Saskatchewan Herald/Articles on the Frog Lake Massacre
HOW WE SPEND OUR TIME,
AND WHAT WE SAW AND HEARD.
THE PETTED REDSKINS STEEPED IN CRIME,
MARKING THEIR COURSE BY FIRE AND PILLAGE.
THE AVENGERS ON THEIR TRACK.
We resume our narratives of the stirring events that have kept us in trouble this Spring at the point to which they were noted when the last issue of THE HERALD was printed -March 27- and have chosen to put it the form of a diary, as being best calculated to make it intelligible. On that date rumors of impending trouble and a general uprising of the Indians began to float about and to assume the shape of a possibility ; and there being no mail this week, Col. Morris sent Joe Poitras with despatches to Prince Albert.
SATURDAY, March 28.—Word having been received that the Indians of the Poundmaker, Strike-him and Little Pine bands where on their way into town for their purpose of making demands on Mr. Rae, the Agent, feeling got stirred up, and this was increased as the day advanced and some of the settlers moved into the barracks for protection. A demand was made for additional troops for the defence of the place. Relief was promised.
S[UN]DAY .—The firmest believers in the messages [th]at a peaceful conference was all that they [de]sired had their faith badly shaken when [it] was found that Poundmaker and the othe[r] Battle River chiefs were on the way into [to]wn at the head of their men, but accompa[ni]ed only by enough squaws to do the drudg[er]y of the camps.
Judge B[?]leau had up to this time been watching [an]d dlrecting affairs on the part of the Go[ver]nment. He was one of the firmest in the [be]lief that Riel and his machinations wo[uld] proof to be only a bit of political blust[er b]ut his views suddenly changed, and in th[e a]fternoon he and his family and the famil[y o]f his brother Dr. Rouleau, and A.T. Ber[?]aume, Overseer of Public Works, left for [Swi]ft Current. Mrs. Rae was also sent aw[ay] as would many other women and chil[dre]n had there been opportunity. The Jud[ges] party ran great risk by sleeping at the S[?] reserve, but finally reached the railway [in] safety. The Judge assured us that his only object in going away was to hasten troops to our relief. If their progress is the result of what they call haste we would like to know what he means by leisure.
It was only when the Indians encamped at the Finlaysons' farms, seven miles from town, late in the afternoon, that the real extend of the danger was realized, and the families living south of Battle River prepared to move to the baracks. The river was at this most difficult stage without being unusually impassable, there being a deep, strong current running at each side of the heavy ice in the centre, and the day being far advanced, the refugees had all they could do to cross without attempting to save any of their property. The citizens living on the south side were Messrs. J. M. Rae, Indian Agent, and J. A. Macrae, clerk in Indian office; W. J. Scott, registrar; James Clinkskill and family, his partner T. E. Mahaffy, and Charles Millie, their clerk; Wm. McKay and family, J. E. Stewart and Alfred Macdonald, of Hudson's Bay Co.; Rev. Thomas Clark, Principal of the Indian Industrial School; Peter Ballendine and P. G. Laurie, with their families.
In the course of the night these "peaceable and well disposed Indians" raided the houses of Daniel Finlayson, John D. Finlayson, Thomas Macfarlane, and J. M. Macfarlane, burning some of them, driving off a hundred head of choice cattle and halve as many horses; and this done they were ready for a "friendly" talk with the agent.
MONDAY, 30.—Early this morning the Indians gathered in force of several hundreds in the vicinity of the Indian office, and Poundmaker sent a message to Mr. Rae to the effect that the Indians had heard of a fight between the police and the Half-breeds, and that as soon as the police had done with these they would turn on the Indians; and they only wanted an assurance from Mr. Rae that it was not so, and the gift of some tea and tobacco and they would return to their reserves. Mr Rae declined to go to [them] [????] headmen half-way between the barracks and their camp and hear what they had to say. With this object in view he and Mr. McKay, Mr. Ballendine and some others set out to accompany their messengers so as to get Poundmakers reply without loss of time, but they had not come within speaking distance of the river when they were fired on by some one in ambush. This act of treachery put an end to all negociations and the party returned to barracks.
The Indians had a big council all afternoon, and the evening and the night were spent in carting away goods of all kinds from the shops of the Hudson's Bay Company and Mahaffy & Clinkskill, and raiding and destroying the private houses. The desolation wrought is only equalled by a fire of whose work we say that there was "nothing saved." The devilish ingenuity displayed in the destruction of things that were of no use to them would put to the blush a city mob— a thing usually put down as the extreme of everything that is mad and unreasoning. They had a high time generally.
In the meantime Col. Morris had given up some of the barack buildings to the women and children and done what he could to make them comfortable. The Indian Department warehouse was given up to the men, who organized a Home Guard with Robert Wyld as Captain, W. H. Smart as First Lieutenant, J. M. Macfarlane Second Lieutenant, and took upon themselves the selves a part of the duties of the garrison.
TUESDAY, 31.—The Indians, aided by their Half-breed brethren, finished the loading of their carts, waggons and pack-horses, and went in a camp in a bluff two miles and a half from town, driving all the loose horses and cattle before them.
The Stonies of Eagle Hills took the warpath this morning, going across country to join Poundmaker. They began their fiendish work by murdering their farming instructor, James Payne, and taking the line of settlers that lay between their reserve and the hostile camp first visited the house of Fremont & Dewan, and finding the former alone foully shot him from behind, and after ransacking his hose drove off all his horses and cattle.
This band then raided the homesteads of Harry Nash, A. J. Prongua, Geo. D. Gopsill, Jos. Price and Harry Phipps. Falling in with Gopsill and Thomas Hodson they demanded the horses and waggon and all that they had with them, but on being given a horse by Hodson as a sort of ransom they allowed Gopsill to drive on. Just as the waggon had been emptied of the few things the fugitives had hoped to save, a hunchbacked devil known as Nez Perce Jack, who has been connected with the beer saloon [??to??], attempted to tear the shawl from the shoulders of Mr. Gopsill's child.
Mr. Price, who was a short distance behin[d] Gopsill, did not fare so well. He was driving along in a waggon with his wife and four children when the marauders compelled them to get down and drove off, leaving them all afoot ten minutes from town. As if even this was not enough, the hunchback above referred to attempted to strip Mrs. Pr[ic]e of her dress. Mr. Gopsill fortunately saw their unhappy plight and brought them into town.
WEDNESDAY, April 1.—A number of settlers came in form upper settlement this morning.
Three men were seen in town loading a buckboard with plunder from the stores. A shell was thrown into the cover near them and a party of the Home Guards sent out to bring in the horse an rig. On approaching the river the men fled up the hill abandoning their load as the horse balked and refused to go any farther. The order was successfully carried out, and on arriving at barracks the horse was recognized as the property of Duncan Nolin.
James Bird and family and Peter Hourie came into barracks. They reported having met at Bird´s place a small party of Indians on their way south. They were overburdened with their children and plunder, and travelled slowly, abandoning cattle an goods in their haste to get away, and expressed themselves as afraid of being pursued.
THURSDAY, April 2 - THe telegraph line having given out, Const. Henry Storer and James Bird left for Swift Current with despatches announcing the murder of Payne and Fremont and the situation generally. [?] Indian had been seen on their route that morning, and as their road [?]y through the [hostile] country, their mission was looked on as a dangerous an difficult one.
The scow was put in order to be ready for the opening of the river.
FRIDAY, 3.—Thomas Hodson and Louis Flamond left early this morning to bring the body of Mr. Fremont, and got back about 9 o´clock. The body presented a horrible appearance and gave evidence of the depth of fiendishness that marked his murderers. Not satisfied with shooting him twice from behind while he was engaged in greasing his waggon, the fiends inflicted twe frightful gashes on his head just above his right ear, fired a bullet through his head after he was dead, the gun being held so close to his head as to burn the skin; and firing an iron-shod arrow into his breast as the lay stretched his death. He died with the waggon wrench in his hand, showing how he had been employed when the first fatal shot was fired. He usually carried a watch, but nothing of value was found on him when searched. The house was completely gutted, the little that was not carried away being scattered around in utter wantonness.
