Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Indian Fighting Courage


Terrors In White Settlements Who Run Away From Hostile Redskins.

"It takes a special kind of courage to fight Indians," said Major Edward Ragsdale. "They're pretty sure to surprise you, and they're slippery as quicksilver and as hard to catch. Their yelling and whooping alone are enough to stampede men not trained to their style of fighting. Sometimes they fight under cover, and you catch a fire from an enemy you can't get a sight of, and, again, where there hasn't been one to be seen, they seem all to spring out of the ground at once and charge you as though nothing could stand their onset. Then there's the knowledge that if they catch you alive you'll be skinned alive or burned or your life tortured out of you by slow degrees in a thousand other ways they can think up to make you suffer. There's many a stout hearted desperado, a terror in white settlements and not afraid to have a pistol or shotgun scrap any hour of the day or night with a man of his own color, who doesn't count for a row of pins in an Indian fight.

"Take Sam Brown of Nevada for a case in point. He wasn't afraid of any man that wore boots, and he was the terror of the mining camps everywhere he went. The Piute Indians got bad one time, and a party was organized in the camps to go out against them. Sam joined the volunteers, and everybody in the party and all that staid behind were talking about the big deeds Sam Brown would do and chuckling to think of the way those redskins would be wiped out when they ran up against him.

"Well, when they came upon the Indians things didn't turn out quite as they had expected. It was the whites that got licked out in short order, and those that weren't left on the ground stampeded for safety. Sam Brown was one of the first ones to run, and the pace he set his horse at to get away from those redskins was something that beat quarter racing in the way of reckless riding. As they stampeded down a canyon, every man trying to be foremost to get away, Sam hailed Joe McMurtrie, who was riding a better horse than his:

"'Oh, Mac! Pull your horse a little so I can come up. We'll ride safer together.'

"McMurtrie's answer to that friendly invitation was to bend down to his horse's neck, set in the spurs and get out of that canyon ahead of Sam and back to Bodie as fast as hoofs could carry him. He know Sam Brown, and that if that worthy once got alongside him he wouldn't hesitate to shoot him off his horse so as to get a better mount for himself. After they all got back to the settlement he didn't go round to places where he was likely to meet Sam, lest it might stir him up to unpleasant recollections of their Indian campaign, people were that considerate of others' feelings in those days when the other happened to be Sam Brown." — New York Sun.

No comments: