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Letter from Hercules Price to George W. Martin, December 10, 1910


Letter from Hercules Price to George W. Martin, December 10, 1910


Collections - Manuscript - History - Lincoln County
Date - 1910s - 1910
Military - Wars - Indian Wars
Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Documentary Artifact - Letter
People - American Indians - Tribes - Cheyenne
People - American Indians - Tribes - Pawnee
Places - Counties - Lincoln
Places - Other States - Colorado
Thematic Time Period - Immigration and Settlement, 1854 - 1890
Type of Material - Unpublished documents - Letters


A letter from Hercules H. Price, Napa County, California, to George W. Martin, Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas. Price writes about the Battle of Summit Springs, which took place in northeastern Colorado on July 11, 1869.


Price, Hercules Horn


Kansas Historical Society
Item Number: 219587
Call Number: Historical collections: Lincoln County
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 219587


December 10, 1910




Lincoln County
Price, H. H.

Veteran's Home,
Napa County, California Dec. 10, 1910.

Geo. H. Martin,
Sec'y Kansas State Historical Society & Dept. of Archives
Topeka, Kansas.

Dear Sir,

I enclose herewith an Extract from C. I. Brady's book on "Indian Fights and Fighters (1866-76), including Battle of Summit Springs in N. E. Colorado in summer of 1869.

There are some passages that I can corroborate as reliable from my own personal recollection and experience, but other passages are subject to doubt. The length of the ravine leading to the camp of Tall Bull the Sioux Chief is about near correct. 1200 yards. I had the idea that it was longer, but I must have had in my mind the other ravines in the vicinity of the Ridge. When the body of Indians was perceived through one of the openings of the ravine (1200 yds ravine) they were going towards the Platte, and I heard Gen'l Carr say that he thought he would detach 4 Companies to engage them. He left Buffalo Bill and I think Major Royall to direct the fight The low ridge protecting the troops. but I went forward with Gen'l Carr & the remainder to the head of the ravine also the Pawnee scouts were there present. The "charge" was sounded from the head of the [unclear] and the war song was set up by the Pawnees & away they went in their breech cloths [sic] carbines & belt of ammunition and scalping knife, some carried that in their teeth.

With regard to Cody killing Tall Bull at the ridge, I only knew that from my Comrades who were there present- Tall Bull's wife, daughter & son were in camp and taken prisoners, and she confessed that the "Pawnee chief" as she described Buffalo Bill, killed her husband - so that statement is in opposition to the one related in the "Extracts" herewith, wherein it's stated that Lt. [unclear] killed Tall Bull in his lodge with a derringer. I think that it must have been another Chief, for I recollect hearing about "Big Bear" and "Little Bear" being at the Camp of the Hostiles. [unclear] the writer of the [unclear] Springs battle (Walsh, a civilian) relates how he encountered "Pretty Bear" & shot him, so that left one of the Bears to be disposed of. The amount of captured stock was considerable for I myself with a detail of men from the command went to help the Pawnees round up the stock. I was a Corporal at the time, so I think the figures are practically correct. The amount of dried buffalo meat, I think was in excess of the quantity destroyed. As to Buffalo robes everyone in the command could have supplied himself with one - I got two - one of them was a fine double Buffalo robe [unclear] the other was a small one but good. I also picked up Tall Bull's squaw shirt a beautifully beaded garment in large diamond pattern of varied colored beads and deep fringe of Buckskin with tin bells tinkling within I sold to a comrade the same for $5.00 and he sold it to Wm. Potter of Potter station on the U. S. Railroad, for $42.00 including some bows and arrows. said Wm. Potter was a nephew of Gen'l Slocum, US [sic] Army. the General directing his nephew to procure all Indian effects he could collect and send them to him in the East. so I suppose that war trophy is yet in the family of the General.

Very truly your's [sic]
Hercules H. Price
(alias) - Rah-wi-si-cha-wi-u.

The name has also a humourous [sic] sound [unclear] - hurrah! we will have a chat with you - very significant of signalling.

One who carries the hanging cloth that [unclear] relating to my signal flag.