THE LATE INDIAN FIGHT—CAPTAIN STEUART, OF BALTIMORE.
In a late New York paper there is an extract from the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Bugle of the 9th instant giving an account, somewhat inaccurate, of the capture by the In-dians, on the 25th ultimo, of the Mormon wagon train of Secretary Babbitt, of Salt Lake, of the murder of two men and a child belonging to the train, of the recapture of the wagons, money, and other valuables, which were turned over to the Colonel commanding the United States troops sent on the 28th ultimo in pursuit of the Indians, and which property was conveyed to Fort Kearny.
The officer referred to in that extract is not a Colonel, but our fellow-townsman, Captain George H. Steuart, of the First Cavalry regiment. In the month of June last, when engaged in field duty in Kansas, he was sent by Col. Sumner, with his small company of about thirty men, to relieve Fort Kearny, in Nebraska, on the Platte river, which at that time was besieged by a band of Cheyenne Indians. Capt. S left Leavenworth on the 22d of June and arrived at Kearny on the 2d of July, where he found Capt. Wharton, of the Sixth Infantry, with his company, in command of the post; the Cheyennes gone, as was supposed, to a considerable distance to hunt buffalo, and their camping ground around the post occu-pied by the Pawnees, a tribe at war with the Cheyennes and friendly to us. On the 23d of August Lieut. Wheaton, of the same regiment, (First Cavalry,) arrived with an escort of sixteen men at Fort Kearny, bringing with him the famous Sioux prisoners captured last year by Gen. Harney, and now sent on their journey home, with orders to Capt. Steuart to take charge of them and escort them to Fort Laramie, on the north fork of the Platte, about 300 miles west of Kearny, and on this side of the Rocky Mountains. The next day, 24th of August, Capt. S. was preparing to march when the mail carrier from Salt Lake, due that day, came in at the top of the speed of his team, announcing that he had been attacked and pursued by about twenty-five Cheyennes on the road about eight miles from Kearny; that he had been wounded, and was indebted for his miraculous escape to the throwing out of his mail wagon several bags of corn, which lightened the vehicle, and thus enabled him to in-crease his speed. Capt. S. was immediately dispatched, with his own company of twenty-five men and Lieut. Wheaton's detachment of sixteen men, to find and chastise the Indians who committed the assault. They soon reached the point (eight miles) where the corn was scat-tered in the road, but it was then too dark to discover any trail, and the horses were immediately unsaddled, no fires made, and daylight waited for.
At the dawn of day on the 25th the pursuit was re-newed, (two of the Sioux prisoners, Standing Elk and Red Lear, acting as guides,) and continued for ten hours through the almost impassable banks and islands of the Platte river, when at, half-past 4 P. M. the enemy was discovered, (about 45 warriors )
They were immediately charged by Capt. Steuart and his lieutenant, Mclntyre, on the left, and Lieut. Wheaton on the right, and in a short time dispersed, ten killed, a large number wounded, and all the property of the band captured, including 24 horses. Those who escaped were pursued until night. This was done without a man killed or wounded en the part of the assailants, who re-turned the next day to the post.
On the 27th, when Capt. S. was about taking up the line of march for Laramie, two men who escaped from the massacre of Col. Babbitt's Mormon wagon train on the night of the 25th at Wool river, about 20 miles from Kearny, came there, and, as soon as arrangements could be made for going in pursuit of those marauders Capt. Steuart took with him the same force as on the first oc-casion, (about 40 men,) and, proceeding rapidly to Wood river, found the dead bodies on the road, (two men and one child,) shockingly mangled. Having buried them, the company continued its search for the Cheyennes, but were unable to make out the trail, though assisted by the Sioux prisoners in a long and painful search.
They were so fortunate, however, as to fall in with a party of Omahas, and to recover from them the four wagons and some of the effects of Col. Babbitt which had been abandoned by the Cheyennes. With this recaptured property the troops returned to Fort Kearny, where, on the 1st of September, it was not known whether Capt. S. would at once proceed with the Sioux prisoners to Fort Laramie, or be required to remain at Fort Kearny (for the protection of that post and the roads to Oregon and California passing by that post) until orders were received from Gen. Smith at Fort Leavenworth.
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