An inquest was opened before P. G. Laurie, coroner, and after the body had been viewed by a jury and a postmortem examination made by Dr. Rouleau, it was given over to his friends and buried near the Roman Catholic Church, of which communion he was a member.
A party of teamsters went over to town to bring in a quantity of provisions, and when there fell in with a couple oh half-breeds driving a horse an cart. The men proved to be Joseph Vandal, of Duck Lake, and Jos. Nolin, Sr., of this place. The account they gave of themselves not being satisfactory they were committed to prison.
It was well known that a camp of half-breeds existed near town, and after dinner a party of twelve men under Ser.-Major Kirk, accompanied by Jos. Nolin as guide, set out to gather them in, they where in a ravine about two miles east of town, and on seeing the police at once threw up their hands. They, together with their families, were brought into barracks. Little if any plunder was found amongst them, but some where known to be sympathizers with Riel and to have been actively engaged in removing goods from the stores during the height of the pillaging. The persons where the well known Duncan Nolin, Basil Lafond, Casimere Delorme, Peter Sinclair, — Carriere, Joseph Nolin, Jr., Philip Atkinson, John and Robert Hourie, Joseph Decharme, and Alex. Savard. The last named five having given satisfactory explanations of their presence in camp were released on parole, although Decharme was subsequently locked up for infraction of police regulations. The families were put into camp in and around Const. Macdermont's house, at the corner of the barrack grounds. The captured outfit consisted of two horses and carts, two buckboards, two waggons and one ox and cart.
In the afternoon Jon Wright came down on the north side from Oliver's mill, and reported that Nepahase's band of braves had plundered the establishment. He met Moosomin and some of Thunderchild's band on the north and they assured him of their loyalty. They had plundered the instructor's house and were killing Government cattle, but considered that as nothing serious, they only looking on bloodshed as being wicked.
In the evening six or eight Indians rode up at full speed to the house of Wyld & Bourke, opposite the barrack, across the Saskatchewan, apparently with the intention of surprising the inmates, but no one being at home they were badly disappointed. A couple of shells were thrown at them but it was too dark to harm. A subsequent visit to the house by Mr Wyld showd that they had indulged their mischievous propensities to the full, for after taking away all that they valued they threw a quantity of beef into the cellar and emptied the bags of seed gram of various kinds and a lot of chopped feed on top of it.
The Pitt mail man arrived late at night and reported numerous small camps in the bluffs between the rivers above Thunderchild's reserve.
At midnight Alex. Bremner came riding hastily from Bresaylor, saying that settlement was in dan[ger] and asking for an escort to bring in the people and their cattle. The reputation of the people he represented not being very savory and his stories contradictory, Col. Morris concluded he would be safer here and he was accordingly locked up. (Subsequent events went far to show that this was a scheme to entrap a small body of men into an ambush, as is now known to have been a part of the general programme.)
Bremner came in in such a way as startled the sentries, and an alarm being given the men turned out to defend the place.
SATURDAY, 4.—The Indians who spent the night in Wyld & Bourke's house left for the west at an early hour this morning.
The first death in camp occurred to-day, a child of Cuthbert Macdonald, of Bresaylor, having succumbed to the hardships to which it was exposed on the journey in.
Three people drove up to Wyld and Bourke's house to-day and although signals were made from this side they were not responded to. It is supposed they were some Saulteaux Indians from the north who usually come in to work on the farm and who had not heard of the disturbance. They afterwards drove away.
The ice bridge on the Battle River gave way and moved a hundred yards down stream.
Much anxiety is felt for Col. Herchmer's arrival, as the garrison here is too light to permit a parties being sent out in sufficient force to accomplish anything. A letter was received from W. J. McLean, Factor in the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Pitt, giving an account of a terrible massacre at Frog Lake, thirty-five miles above Fort Pitt, that had been perpetrated on the 2nd of April. The information was brought in by Henry Quinn, a nephew of one of the murdered men. From his story it appears, that a portion of Big Bear's band were encamped there, and pretending to desire a conference with Mr. Quinn, acting Indian Agent, invited him to visit them. Thinking it might have something to do with their promised removal to a reserve he consented, and on his way to the meeting called on the Rev. Father Fafard and invited him to go along. John Williscraft also accompanied them out of curiosity. They had scarcely reached the camp when one of Big Bear's leading men—a fellow well known in town—reminded Quinn that he had long ago promised to shoot him, adding that the time had now come, and before they could realize thei[r] situation Williscraft, Quinn and Father Fafard were killed by successive shots. In the meantime other parties had been stationed at the houses of the few white men in the vicinity, and taking as their signal the firing in the camp, almost the entire population of the place was simultaneously killed before they had time to realize that they were in danger. The death-roll is as follows:
Bernard Fremont, the first victim of the murderers, was a Belgian by birth. He arrived in the United States when quite a young man, and enlisting in the Union army served during the war. He spent a good many years on the frontier, travelling from Texas to British Columbia, and came to Battleforth with the original telegraph construction party. During all the time the line was in the constructors hands, for both construction and maintenance, he held the important position of chief repairer, and continued to be so for a year after the Government took over the line. Laving the service he entered into partnership with Thomas Dewan and went largely into farming and stock raising on the homestead on which he met his death. He had arrangements nearly completed for bringing in a large number of sheep when the present outbreak occurred. He was about forty years of age. He had a brother shot at his side in an Indian fight in the states.
James Payne, farming instructor on the Stoney reserves, was a native of England and came to Prince Alberta a few years ago, and from thence removed to Battleford. He had unbounded confidence in the Indians of his bands and was believed to have unbounded influence over them, but the result proved that we were erring in both cases. Payne married a daughter of chief Bear's Head last summer, and on the day after his death she gave birth to a boy.
Thomas Trueman Quinn, a native of Minnesota, came to this country in the fall of 1878, and entered the service of the Indian Department in a subordinate capacity, and worked himself up to the position he occupied at the time of his death. He was a man of great linguistic attainments, speaking more than half-a-dozen of the Indian dialects besides being able to read, write and speak English and French with equal fluency. He was of mixed blood, his father who was interpreter and guide for the United States troops on service in Minnesota during the massacre of 1863, being a Sioux half-breed[.] He was killed in ambush by Indians while leading troops to the relief of a beleaguered garrison. The subject of this notice married a native women three years ago. He was about forty years of age.
John Williscraft, of Irish descent, was for a long time a resident of the county of Grey, Ont., and came to this country in 1878[.] He was one of those who went up to work on the steamer Grahame built for the Hudson's Bay Company on the Athabasca in 1883. He went to Frog Lake last fall to work for Gowanlock & Laurie, but was on his own account at the time of his death.
John C. Gowanlock, from Parkdale, near Toronto, came to Battleford in 1883 as business manager for Geo. McQuaig, of Medicine Hat, and continued to reside here until the business was closed last fall. He then got married and moved to Frog Lake, where he in partnership with R. C. Laurie put up a grist and saw mill under an arrangement with the Indian Department, which intended this to afford the Indians of the district a means of becoming self supporting. His age was 28 years[.]
John Delaney, farming instructor of Frog Lake, was from Ottawa, and was one of the first lot of instructors who continued in the service of the Department. He was looked upon as having been successful in civilizing and humanizing the band of miserable wretches amongst whom he labored so diligently. That they killed their best friends first shows them to be utterly depraved and not to be trusted in anything.
Charles Gouin was a native of California, of mixed Indian and white blood. He was engaged as a carpenter in putting up the agency buildings at Frog Lake. He formerly lived at Fort Saskatchewan.
Wm. C. Gilchrist, of Woodville, county of Simcoe, Ont., came to this country with Cavana's survey party in 1883, and taking his discharge remained in the country in various employments. At the time of his death he was in the service of Gowanlock & Laurie.
Rev. Father Fafard, who has been laboring amongst the Indians in the Fort Pitt district for the past ten years, was a native of the province of Quebec, and about 36 years of age.
Rev. Father Marchand, a native of France. had only been a few years in the country. He was 26 years of age and a man of more than ordinary promise.
George Dill, of Bracebridge, Ont., opened a trading post at Frog Lake last fall and now swells the list of the murdered.
