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Nebraska Indian Battles & Massacres - Page 2

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Eubank Homestead (August 7, 1864) - Located 1.5 miles northwest of Oak, Nebraska, Indian warriors destroyed the Eubank homestead and killed two children who were home alone. A short distance north of the ranch, three Eubank men and a teenage boy were slain while cutting hay and a younger boy, named Ambrose Asher, who was aged nine, was taken captive. Another 1/2 miles to the northwest, the Eubank parent, their two babies and a visiting 16 year-old girl were strolling along the Narrows section of the trail when they heard screaming from the homestead behind them. The father was slain as he ran to the aid of his children. The women and children hid in the brush; but, were discovered when the toddler screamed. All four -- Lucinda Eubank, her children, Isabelle, age three, and Will, nine months; and 16 year-old, Laura Roper were captured.

 

 

Indian Captives during the August, 1864 Cheyenne Raid

Captives taken during the Cheyenne Raid of August, 1864. From left to right: Dannie Marble from the Plum Creek Massacre; and Laura Roper, Isabel Eubank, and Ambrose Asher from the Eubank Homestead.

 

The warriors arrived at the Cheyenne and Arapaho encampment on the Smoky Hill River, with their prisoners on August 12th. Arapaho Peace Chief Left Hand made a trade with the warriors for Ambrose Asher, Laura Roper, and 3-year-old Isabel Eubank, whom the Indians had mistakenly identified as Laura’s child. Lucinda Eubank and baby Will were sold to a renegade Sioux warrior named Two Face, who immediately left the camp with his two white captives.

 

 

Chiefs arrive in Denver with white captives, 1864

Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs arrive in Denver with their white captives

  on September 28, 1864.

 

Ambrose, Laura and Isabel, in the care of Left Hand, who was a decent and highly educated Arapaho leader, would fare well. Treated respectfully, Left Hand and Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle tried to negotiate their safe return in exchange for a truce with the soldiers. On September 11, 1864, they reached an agreement with Major Wynkoop, commander at Fort Lyon, Colorado, and are released. Laura Roper was reunited with her family. Three year-old Isabelle Eubank was never reunited with her mother and was cared for by a Dr. Brondsall of Denver. However, she never recovered from her ordeal and died shortly thereafter. Ambrose Asher was sent to live with his grandmother in Quincy, Illinois.

 

Mrs. Eubank, in the hands of a renegade clan,  would be abused and assaulted for nearly a year.

 

Finally, almost demented, she and her son were brought into Fort Laramie, Wyoming in May, of 1865. On May 16, 1865, Sioux warriors Two Face and Blackfoot were hanged at the fort for the abuse of the captives. Lucinda Eubank recovered and learned that her daughter Isabelle had died. She and her son then made their way east, where she remarried in Missouri.

 

Plum Creek Massacre (August 8, 1864) - About two miles west of the Plum Creek stage station, on the south side of the Platte River, Mart Bowler's corralled bull train was breaking camp when Cheyenne warriors attacked. Immediately hit by an arrow was a 14-year-old bullwhacker named William Gay, who fired a shot to alert the rest of the group. The teamsters immediately retaliated, firing their shotguns and managed to drive them away. Two warriors were killed and three of the teamsters were wounded.

 

The same day, two Denver-bound wagon trains were attacked about five miles to the east. As some 100 Cheyenne warriors swept down on the wagons from bluffs to the south, the teams began to scatter. The first wagon-train consisted of ten wagons with ten drivers and cook, all belonging to E. F. Morton of Sidney, Iowa. All the men, including Mr. Morton, were killed and Mrs. Morton taken captive. The 50 mules belonging to the train were driven away by the Indians. The second wagon-train included six wagons loaded with corn and machinery belonging to Michael Kelley of St. Joseph, Missouri. A boy named Dannie Marble was captured and the rest of the men were killed.

 

 

 

TeePee Trading Post

TeePee Trading Post

 

Plum Creek MassacreIn the meantime, Bowler's bull train continued on to the Plum Creek Station. Lieutenant Joseph Bone of the 7th Iowa Cavalry, was unable to do more than telegraph a message to Fort Kearny. But, it was too late. The Cheyenne disappeared with their two captives, leaving 13 emigrants dead in their wake.

 

Little Blue/Oak Grove Station (August 9-10, 1864) - On August 9, 1864, a suspiciously friendly party of some 20 Cheyenne Dog Soldiers and Sioux warriors dropped in for a visit at the Oak Grove Station. While visiting casually with nervous ranch workers, the warriors suddenly struck, killing two men and wounding two more. Eleven ranch workers fled into the ranch house and another escaped into a grove of trees. The warriors then stole or destroyed about $50,000 in property and livestock. However, as an ox train began to approach, they abruptly road off. The next day, after the survivors had fled, the warriors returned, setting fire to the original buildings. No original buildings remain today, but it is commemorated with a Pony Express monument.

 

Kiowa Ranch Station (August 10, 1864) - Between the old Kiowa Station and the Oak Grove Station are two sites where Indian attacks took place. About four miles west of the Kiowa Station, a marker designates the site of the Emery Stagecoach Ambush on the south side of the road. Here, a life-and-death race took place as a passenger-filled stagecoach was chased through the area by a war party. On the same day, about 1.5 miles to the southwest is the site of the old Bowie Ranch. Here, a pioneer couple was slain in their home and some $10,000 of property and livestock stolen or destroyed.

 

These raids choked of both the Platte and Republican Rivers, effectively isolating communications to Denver. Colorado Governor John Evans immediately sends a telegram to to the Secretary of War, pleading for authorization to raise a militia under sanction of the army. On August 11th, a volunteer regiment is authorized, which guarantees pay and supplies for a period of 100 days.

 

The Cheyenne War of 1864 would culminate in the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado on November 29, 1864.

 

 

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