Since I mentioned the Cheyenne Raid last week I thought I might share that story with you. On the 3rd of June, 1868, about three hundred Cheyenne rode into Council Grove from the west. They were on a mission to exterminate the Kaw for some breach of Indian etiquette committed the previous winter. I cannot find my source but I believe the Kaw got into a scuffle with the Cheyenne while on a buffalo hunt and ended up stealing some ponies as part of their victory.
The Cheyenne split up, half going down the Four Mile Creek while the other half headed down to Big John where the Indian Agency and Mission were. I’ll mention here, as some may not know this, that we had two Kaw Indian Missions. The one we are familiar with here in town was the first, built in 1851 and only used until 1854 for the Kaw. The second mission was built about 4 miles southeast of town about equidistant from the Neosho and Little John Creek.
The Kaw were prepared for the attack and Major E. S. Stover, who was the Indian agent, was in command. The Kaw and Cheyenne spent most of the afternoon exchanging shots but neither side willing to engage in full battle. Each kept out of rifle range of the other. There were only two casualties from that engagement. One Kaw was wounded and one Cheyenne shot in the foot later dying from the wound.
As dusk was approaching the Cheyenne thought it would be wise to head back to the vast prairie, before any Federal soldiers got involved. Before making themselves scarce they came back through town and surrounded the Hebrank house and brewery, now the Post Office Oak Museum. You can imagine after a long hot day of fighting they were in need of a good drink. They demanded service from the residents of the home. Mary Hebrank Metzger met them and for about an hour drew water from the well in the basement of the house. Meanwhile, the women and children from the east side of town were huddled in the upstairs anxious for the Indians to leave.
The Cheyenne did not harm anyone but they ransacked a few farms as they headed west. One being W.K. Pollard’s farm just on the west end of town. They took what they could eat as they were famished. R. B. Lockwood had all of his provisions commandeered by the Cheyenne. It was also said that all the feather beds were slit open and scattered to the wind. The retreating Indians left something of a snow storm in their wake.
The day after, Governor Crawford came to investigate and Major Stover gave him the particulars on what had passed. A company of soldiers commanded by Captain Mullins was stationed in the area for a while afterward just to make sure all remained peaceful, and so it was for the next 144 years.