Mrs. Delaney, wife of the farming instructor, was first said to have been save at Fort Pitt, but she and Mrs. Gowanlock, reported killed, are now known to be held prisoners by the Indians.
John Pritchard, a Half-breed in the employ of the Indian Department, and Henry Quinn, a nephew of the agent, fled for their lives. Quinn reached Fort Pitt in safety, but Pritchard had not turned up at the time of writing. It is, however, probable that he made good his escape, as he is thoroughly acquainted with the district and may have made his way to his former home at Lac la Biche.
In view of this rising, which was as unexpected as was the one here, the few white people living at Onion Lake and in the neighborhood of Pitt, rallied at the Hudson's Bay Company's post, into which the twenty-five police under Inspector Dickens also retired, and fortified it as well as they could by connecting the different buildings with earthen embankments, in the hope of holding out until relief should reach them. They had abundance of arms, ammunition and supplies, and it is hoped will be able to defend themselves against the threatened attacks. The greatest anxiety prevails here as to their fate, but in consequence of the large number of Indians between us and them, and of the hordes, threatening them from the west, we are not in a position to send up such a force as would ensure relief without endangering the safety of our own position. The beleaguered fort contains about forty people, comprising the police, Factor W. J. McLean and family and employees of the Hudson's Bay Company, Rev. Chas Quinney and wife, instructor Mann and wife of Onion Lake, Mrs. Delaney and Henry Quinn. Letters from Frog Lake dated March 31 gave no token that a rising was threatened.
SATURDAY, 4.—A large body of mounted Indians were seen riding over Finlayson's hill toward Stinking Lake, and an hour or two later they rode into town, fired Mahaffy & Clinkskill's store, and spent the night in again overhauling the shops and residences, this time apparently more with the view of destroying than of carrying away. An alarm was sounded at midnight, and the men turned out in good time but nothing came of it.
The difficulty in crossing the river at its present stage prevented any attack being made on them, and the present condi[ti]on of affairs fully justifies all the criticisms that have been made on the folly of locating the public buildings on one side of the river that was known to be impasssble two or three times a year, and the garrison on the other. In the olden days when wars aud raids were common among the native tribes this difficulty was so well understood that the one in possession always concentrated his forces on one side or the other in the spring, which was usually the season for attacks.
SUNDAY, 5.—Josie Alexander arrived from Pitt at 2 o'clock this morning, bringing despatches and particulars of the massacre at Frog Lake referred to above. He left Pitt on Saturday morning[,] rode as far as Jackfish Creek and walked in the rest of the way—about twelve miles. It was reported at Pitt that the Lac la Biche Indians had risen, but this is probably of a piece with the other rumors of a simultaneous rising among the tribes.
The Industrial School stables were burned this morning.
During the burning of Mahaffy & Clinkshill's store a number of rockets, very much resembling military ones, were sent up from various points in the Eagle Hills and were hailed with joy as being thrown up by Herchmer; but time showed them to have been Indian signals.
MONDAY, 6.—John Longmore got in from Pitt this morning. He brings no news other than that the police intend to hold the fort as long as a man is left.
The Bremners and Sayers in the upper settlement refuse to come in, alleging that they are safer there than in barracks, but very anxious for news as to what is going on here.
Barrack square put in good shape, a large tent erected for use of women and children of Taylor settlement, and boards nailed on top of stockade to strengthen it.
All the captured cattle are being driven to Poundmaker's, where the grand stand is to be made. Large bodies of his men are patrolling between rivers to intercept messengers to and fro from Pitt.
The Indians in town paid another visit to the houses and stores—some of them for the first time.
Little Poplar, the greatest scoundral of them all, was near Pitt on Friday, with six lodges. He is on his way to join Big Bear. The general programme of the Indian campaign seems to be to invite parties to a conference, and then taking advantage of their defenseless condition to shoot them. It was tried at Duck Lake, and again at Pitt, and would have succeeded here but for the precipitancy with which the firing was begun before the whites had reached the river.
Reports from the settlement says that the goods of the fugitive settlers from the Saskatchewan side were being freighted over to the Battle River side, where the settlers are said to be in fully sympathy with Riel and the Indians. Whether true or not there appears to be a good understanding between them and Poundmaker.
This was one of the meanest days of the season; wind north-west with sleet and snow.
TUESDAY, 7.—Josie Alexander left for Pitt with despatches.
A man appeared at Wyld & Bourke's house this morning, but he could not be made to respond to the signals. In the evening a boat went over when he was found to be Joe Poitras, a despatch bearer from Prince Albert. He was snow-blind and could not see the signals or make out how to cross the river. He reports that at Prince Albert there is a complete organization of militia force awaiting the arrival of the promised reinforcements. Riel is said to be on south side of South Saskatchewan awaiting the arrival of General Middleton. Poitras when near Carlton, met a band of Sioux going to the north to be out of the way.
Josie Alexander returned early this morning, having been captured when about fifty miles west of this place by a band of Stonies on their way to Pitt, robbed off his despatches, gun, and other things, and sent home-
WEDNESDAY, 8.—Shortly after noon a partie of about a dozen mounted Indians and as many pack horses rid quickly along the hill towards Government house, calling at the various private houses, and then rode away from town, the people at barracks meantime looking very hard at them. Some hours later the Indians returned and taking a number of carts hastened to load them up from Government house and other places. Some of the stragglers along the flat having fired at our water carts the fire was returned and they were treated to some excellent shell practice. Some skirmisher took up their position along the river and a steady fire was exchanged between them and the Indians, with the loss, as established by the confession of some of themselves to their friends up the river, of three if not four of their number, one of them being credited to the cannon. To horses were also killed.
THURSDAY, 9.—A few Indians were seen at sunrise, but during the day all was quite, the determination evinced yesterday to get possession of carts being evidently preparatory to taking a long journey.
FRIDAY, 10.—Joe Poitras and Jas Atkinson left again for Prince Albert.
These frequent trips are rendered necessary owing to their being no telegraph to Prince Albert, and the impossibility of getting couriers at the nearer stations of Humboldt and Clarke's crossing.
Caswell and Brown, two telegraph repairers from Clarke's Crossing, came in, having put the line in order between these places. The news that they brought belongs to the realm of ancient history.
Antoine, a Hudson's Bay Company's despatch bearer, arrived from Prince Albert.
He brought news of the burning by the rebels of that portion of Fort Carlton which had escaped destruction at the time of its evacuation by the police. Riel says the time has now arrived when he must go to Montana to bring in the soldiers and the money he promised, but his followers doubt his sincerity and decline to let him go. Baptiste Primeau and Charles Nolin, two of his chief advisers, have deserted and gone to Prince Albert, preferring imprisonment there to responsibility of following Riel.
SATURDAY, 11.—Ice on main channel of Saskatchewan began to run, and river cleared out of ice.
Three stray horses were seen on south side. Party went over and brought them in, and found two of them belonged to Benj. Prince and one to J. M. Macfarlane. They had been run off by Indians and had returned to their old haunts.
John Scanlon was the first despatch bearer from Prince Albert to come by the South trail. H came around by the way of the Stony reserve. At the Point of Woods he saw several hundred Indians encamped on the swift current trail. They where mostly mounted but comparatively few well armed. It has been often said that it was the intention of the savages to go south and as soon as they had collected all the plunder to be had, and the gathering referred to is probably the first meeting at the rendezvous.
Telegrams received from Swift Current reported the departure of the long promised troops. People here becoming very impatient, more on account of the danger to Pitt than their own.
SUNDAY, 12.—Wm. Turner and D. Arcand got in from the pine woods. They had been working within five miles of the scene o the murders at Frog Lake until the day following that outrage when they went further up country, and did not hear of it until they reached here.
Several of the ministers in barracks preached to-day.
MONDAY, 13.—Robt. C. Macdonald, F. A. Smart, D. Ross, Joe Ayond, Henry Storer, and Jas. Bird arrived from Swift Current, having made the trip since the preceding Thursday. They travelled mostly at nights, avoiding trails for the last twenty-five miles, and saw no Indians. Mr. Macdonald brought in late Winnipeg papers, which were the only ones received in this settlement since the mail reached here on the 19th March. During our isolation things seem to have become very much in the outer world. Mr. Macdonald had to leave his freight and go back to Swift Current after he had reached the river, and on his return found that a party of Indians had broken into his loads scattering about what they did not take away. The papers show the greatest excitement in the East and a desire to hurry up troops; but in our present straits these efforts, great as they undoubtedly are, appear to be but slow.
Sergt. Geo. H. Harper and Josie Alexander left to meet Gen. Middleton at Clarke's Crossing, from which some hope was taken that something maybe done soon.
This is the week of fires. The wind was blowing strong from the north-west this morning and at an early hour fire was seen rising on the eastern horizon, and as the day advanced fires were started from place to place windward until a belt of fire more than twenty miles in length enclosed us on the north [During the week following a house was burned almost every day in some quarter or another, showing that the marauding bands are constantly on the move.]
Battle river fell rapidly and cable for scow put up.
TUESDAY, 14.—A party went to Prince's farm, ten miles Saskatchewan for bay. They found the Indians had already raided the house, as usual destroying what they could not carry away; but they showed considerable discreation in carrying off twenty bushels of nicely cleaned seed wheat. They saw some tents on north side but no Indians on that trail.
A line of earthwork was thrown up along the inside of the stockade, reducing to a minimum the chances of a successful attack.
WEDNESDAY, 15.—Fires seen to the west.
Two Indians where reported near the Roman Catholic Church. A party was sent in search of them, and shortly afterwards the two braves were seen crossing the north channel of the Saskatchewan on a cartwheel.
Nothing of interest transpired from this date to Sunday, except that Jas. Bird set out for Pitt with despatches, and a party of police—Bagley, Storer, Hines and Potter made a scouting trip to Poundmaker's and got back all right. On Sunday Sergt. Harper and Josie Alexander came in with letters from Gen. Middleton. These show that no troops are to be sent from his command until he has got through with the Duck Lake country.
Poundmaker says he can see troops farther than they can see him, as he has the best field-glass in the country. It was given him by commissioner Dewdney.
A search in the neighborhood of the Halfbreed camp gathered in a little time ago resulted in the finding of thirty sacks of flour, several chests of tea and a quantity of other goods.
Mr. Applegarth, farming instructor to the Cree at Eagle Hills, Mrs. Applegarth and her sister, and Mr. Cunningham, schoolmaster, succeeded in harnessing his horses and escaping and reached Swift Current, notwithstanding that they were followed by Indians for forty miles.
In the world but scarcely of the world, for we have had no mail for nearly a month, and cannot say when we will have another. The only papers received were some brought in from Swift Current by Robert Macdonald ten days ago, and some brought from Gen. Middleton's camp by Sergeant Harper on Sunday.
F. N. Gisborne, Superintendend of Government Telegraphs, is now in the country making arrangements to build a line between either Medicine Hat or Calgary and Macleod. He has taken the material intended for use on the line from this place to Pitt, and has telegraphed to England for other plant to replace it.
Amongst the things found in the Halfbreed camp recently raided was the leather cover of Major Crozier's dressing-case, in which were Const. Montgomery's brush and some other articles of police outfit. As these parties are with the detachment at Carlton it would seem to prove that some one from that place had been here between the time of the fight with Riel and the uprising of our Indians.
The circumstances bring forth the man; and the man for the telegraph service has proved to be Mr. Malloy, telegraph operator at Clarke's Crossing, who under peculiarly trying circumstances has stuck to his post through all the difficulties and dangers of the spring. To liove in a place that has a name but only two houses, and with neighbors few and very far between, is by no means a sinecure, especially where there [is] danger of a visit from hostile Indians.
Riel's advice to the Indians, that the way to become better off was to kill all the farming instructors and agents savo[red?] a good deal of the dynamite policy. They have acted on it in every instance that they could. They have destroyed the goose that laid the golden egg; but the hand of justice must not be stayed even if they come in and disclaim any intention of wrong doing, or ask for revision of treaties. [The?] treaties are destroyed and nothing short [of] punishment will satisfy the demands of justice.
The present season is the earliest and most favorable for early seeding that has occurred since the foundation of the settlement, and the preparations for [see]ding on a large scale were greater than ever before. It is therefore impossible to overestimate the loss involved in the blasting of the hopes of the settlers wrought by the dr[aini]ng off of their stock, the destruction of their seed, and the loss of the season. To ta[lk o]f effecting a settlement with the bloodthirsty authors of the prevailing suffering [is?] to add insult to injury; and the man w[ho] dares to propose it will meet with the [sco?]rn and contempt of the world.
One short month ago the fairest field in Canada was the Saskatchewan country; to-day it is the most desolate. And brightest and most prosperous in all her settlements was the Battle River Valley, whose sons hailed the opening of spring with joy and thankfulness, rejoicing in the prospect of the coming year, impatient to begin with the labors that were to bring them their reward. But in one brief day their hopes were blasted;instead of being the masters of peaceful and happy homes they were at one blow bereft of everything but manhood—reduced from a condition of plenty to one of absolute penury; houseless, homeless and penniless.
Blood stains the soil, and the air is thick with the smoke of desolation. Nearly a score of our citizens have been slain without a moment's warning by ingrates whose interests they guarded as carefully as they did their own, and whose hands were daily opened in charity to the men they looked upon as unfortunate and to be pitied. In the town itself, or that part of it lying south of the Battle River, there is only enough left to remind the sufferers of their once comfortable homes, and to recall the fact that many things of peculiar value are irretrievable lost and can never be replaced.
Their crime was that they were white: the penalty imposed was death.
Of all the fair farms that covered the land but few remain—some of these lie under the guns of the fort, while the others are held by men in alliance with the Indians; for on no other grounds can their owners hope for exemption from the universal ruin. With the exception of these there is not a home that has not been raided, scarcely a house that has not been burned.
It has always been the boast of this district that taking their numbers all through their horses and cattle were better bred than in any other district on the Saskatchewan; the people were generally well off, and made improved stock a specialty in their system of farming; but to-day they are not owners of a hoof. They are afoot and the marauders mounted; their dairies are bare while their herds are being ruthlessly slaughtered by the thieves. The work of extermination has begun, evidently without a thought for the morrow.
And yet in the face of these awful facts—in spite of the ruin wrought upon an industrious people—men are to be found and some of them in high positions, who characterize these crimes as a "mistake," and suggest that their perpetrators come in and acknowledge it, make new promises as to the future, and resume their old position as petted and pampered wards of the crown.
It is too late for any such suggestions. The Government and the people of Canada have been deceived as to the civilization of these wild tribes. They have shown themselves incapable of gratitude; their apparent tractability was cunning: their civilization but a cloak to hide their hellish plans. They have thrown down the gauntlet, and now that it has been taken up the issue must be pressed until the fullest justice has been done.
But while punishment must be meted out to the Indians what shall we say to those white men and nominally civilized Halfbreeds who have instigated this rising? On them rests a fearful responsibility, and on them the penalty must lie. Those who, knowing better, incited to these murders and devastations, put themselves on a level with the savages in all save their animal courage, and [so] their light was greater so must their punishment be exemplary.
The work w[ill] not be done in a day, but it must be done [th]oroughly, and we have confidence that the people of Canada who have so long ungrudgingly given the vast sum of money spent feeding the Indians while apparently seeing down to a new mode of life, will, now that the feeding scheme has proved a failure, cheerfully give whatever men and money may be required to fight them, and reestablish peace and order on such foundations as shall not again be shaken.
Since the e[?]ve was in type we have had such news from Pitt as almost forbids the hope that any of that gallant band of fifty souls, including many women and children, kept in the fort in the midst of hostile hordes of savages while the party promised for their return three weeks ago was to all appearance aimlessly kept rushing up and down the railway track. There is a fearful responsibility somewhere, and those that should bear it need not hope to escape the vengeance of an outraged people.
