Mulberry Scrap

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This is the name of an encounter which occurred the 2d of February, 1869, on the Mulberry between the Indians on one side, and some Lincoln County settlers and soldiers on the other. Of course, the Indians got the worst of it as usual, and this is how it happened:

The Kaws from Council Bluffs, and the Pawnees from Nebraska, used to pass back and forth and steal horses from each other. Sometimes they annoyed the settlers too much, to their everlasting undoing. On the occasion of which we are speaking, a band of about a score of Pawnees were coming through the neighborhood, and stopping at Tom Skinner's home, compelled Mrs. Skinner to cook for them.

When the settlers heard of this they gathered together to see what had best be done. Several suggestions were made, but it was decided to go for the troops that were camped not far from the present site of Lincoln. John Alverson, Eli Ziegler, and Chal. Smith went. The captain told them to have the settlers ready by daybreak and he would have some soldiers there at that time.

Accordingly, a lieutenant with about a dozen soldiers, took up the trail with the settlers the next morning. They followed the Indians to Table Rock Creek, where they found their camp fire, and from there to Mulberry, where they overtook them. The Indians had stopped at the home of Chas. Martin to get food and tobacco, but the advance scouts did not succeed in holding them until the main body of men came up.

The red men scattered and the settlers began hunting them up and down the creek. Some of them went south across the stream to a high bluff. As they stood looking four Indians raised up side by side. They had discharges from the army, and one of them handed his discharge to the whites. It was passed from one to another. While this was going on Alverson, who was in the crowd, slipped off his horse and shot the Indian leader dead. The Indians began firing, and the troops soon appeared on the scene. There were two or three more Indians killed.

The lieutenant wanted to take them to Fort Harker and civilize them. Gen. Isaac DeGraff sat down on the ground and also on the lieutenant's proposition, saying they could make good Indian's of them right there. The men dismounted, and, leading their horses, followed the Indians down a ravine. The redskins were shooting arrows, and one of them hit the lieutenant's horse, causing the animal to jerk loose and get away. The lieutenant then said he would kill every Indian. They followed the red men to a rocky gorge where sixteen of them took refuge in a cave.

One of the soldiers who was not careful to keep out of range was shot by an Indian and died at Martin's house two hours later. Eli Ziegler sustained a slight wound.

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