving them a lively fight when we came up. The value of a well-sighted and balanced rifle was soon evident. With every crack a pony or Indian came to earth. The fire was evidently unendurable and the circle increased in diameter, when, with the rescued men mounted on behind, we slowly moved toward the station, before reaching which, two more dashes were repulsed.


(these are the type of chalk cut banks fosils are taken from)

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The doctor was one of the gamiest of little men. "Ah!" quoth he, as he gazed through his glass at the crowd of Indians about his ambulance, "I put the contents of the tartar emetic can into the flour before I left the Ambulance, and if that does not disorder their stomachs I won't say a thing -- I only wish it had been strychnine." A redskin had mounted each of the mules, and as many Indians as the vehicle would contain had located themselves in the ambulance for a ride. The cover had been torn off as it probably impeded their view. Becoming tired of this they detached the mules, unloaded the ambulance and drew it to a point which afforded us the best view of their performance, when, greatly to the indignation of the doctor, they crowned their disrespect for him and his carriage by setting fire to what he declared to be the best ambulance on the plains. The Indians now engaged in a successful dance about the burning ambulance, during the continuance of which, a survey was made of our situation.


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The station had been furnished with a garrison of ten soldiers. Five of these, with the best arms and most of the ammunition, had started early in the morning on a buffalo hunt. We had altogether 21 men, armed with 7 rifles and 13 revolvers. For four of the rifles and five of the revolvers we had abundance of ammunition, which it was not possible to use in the other arms, for which there was a scant supply. The station was well located for defence and surrounded by a well-constructed rifle pit. To attack the Indians was not prudent although all were anxious to do so. We could count in the circle about us 105, many more being visible on the bluffs near.


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A new style of fighting was now inaugurated by the Indians. The bluff in which the station was located was covered with tall grass, dry, and this was in flames before we were aware of a fire other than that about the ambulance. Each man seized his blanket and started out to meet the fire, which was nearly subdued when a sudden attack was made by the Indians on all sides. For a few moments it was doubtful contest but the Indians were at last driven off and the fire extinguished. Several of our men were suffering with arrow wounds, none of them severe, fortunately, but all needed attention. If poisoned arrows had been used our loss would have been serious.


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At nightfall the Indians withdrew, but this was not a subject for congratulation, for we expected them back during the night. The anticipation was not erroneous. Three hours of darkness had passed, when a rustling whiz cut the air over our heads and the sharp twang of a bowstring informed us that the Indians were very near. Arrows came in flights. The Indians were within close revolver range but a shot from a pistol or rifle would have exposed the person firing as the flash would have revealed his precise location. So many arrows could not be fired among our small party without inflicting serious damage, and that something must be done to drive off the Indians was plain.


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One of the party, an old hunter, volunteered to stampede the Indians if he might be permitted to take four revolvers. If he failed, the revolvers would be lost, which would severely cripple our party. Still, it was the last resort, so, divesting himself of garments with the exception of underclothing, he crawled out into the darkness toward the spot from which the twang of bowstrings came the most frequently. In five minutes the repeated crack of his revolvers and the yells of the Indians told of the successful issue of the bold effort. The bows were still and in another moment our Indian fighter returned to the station to receive the heartfelt thanks of the garrison. The remainder of the night was passed in quiet though sleep was impossible, and dawn found the party on the alert for another attack. It was well for us that we were ready for the Indians had crawled up as closely as possible, evidently intending to rush us if there seemed any chance for success. A single rifle shot seemed to satisfy them as they withdrew in haste, with the exception of one.


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Toward noon a body of men were seen approaching from the east. If they were Indians we were gone. If white men, the danger might be said to be over. The Indians observed them as quickly as we, and a band of 20 or 30 started off to reconnoiter. We watched the result anxiously as they rode up toward the newcomers. The Indians wheeled about and returned to the vicinity and in a moment more the whole band were galloping off out of sight over the bluffs. Then we knew that the strangers were white men. They proved to be a company of infantry in wagons, who, together with a small cavalry command were coming to bury us. The Monuments had been attacked the day previous, and a number of stock driven off. We afterward learned that a general attack had been made along the entire line of 250 miles. The stage company lost eight men and nearly 200 mules; the Government lost several men and a hundred animals, the Indians committing the outrage being at the time on the way to Ft. Zarah to receive the presents stipulated for in the late treaty.


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Leaving Smoky Hill Station, we proceeded with a strong escort and camped at night at Henshaw Springs which we found deserted, and the following evening we arrived at Pond Creek, from which place the stage line had not been disturbed, and we traveled uninteruptedly to Denver."


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That is what ruined the Butterfield Overland Despatch. They could not control the Indian depredations. A similar experience befell many of the coaches and trains. Even with five forts along its course and military escort, it continued, and business grew wary of it. The stations for many miles were all destroyed in the first year of its operation and again and again. Many of their men were killed and there were very heavy losses in stock and equipment. The Indians deeply resented this invasion of their favorite hunting grounds and seemed to concentrate on the destruction of this Smoky Hill route. When the military department headquarters passed out the report that there were no hostile Indians within its borders, officers in the field sneeringly said, "Yes - all you have to do to find out is to make a trip over the BOD." And much later when the Wells Fargo Express Co. who had taken the route over, held a parlay with the Indians at the Big Creek crossing on the Philip Ranch now, they still strenuously objected to the restocking of the line and signified their intention that they would fight it to the finish.

Howard Raynesford.


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