It was long ago said to be inevitable, owing to the disappearance of the buffalo from the plains, that the Government must either feed the Indians or fight them, and it decided to accept the former alternative. Aside from all notion s of economy, it was prompted from a feeling of kindliness and sympathy; but an experience of this year proves it to have been a mistake. In spite of a lavish expenditure of money, and a faithful desire on the part of the Government to put them in a position to be selfsustaining, no matter at what cost to the country, the Indians have proved themselves to be fully as savage and unreasonable as they were before the attempt to civilize them was made. Untamed and untamable they turn on the hand that fed them with a blind fatuity that seems to say Providence has decreed their disappearance and that they should give place to another race, just as the buffalo of the past have given place to domestic cattle. They have, in the wildest and most unprovoked manner, and with circumstances of the basest treachery, begun a was of desolation such as has never been equalled in the history of Canada, and having declared that they prefer fighting to being fed, the country must accept the challenge and follow up the war until the miserable wretches shall be placed beyond the power of doing any further harm.
The petted Indians are the bad ones. The Stonies have been treated as being of a superior race, and are the first to shed the blood o their benefactors. Poundmaker has been petted and feted, and stands in the front rank as a raider. Little Pine, bribed to come north and kept in comfort, hastens to the carnage. Big Bear, who has for years enjoyed the privilege of eating of the bread of idleness, shows his gratitude by killing his priests and his best friend in cold blood. Little Poplar, a non-treaty Indian has been liberally supplied with provisions and other necessaries and thus enabled to spend all his time in travelling up and down the land plotting mischief and preparing for this season's carnival of ruin. The petted Indians have proved the bad ones, and this gives weight to the old adage that the only good Indians are the dead ones.
The officer who first organizes and puts in the field a company of scouts composed of men selected from this district will have one that will not take a second place to any that can be got together in all that makes such a body effective. With a thorough knowledge of the country and the haunts of the Indians, they excel in the use of the rifle and the management of horses, accustomed to roughing it on the plains, and laughing at difficulties that would break down other men, they can "rustle" for themselves and may be depended on to do good service.
Edmonton, Macleod and Calgary are being heavy garrisoned as a preventive measure, and there seems to be less difficulty in getting troops to those places than to the others at which there is equal if not greater need, and where the work is already cut out for them to do. Lieut.-Col. Strange is in command at Edmonton and Major James Walker second.
If the gentlemen in Winnipeg doubt the truth of the statement that there is trouble with the Indians here, and refuse to believe the reports of men who tell what they see because they are not in accord with official wishes, they had better come up and and learn for themselves. It is pleasant travelling before the rainy season sets in.
Poundmaker is ready to effect a settlement with the Government. The murders and depredations that have brought sorrow to so many homes are in his eyes but trifling matters compared with securing from a deluded Government a few more advantages for himself. The people of this country, and we believe of the older Provinces, will resent every treatment of this question otherwise than by the rule of even-handed justice.
Ten years of earnest missionary labor amongst the Indians of the Pitt district, supposed to have been previously civilzed, had so little impression upon them that with the mere brute instinct of destruction they began their work of unprovoked murder upon Rev. Father Fafard—a man who had spent the best years of his life and sacrificed his means in trying to secure their spiritual and temporal good. They are as untameable as hyenas and must be treated as such.
The industrial school is closed for repairs. With one exception the pupils have finished their education and gone with the crowd.
A couple of the Hudson's Bay Company's warehouses and Judge Rouleau's house were burnt Thursday evening.
Arrived at LastEdit
On Thursday evening Cons. Ross of this place arrived at the bridge, with the gratifying intelligence that the promised troops had at last come in and would camp on the south side of the Battle River that night.
The force is commanded by Col. Otter, and is composed of the Queen's Own Regiment from Toronto, 250 strong, under Col. Miller; C Company Toronto Infantry School, 48 men, under Capt. Sears; Ottawa Foot Guards (sharpshooters) 50 men, under Capt. Todd; Mounted Police, 46 men, under Col. Herchmer; and B Battery (Kingston) under Major Short. The Battery brings two nine-pounders and one gattling gun.
Col. Herchmer will make an advance on Poundmakers reserve on Saturday. The Queens own will garrison the barracks.
Fort Pitt Fallen.Edit
On Monday noon two scouts came in from Pitt bringing the melancholy news of its destruction and the probable slaughter of all who were within its walls.
The story is, that when they arrived opposite the fort at night everything was dark, and that in the morning they saw that it was abandoned and that all the doors and windows in the building were broken.
Little Poplar with two lodges was along side the fort and entered into conversation with the scouts. He told them that he had persuaded the police and others to make their escape, as otherwise they would be killed, and acting on his advice they had gone down the river on a raft.
Little Poplar said that he had saved the lives of the people but was otherwise not very communicative.
Malcolm Macdonald, at one time interpreter to the force, was also there, but declined to accompany them in, as he said he was a prisoner—on what account or by whom held he did not say. He also was very reticent.
The fall of this place is a terrible calamity, as iot involves the rate of nearly fifty people; for taking everything into account there is but little hope of their escape or rescue. Even if they did emark on a raft under the safe-conduct of a chief, it by no means follows that they would be allowed to escape with their lives. The opportunity of killing a lot of defenseless as they ran down the narrow places in the river without endangering themselves is one that perpetrators of the cold blooded atrocities at Frog Lake would not allow to pass.
That the fugitives have not been able to make good their escape is apparent, as they should have been here a day or two ago, the run by the river not usually taking more than two or three days.
A party of police returned on Tuesday evening from a ride up Saskatchewan which they had taken to learn tidings of the police said to be on a boat.
They reported to have found them at a point fourty-five miles up the river, working their way down. Their course had been impeded by floating ice or they would have been here sooner.
Inspector Dickens, in command, gave the following account of the affair that led to the evacuation of Pitt.
On Wednesday last, 15th inst., Big Bear and his followers arrived from Frog Lake and camped in the vicinity of the fort. A council was held at which its capture was discussed, when a division arose as to whether or not it should be attempted. While this was going on some of the party placed themselves in ambush on the hill at the base of which the fort lies, and fired on the pickets as they where making their rounds, killing Const. Cowan of Ottawa and wounding Const. Lousby of Halifax. The latter's horse was killed under him, but that of the former ran off.
The garrison rallied to the rescue of their comrades and after a sharp condict drove them back, killing four and wounding many more. Meantime Mr. McLean, Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, went to the camp to have a talk with the chiefs. Here he was made a prisoner, and it being then decided that the fort should be taken, wich meant death to all within its walls, he was given the alternative of bringing all his people to the Indian camp, where their lives would be spared or of being himself killed—the object being to leave the police alone to hold the position. This he consented to do, and accordingly sent a letter setting forth the situation, and all the company's people, and other civilians surrendered.
A demand was then made on the police to give up their arms and be dealt with as Big Bear would afterwards see fit. This overture was scornfully rejected by Inspector Dickens, who told the messenger that he would hold the fort as long as there was a man left to hold a gun. In the discussion which followed the receipt of this defiance Little Poplar took the cautions side, assuring his friends that the police were desperate and would offer such a resistance to any attacks that might be made that their capture, of which he would not admit a doubt, would cost so many of his own people's lives that it would be too dear a victory. Looking at it from this standpoint it was decided to let them go wherever they pleased if they would surrender the fort. This offer Inspector Dickens accepted, but in doing so he was not sure of ultimate safety, as it was understood there that Battleford, Prince Albert and Edmonton had all been burned, and while doubting it they had no assurance that it was not true.
Left thus to themselves the gallant poarty put their arms, ammunition and a supply of provisions on a boat and set out for Battleford, and where allowed to depart unmolested.
The magnamanity displayed by Little Poplar, and the credit he was for a short time accorded as being opposed to bloodshed becomes cowardice and self interest when we look at the motive that implied him to act as he did. It was not that he liked the police but that he was affraid of the slaughter they would make amongst his braves before they could capture the fort.
Latest, and Official.Edit
The following letter from factor W. J. McLean, Hudson's Bay Company, explains itself:
Top Of The Hill, Fort Pitt, April 15—2 p-m.
