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The Chivington Massacre.

There was a station on the Union Pacific Road called Kit Carson; near this station is a place called Sand Creek. It was at the latter named place where Major John L. Chivington made his bloody raid.

In the summer of 1864 the combined Indian tribe went on the warpath. They were camped north of Fort Larned, garrisoned with Kansas troops and a section of a Wisconsin battery in charge of Lieutenant Croker, and Captain Ried was the commanding officer. The Indians first commenced war at Fort Larned and ran off some horses, beef cattle and some milch cows that were the property of James Brice.

At the time Chivington made this raid there was camped at Sand Creek about one hundred and fifty lodges of women, children and a few decrepit Indians. This was one of the most brutal massacres a white man was ever known to have commanded. With some sixty soldiers he said he would go and "clean 'em up." He got there at daybreak and began to fire on the Indians and killed a great many women and children. He burned several lodges, confiscated their provisions, blankets and other supplies. The Indian braves who were able to fight had some poisoned arrows which they used advantageously. Every soldier they hit was either seriously injured or killed. Up in the day the Indians got reinforcements and gave Chivington's raiders quite a chase. These Indians were left entirely destitute, for Chivington had seized all the supplies and either loaded them into his wagons or destroyed them by fire. For that reason the surviving Indians commenced depredations on the stock and other property of settlers at Fort Larned.

It is said, but as to the truthfulness of the assertion I do not vouch, for it did not happen under my personal knowledge--that a man by the name of McGee, who was a teamster on a train loaded with flour for the Government, was captured not far from there and was scalped and left for dead; that the Eastern mail happening to come along shortly after, found the body and placed it upon the boot of the coach; that before arriving at Fort Larned they found that instead of carrying a corpse, as it was at first supposed, they carried a living man. This man was taken to a hospital and got well. He raised a family of children and his sons, some of them live in or around Independence, Missouri. This man, Mr. McGee, is said to be the only scalped man in the United States who lived after being scalped.

After this brutal crime against the Indians, trouble commenced on the Santa Fe Trail, and the sight of a "pale face" brought memories of the assassination of their tribe by Chivington and his raiders.

At this Indian lodge where the Chivington massacre occurred lived the father-in-law of John Powers. He was known the plains over as a peaceable old Indian (Old One Eye), the chief of the Cheyennes, but his "light was put out" during this desperate fight with Chivington.

Right here I will give an account of the marriage of John Powers to the daughter of "Old One Eye."

Mr. Powers had crossed the plains several times as wagon-boss for Colonel Charles Bent, who was the builder of Bent's Fort, also the new fort at Fort Lyons. He was also wagon boss for Mr. Winsor, the settler at Fort Lyon at the time of his marriage to the daughter of the old chief.

Mr. Powers' mother, Mrs. Fogel, and his stepfather received the news of Powers' marriage with many misgivings and rebuked him severely for having made such a choice, finally vowing that they disowned him and never wanted to see him again. With a finality not at all disconsolate John Powers set about to polish his Indian wife for the polite society of his mother, so he sent her to school, chaperoned by Miss Mollie Bent.

At the school at West Port this Indian girl soon excelled and under the careful management of Miss Bent the wife of John Powers soon became an expert in domestic science. But Powers, getting impatient for a meeting between his mother and wife, asked Mollie Bent to arrange it. So accordingly Miss Mollie visited at the home of her friends, the Fogels, and during the gossip Miss Bent casually remarked to Mrs. Fogel that she had a most charming friend, an Indian maid, over at the school whom she would like to introduce to her.

When Mrs. Fogel insisted upon her coming over the following Saturday, bringing with her her friend, Mollie Bent's heart was little less glad than John Powers.

At last the eventful day had arrived. Mollie, accompanied with John's "Indian squaw," went to the home of Mrs. Fogel. The high-spiritedness of the Indian maid soon captivated Mrs. Fogel. After they had eaten supper Mrs. Fogel was ordered to go to the front porch and entertain her other visitor, Miss Mollie Bent, while she (Mrs. John Powers) did up the kitchen work and cleared up the dining room. Mrs. Fogel did so with reluctance, wondering greatly just how a real Indian would do up her greatly "civilized" kitchen work. But she did not wonder long, for very soon, indeed, the daughter of "Old One Eye" came to inquire of her host where to place the dishes and how to arrange the dining room.

Mrs. Fogel was as pleased as she was surprised at the neatness and despatch with which the work had been done and told her daughter-in-law so, little knowing that she was dealing with her own son's wife. Each Saturday after this John Powers' wife visited at the home of her mother-in-law and learned many things from Mrs. Fogel that only endeared her more to the Fogel family. Swiftness and despatch is one of the Indian characteristics.

Early in the spring of 1863 Colonel Bent sold John Powers his train of nine wagons for $10,000. Powers then started to the states in February to load up. He loaded with corn to be taken to Fort Union, New Mexico, for the Government. With his two original wagons his trip netted him $10,000. He immediately returned to the states to make his second trip and to visit his wife and Miss Mollie Bent in Kansas City, Missouri. His mother did not know he was there. When he arrived in Kansas City from his second trip he decided to put his "spurs" on, so to speak, so he bought him a fine carriage, a team of prancing horses, and went like a "Prince of Plenty" to the home of his mother.

It had already been planned that Hiawatha One Eye Powers, that is, Mrs. John Powers, would be ensconced at the home of Mrs. Fogel, his mother. Mollie Bent was there, and girl like, was delighted over the romance being enacted under that roof. The heart of the Indian maid was beating a happy tattoo under her civilian dress.

A cloud of dust up the road announced that John was now near the parental roost. Mrs. Fogel with her motherly solicitude was awaiting him with happy tears dimming her eyes. She took in with all a mother's fondness his high-stepping prancers, his prosperous appearance, last but not least the entire absence of the Indian daughter-in-law.

When the greeting of mother and son was over they went into the house where Mrs. Fogel introduced her Indian friend, remarking as she did so that she was a rare and exquisite wild flower of the plains. Consternation and surprise chased themselves over Mrs. Fogel's features when she, turning, beheld her protege pressed upon her son's breast. With eyes ablaze with happy lights he led her to his mother, saying, "Mother, I now introduce you to my wife."

When Mrs. Fogel had recovered from the surprise which accompanied the shock of this disclosure she seized the girl in her motherly arms, and if ever a girl got a "hugging" Hiawatha got one from an ACTUAL mother-in-law.

Mollie Bent was hysterical, laughing and crying at the same time.

When John Powers had loaded his train he took back with him his wife and her friend, Miss Mollie Bent, as far as Fort Lyon. Fifteen years after this incident I met John Powers in Topeka, Kansas. He looked at me a long time and I returned his stare. Finally he said, "Ho, there, ain't your name Billy, the boy who used to get along with the Indians so well, cuss your soul?" I told him that I was, and he said, "I'm right glad to see you again, Billy." I asked him if he wasn't John Powers, and he told me he was. Then I asked him his business in Topeka, and he told me he had just brought his two daughters to Bethany College at Topeka, Kansas.

Mr. Powers was at that time badly afflicted with cancer of the tongue, and he told me that he hadn't long to live. He also told me that he had bought the Old Arcadia Indian Camp on the Picketwaire River (Picketwaire means River of Lost Souls or Purgatory to the Indians). The camp is between Fort Lyons and Bent's Old Fort on the opposite of the river. Some of the land at that time was rated at $50 per acre and is now, most of it, worth $100 per acre. His rating at the time of death in Dun & Bradstreet's Commercial Report was four million dollars. That was the last time I ever saw him.