My Dear Wife—Most unfortunately I have been too confiding in the Indians and have come into camp; and after I had a long talk with them and they had spoke at length with me they would not have it any other way than that the police should and must go away at once, and I was speaking with a view at the same time at gaining time for the three men that are gone. They, the scouts, came on the main road and met some young fellows who fired on them, or they fired on the scouts, and the whole camp was after them in a minute. I thought the Indians were aware of the three men who were out and said nothing about them. Had I spoken perhaps things would have been different. They now, in the excitement, have made me a prisoner and made me swear by Almighty God that I would stay with them.
Alas, that I came into camp at all; for God only knows how things will go now. They want you and the children to go into camp and it may be for the best that you should, for heaven only knows how this will end. If the police force in the fort cannot get off the Indians are sure to attack it—so they say—and will burn it down. I am really a at loss what to sugest for the best. For the time being we might be save with the Indians, but hereafter it is hard to say, for provisions will be scarce after a short time and we may suffer in that way. The chiefs and councillors sayx they will let me go down the Beaver River with my family, and if so we would be all right. Stanley must come also,and every one belonging to the company. They say Malcolm and Hodson [servants—Ed.] are also wanted. I will write you again after I hear what Mr. Dickens says about allowing you all to come out. I believe candidly it is the best that you should come, as the Indians are determined to burn the fort if the police do not leave. They have brought coal oil with them for that purpose, and I fear they will succeed in setting the place on fire. Beyond a doubt the Indinas promise that after you all come out they will go off and give the police time to get away before they come to see the fort again. The Indians whish you to bring all your things at once. We must do all we can to get out before dark and move out so as to give Capt. Dickens a chance to get off with his men. They tell to bring everything I can with me. May God bless and guide you all for the best.
[The remainder of the letter is devoted to personal and private matters.]
W. J. McLean.
On receipt of Mr. McLean's letter, his family and the company's servants made preparations to join him. The position of the police being now very precarious a retreat was ordered. There was but little time for preparation; ammunition and provisions were placed in the scow, and with their wounded comrade Loasby in the midst, the police marched down to the lading place; the scow was launched but nearly filled with water, and it seemed at one time as it would be impossible to cross the river. There ensued a short period of dreadful suspense, as every one expected that the Indians would take advantage of the accident and attack; but Big Bear kept his word, and at last, under the guidance of Cons. Rutledge, who ably managed the boat, the opposite shore was reached. The night was stormy and very cold. When day broke another start was made; ice was floating down the river, and navigation was very difficult. By dint of hard work, however, Pine Tree Island was reached Sunday evening. A halt was made on Monday to refit; a good run was made on Tuesday, when the travellers had the pleasure of seeing Cons. Hines and guide Josie. On Wednesday the police reached Battleford, bringing with them arms and ammunition.
The prisoners number nearly fouty of all ages, and include Rev. Charles Quinney and wife and Instructor Mann, wife and family.
We have to-day to add one more to the list of casualties in the unrighteous and unprovoked uprising that is now spreading ruin and desolation over our land. Frank A. Smart, one of our bravest and best citizens, last night rode out on a self-imposed duty as night patrol, and to-day lies in the quit of the grave, treacherously shot from behind by a lurking foe.
Mr. Smart, in company with several others, served as a night patrol, whose duty lay in scouring the country lying around the barracks. Three of these patrols rode together so far as Harry Parker's house, at the western limit of the town, where they parted—one returning towards the barracks while Mr. Smart and policeman White rode in a south-westerly direction towards Battle River. When about three miles from the barracks and before any signs of danger were observed, a number of shots where fired at the horsemen by some Indians who had lain upon the ground, evidently awaiting the coming of a patrol or some solitary scout. One of the shots passed through Mr Smart's shoulderblade and travelling upwards came out of the mouth, cutting the jugular vein in its course and causing instant paralysis if not death. His horse was also hit and started on the run, he apparently holding on the pommel of the saddle, but after it had run a couple of hundred yards or so he fell off, and although spoken to by his comrade made no answer. White immediately turned to barracks and gave the alarm, when a waggon and a strong guard were sent out to bring the body. We will not attempt to describe the pain and grief that found expression in the camp when the remains of the young hero where brought in; nor the depth of the vows of vengeance that were recorded in the event of an opportunity arising.
Just after leaving Parker's house a parcel was seen opn the plains and on examination it turned out to be a parcel of shot-gun cartridges, a watch, and other things stolen from the building and tied up in a portion of one of his shirts, the whole being neatly done up in the usual Indian-pack style. It is the theory that the thief had seen the picket approaching and run for it, and their course following the route of the horsemen, and finding or fancying themselves closely pursued, had thrown themselves down to escape observation and seized the opportunity of firing at the pickets as they passed.
The funeral took place with military honors on Thursday afternoon, thebody being temporarily interred near that of Barney Fremont's. Colonel Morris paid the following well merited tribute to the character of deceased in the following general order:
GENERAL ORDERS.—April 23.
In the death of Mr. Frank A. Smart, who was killed by an Indian last night while out on picket duty, the Commanding Officer is most anxious of placing on record his opinion of his sterling worth and of the invaluable service rendered by this gentleman in direction of protecting the women and children assembled at the barracks, and at the same time most respectfully tenders to his bereved widow his heartfelt sympathy in this her hour of trial and sorrow.
As a mark of respect to the deceased gentleman a firing party will attend the remains to their last resting place.
W. S. Moris
AFFAIRS ON THE EASTERN DISTRICT
The following exctracts of the letters of our correspondent with the Carlton and Prince Albert contingent will still be read with interest as forming part of the history of the rebellion. We regret that circumstances prevented the publication of all his letters in full.
Carlton, March 26.
It is with a heavy heart that I take up my pen this evening to record the doings of this most eventful day of the year, as least to us who reside in the North-West. Eleven men who were in this morning in the full enjoyment of health and vigor have to-night crossed that bourne whence no traveller returneth, yielding up their lives in defence of their homes and constitutional government, while several more are languishing on beds of pain. Little did any of us think as we drove out of Fort Carlton this morning amidst the hearty cheers of our comrades who were not permitted to accompany us, that the cold hand of death would be laid upon any of us ere the sun had set. Prince Albert suffered the most severely, ten men being reported dead and missing at roll-call—most of them of the cream of the town, and men who could ill be spared either in peace or war, while the police only had one man killed in the field although a number of them were hard hit. But it must be chronological to be intelligible.
As I wrote yesterday the police went over last night to Kelly's at Duck Lake for some oats and returned unmolested, but from information collected by scouts it was considered advisable to exercise a little more caution in the event of a future trip. As it was necessary to get some more oats, eight teams were sent out this morning with ten police in addition to the teamsters, and four mounted men in advance as scouts. When within about two miles of Mitchell's store Consts. Waite and Jamieson (late of the Black Watch, Ashantee war), were surrounded by a number of Beardy's Indians, who were armed and talked in a threatening manner, and also made several attempts to seize their bridles. No attempt was made to fire upon the police as they fell back upon the sleighs, but the same tactics were resorted to as were notices at Poundmaker's last summer, that is, attempting to provoke the red-coats to fire the first shot.
When the party had retracted their steps to Carlton, Major Crozier called for fifty men to go out as additional escort, police and civilians each being allowed to send twenty-five men, in addition to the 7-pounder gun, with a gun detachment under Inspector Howie, with Sergt. Smart (An old "A" Battery man) as Number One.
The drive out was uneventful until the same point had been reached where the morning's encounter had taken place, when the alarm was given by the advance guard that the rebels were in front in considerable numbers. As the police came over the crest of a hill the rebels were seen on the next to the number of nearly four hundred. Their immediately divided, gallopping off to right and left, taking cover in the dense brush to the right and behind a sharp hill to the left, the men on foot acting in a similar manner only keeping nearer to the trail. Two men came down the trail waving a white handkerchief, and Major Crozier and Joseph McKay, interpreter and guide for the force, went forward to parley with them. "Who are you?" the Major demanded through the interpreter. "Crees and Half-Breeds," the spokesman replied; adding "what do you want?" "Nothing," the Major answered; "we only came to see what was wrong. You had better go back," he added; whereupon the Indian snatched for McKay's revolver, which appeared to be the signal agreed upon, as at the same instant several shots were fired by the rebels from behind the hill. Major Crozier at once gave the command to fire and the battle commenced, the police covering themselves behind the sleighs which had been drawn up in line across the road. Without moving from the spot where the parley had taken place Jos. McKay emptied the six barrels of his revolver, dropping two fellows who were endeavoring to draw a bead at him at short range. The civilians deployed to the right and took shelter behind a fence and in a bluff which at this point ran close to the former, but unfortunately they ran into an ambush, for in an angle of the fence, out of the line of fire from our forces, stood a couple of buildings which were garrisoned by the enemy, who deliberately picked off the men in the edge of the bluff one after another. The attack was so unexpected on the part of the police that they had no choice of position, and in fact it is now evident that the mornings affray was a cleverly arranged decoy, for they had already selected the scene of battle and had already arranged down to the minutest detail, even the flag of truce being a part of the programme, as while the parley was going on the Half-breeds were enabled to place themselves under cover and to cross the opening between the bluffs. The big gun was brought into action and a shrapnel shell discharged at the point where the firing was the fiercest. The fuse was admirably timed and the shell burst a little above and in front of the rebel forces, scattering death and destruction all around. In the meantime a continuous fusilade had been kept up from the Winchesters and Sniders and the Half-breed rifles were silenced for some minutes, a fact which elicited hearty cheers from our men. Round after round was fired from the big gun, while volleys peeled forth from the little ones, but the Half-breeds and Indians who were ambushed in the buildings in the right and in the bluffs on the left poured in such a deathly flank fire that it was realized that in order to dislodge them from the position they held would cost too many valuable lives, and it was decided to retire. A number of civilians had already been brought down, while Con. Gibson had dropped dead with a bullet through his breast while passing ammunition to the big gun, and several police had already been wounded. The horses were brought up and hooked in, several horses and men going under during the operation. I was talking to Capt. Moore as we were about climbing into one of the sleighs, when he exclaimed, "I'm hit in the leg," and fell with the bone shattered.
The wounded were gathered up and put in sleighs, as was also poor Gibson's body, but the bodies of the civilians were so close to the house garrisoned by the rebels that it were foolhardiness to attempt to bring them in.
The special police from Prince Albert suffered terribly, as out of the detachment that went into the bluff ten were killed and three wounded.
Poor Elliott: he helped Campbell to place A. W. R. Markley, the insurance agent, in a sleigh and a few minutes after fell dead with two bullets in him. He was rising young barrister, and was a son of judge Elliott, of London, Ont.
Wm. Napier, barrister, Edinburgh, Scotland, and cousin of D. H. Macdowell: Robt. Middleton, hotel keeper; Dan McPhail of McPhail Bros.; Alex. Fisher, a young Englishman living near Duck Lake; Capt. Morton, a retired officer of the Irish Militia, and Jos. Anderson, a Half-breed teamster, are among the killed.
Among the wounded civilians are Capt. Moore, with a broken leg: A. W. R. Markley, flesh wound in the stomach; and A. McNabb, C. E., brother in law of Col. Sproat and a son of "The McNabb," flesh wound in the arm. Alex. S. Steward, a son of James Steward, of Winnipeg, had a narrow escape, the bullet penetrating his vest on one side and passing out on the other, ploughing a strip of skin the whole way across his chest.
Among the police the men who were hurt are more seriously injured. Major Crozier had his cheek cut by a stray bullet, while Inspector Howie received a bullet in the fleshy part of the calf of his leg, narrowly missing the artery. Cons. Harold received four bullet wounds—one in the groin, one through the chest, one through the neck, and a scalp wound. It is doubtful whether he will recover, although he has such a powerful constitution that he may pull through, as it is to be hoped he will, as he was a plucky man, firing two shots after he had received his first wound. He has been a cowboy in Texas and can already show four bullet wounds in different parts of his body. A. E. Manners-Smith, a young Englishman well known in Winnipeg and Brandon, is shot through the left breast, the bullet just grazing the lung.
J. J. Wood, from Nottingham, England, is shot through the fleshy part of the arm; while Corp. Gilchrist, an old Red River Expedition, and Third Expedition man, and who at one time belonged to A. Battery, had one leg broken.
Sydney Gordon, of Kingston, had a bullet pass through both legs but is only slightly injured.
A. Miller had the top of his head grazed by a bullet, and another cut his cheek in passing, and David Scott his thigh, the skin only being broken in both instances.
Const. McMillan was struck and was at first thought to be seriously wounded, but an examination proved to be only a spent bullet which knocked him senseless and left a large bruize.
Dr. Miller's live was saved by his case of instruments, the bullet refusing to penetrate it.
When poor Arnold fell, he said, "Tell the boys I died game;" while Gilchrist's request was for the boys to take him home and not let the black devils get his hair; and Napiers dying words were "write to my father."
Too much praise cannot be accorded the police, both regulars and specials, for the pluck and nerve exhibited by them under the galling fire of the rebels, not a solitary man flinching from duty, and when it is considered that perhaps not ten men in the hundred had ever been under fire before it is worthy of more than passing notice. The utmost coolness was displayed by officers and men and comparatively little ammunition was wasted. When it is considered that the percentage of killed and wounded was so great—greater even than the loss of the British in any of the recent engagements in the Soudan—it is indeed marvellous that the men, or boys as indeed many of them were, succeeded in keeping their heads so well. And this affords still another proof of the indomitable pluck of the Britisher.
Two of the police horses were killed, Prince and Diogenes, both belonging to Battleford post; and J. B., an old horse that has been at nearly every post, had to abandoned with a broken leg. Several others were wouded but were brought home, among them Brian and Brag, of the Battleford detachment. Cons. Ford's horse had five bullets in him, notwithstanding which he succeeded in bringing his rider home.
Shortly after we got home Commissioner Irvine arrived with ninety-five police, including Inspectors White-Frazer, Saunders and Drayner, and twenty-eight additional specials from Prince Albert, bringing our force up to three hundred men. It is rumored that nothing further will be done until the arrival of the reinforcements from Winnipeg, which is indeed the wisest course, as the rebels have possessing of the part of the country surrounding Duck Lake, which is admirably adapted for guerilla warfare such as comes natural to the natives.
We have been repeatedly told that they were poorly armed—mainly with muzzle-loading shot guns—but the rapidity of the firing and the sharp cracking of the reports gave indisputable proof that there were numerous Winchesters and Sharps at work, and plenty of ammunitions to back them up.
March 27—9 a.m.
Poor Arnold died at 1.30 in the morning, brave to the last. The others are doing well under the care of Dr. Miller, assisted by Hospital Sergeant Braithwaite, who came in with the reinforcements, and Hospital Orderly Roberts.
Naturally there is a gloom through the barracks to-day, but the prevailing sentiment is a desire to be revenged.
The following is a list of the police in the action:
Supt. L. N. F. Crozier, cheek cut.
Sergt.-Major F. G. Dann.
Sergts. Wm. O. Brookes. A. Steward, J. Pringle.
Corps. Gilchrist (leg broken), F. Fowler, J. Collins, H. J. A. Davison.
Consts. Arnold (died of wounds), T. H. Hoyland, A. Murray, Perkins, David Scott, T. H. Cochrane, A. E. Dunn, H. Desbarres, W. Nunn, R. Dousley, T. C. Fleming, A. Macdonald, A. E. G. Montgomery, A. Miller (wounded), A. E. Manners-Smith (wounded), T. Redmont, G. K. Garrett (wounded), O. Worthington, W. D. Macpherson, John Street, Wm. Smyth, H. Hammond, T. C. Craigie, R. F. Jamieson, Mountain W. Jackson, W. W. Lunnin.
Trumpeter—W. T. Halbhaus.
Gun Detachment—Insp. Howe (wounded); Sergt. W. C. Smart, Corp. C. Chassi, Costs. F. J. Gribble, J. Edwards, E. W. Todd, L. Fontaine, E. Morrow, F. Gartone, A. H. Woodman, T. Gibson (killed).
PRINCE ALBERT VOLUNTEERS.Edit
Capt. Moore, Prince Albert, wounded.
Lieut. Morton, formerly Captain in Irish Volunteers—killed.
Sergt.-Major Powers, London, Ont., ex-mounted policeman.
Sergt. A. McNabb, C.E., brother-in-law of Col. Sproat, well known in Winnipeg—wounded.
Sergt. Justus Wilson, son of late Dr. Wilson, St. Mary's.
Wm. Napier, Scotland cousin of Capt. MacDowall—killed.
W. C. Ramsay, Arnprior, Ont., ex-policeman.
W. Bakie, Orkney, an old H. B. Company man—killed.
James Brown, Hesdingley—a prisoner of 1869.
C. Byrnes, Ireland.
R. Burns, Toronto; also well known in Winnipeg.
Wm. Drain and H. Nelson, Peterborough.
Wm. Dixon, Prince Albert.
S. C. Elliott, lawyer, son of Judge Elliott—London, killed.
C. Gaveen, brother-in-law of Capt. Moore.
C. Hamilton, St. John, N.B.
W. T. Haslam, Prince Edward Island.
D. Linklater, native, the well-known foot-racer.
A. W. R. Markley, well known in Manitoba—wounded.
R. Middleton, Co.-Middlesex, Ont., brother of Frank Middleton, C. P. R. Engineer—killed.
R. McGinn, Montreal and Edmmonton, and First Expedition.
Thomas McKay, J. P., Prince Albert.
Daniel McKenzie, Prince Edward Island. Has friends in Prince Albert—killed.
Daniel McPhail, of McPhail Bros., Prince Albert—killed.
C. Newitt, England; has a brother in Carrot River and another in Manitoba—wounded.
John Weymeskirch, Prince Albert, ex-policeman.
R. W. Tompkins, telegraph operator, Duck Lake.
J. Anderson, native—killed.
William Laurie, Battleford.
Henry Kelly, Duck Lake, First Expedition.
James Mack, of Mack & Co., Prince Albert.
Alex. S. Steward, formerly of Winnipeg, wounded.
Alex. Fisher, England—killed.
Hilliard Mitchell, Duck Lake.
Wm. J. Barker, of Knox & Barker, Prince Albert.
John Paul, Duck Lake.
PRINCE ALBERT, March, 30.
My last letter left Carlton on the morning of Friday, 27th, the day after the engagement at Duck Lake. After supper orders were given to the men to hold themselves in readiness to move at a moment's notice, an order which had been momentarily expected all afternoon, it being an open secret that Carlton was to be evacuated. Sleighs were loaded with flour and oats as heavily as they could carry, and the balance of the flour which could not be taken away, about five hundred sacks, were ripped open and scattered on the ground and mixed with manure, or sprinkled with coal oil.The teams were hitched up about midnight and stood ready to start at a moment's notice, while the work of destruction went on. Shortly after two o'clock a bright light was seen in the Sergeant-Major's quarters, which were in the building over the gate, which proved to be on fire. Some hay thrown out of a mattress which was being prepared for the transport of one of the wounded men having been ignited from the stovepipe, the alarm was once given and vigorous attempts made to extinguish the flames, Const. Baugh being severely burned about the face, The out building being old and constructed of spruce logs the flames spread rapidly. The wounded were in the next room to that in which the fire originated, and attention had been turned to rescuing them. When the first man mounted the stair he met Manners-Smith who was shot through the breast, coming down the stairs without assistance. When he offered to help Smith, the latter replied, "Oh I am all right, go and help Gilchrist." The wounded were saved and a number of the teams driven through the gates while a squad tore a passage through the cordwood barricade, by which the other teams escaped. In the excitement nearly one half of the blankets and kit-bags was left lying on the square, not having been loaded up when the fire broke out.
The road was taken about 4 a.m. on Saturday, and Prince Albert was reached about 4 p.m. without any mishap, where the party was received with loud cheers from the people. The citizens had build a cordwood barricade about the Presbyterian church and manse—two brick buildings—and all the spare provisions were gathered in a temporary barrack built for the women and children.
About 8 o'clock in the evening a mounted man galloped through the town shouting "They come! They come!" and at once he church bell pealed out an alarm and every thing was bustle and confusion, men shouting, women running, children screaming, and dogs barking. After an hour or so it was found to be a false alarm, as the patrol had brought in word that the heard the Indians were killing cattle about twenty miles up the river, and it turned out the next day that they were some of the Prince Albert Sioux who went to the Pocha settlement to ask the English Half-breeds as to the course they should pursue during the trouble.
One of the first men we met when we arrived was Charles Nolin, who said he made his escape shortly after the fight commenced.
I have been shown a letter written by one of the prisoner's, Harold Ross, at the request of Riel, asking a medical man to come over to tend the wounded and endorsed by Ph. Garnot, Secretary of the Council, giving the assurance of Riel and Council that he would be protected.
Thos Sanderson, Wm. Miller, T. E. Jackson and Wm. Drain went up to Duck Lake yesterday for the dead bodies, and returned to-day with nine bodies and the wounded man, Newitt, who was given up. Newitt had his knee-cap shattered by a bullet and had his hands bruized in protecting his head from the butt of an Indians rifle. D. McPhail had been shot again, the gun being held so close to his face as to burn his whiskers off.
The Mounted Police, two companies of Volunteers and a company of scouts have been grouped temporarily as a brigade; two transportation corps have been formed of the police. Col. Irvine commands, with Col. Sproat as Staff-Officer, Hayter Reed Brigade Major, Lawrence Clark as Supply Officer, Supt. Gagnon Quartermaster, Sergt.-Major Dann of "D" Troop as Regimental Sergt.-Major.
The town is practically under martial law. Newitt says Riel went into the fight unarmed, but rode about wearing a cruzifix. He says he is above the pope and is to combine Church and State.
Riel says the police discovered his men before he intended. He had two hundred men ambushed on each side of the trail and intended to open on them when they were in between the two fires, but they perceived some of his men who were not under cover and halted before they fell into the trap. But for this it would have been another Custer affair.
The men who went for the bodies were covered with twenty rifles and searched to see if they were armed, and it is fortunate they were all civilians or they would not have been allowed to return. Riel regrets that he was not able to find any dead police on the field, and if any police fall into his hands they may prepare for a most terrible fate.
The dead men were buried this afternoon, being followed to the church road by a detachment of mounted police under command of Inspector White-Frazer, Captain Hoey's company of volunteers, Captain Young's company, Captain Thos. McKay's scouts and St. Andrew's society and a large concourse of friends, the cortége being nearly a mile in length.
The enrolled militia consists of a company of forty-seven men officered as follows:
Captain—E. A. Nash.
1st Lieutenant—Fred. Merigold.
2nd Lieutenant—L. C. Baker.
Quartermaster and Paymaster—Hartley Gisborne.
Drill Instructor—Sergt. Chas. Smith, late Sergeant Instructor of the Glasgow Highlanders.
This company is run on military principles, and besides doing daily drill takes a share of garrison duty. The proficiency in drill which these men have attained in the short time since their enrollment reflects the highest credit on the industry and ability of the men and the energy of the officers.
The "Home Guards" consists of the citizens and settlers whom circumstances have forced into the barracks. They are exempt from drill, but do a full share of guard and other duty, and are always on hand when any real work is to be done. The officers are :
1st Lieutenant—W. H. Smart.
2nd Lieutenant—J. M. Macfarlane.
This company numbers about a hundred and forty men old and young, one hundred of whom are armed. Most of them are quartered in the Indian warehouse, but some live with their families in ten[?] within the stockade. This brief notice would be incomplete did we not make honorable mention of the admirable manners in which the mess is managed by Thos. De[?]an and Dan. Finlayson, cooks; James S[?]ng, Charles Atherson, Harry Phipps, E. P[?]ce and Geo. Cooper, room orderlies; and [?] Prevost and John Wright, bakers.
THE Edmonton telegraph line has been grounded and useless since the trouble began.
THERE was a case of "didn't know it was loaded" in the guardroom Mc[?]ay. While Mr. Spence was manipulating his rifle it went off, the ball passing through the fleshy part of Mr. P. C. Pembrun's arm and seriously threatening the lives of those present.