Catherine's Story of Indian Captivity

Picture of Catherine German from the Kansas Historical Foundation.

 

CATHERINE’S STORY

from The Atlanta Constitution
March 26, 1875

 Indian Atrocities

 Surrender of the Murderers of the German Family- 

The Story of the Survivors.

  [Cheyenne (Indian Nation) Letter to N. Y.  Herald.

This  wild western country, uninhabited save by big strolling bands of  Indians with, here and there a government post, has never known a  tragedy that equals that committed in Central Kansas, September 11,  1874.

General Thomas Neil is the commander of the post, and in  answer to a question by the Herald correspondent as to the manner of  the surrender of the Cheyenne’s he said:

 “Stone Calf, the  chief of the Cheyenne , came into the post on February 9th, saying that  the tribe would surrender.  I sent out an ambulance for the two German  girls, Catherine and Sophia and on the 25th they were brought in.  They  were in a terrible condition.  All the garments they wore was an old  army blanket, and their face and bodies were daubed with paint.

Mr.  John D. Miles, the United States Indian Agent, took them immediately to  his house,where they were dressed and properly cared for.”

 Catherine, the eldest is but seventeen years old, and is a young lady of neat figure and rather handsome.

From her manner it is evident that she has been well reared and that her family was well to do in the world.

Sophia fared better in here trials.  She is eleven years of age, and like her sister, has dark hair and blue eyes.

She is tall and well developed for one of her years. Both of them were treated very horribly while with the

Indians, as their present condition shows.

Both were subjected to indescribable indignities and beastly outrages by nearly all the male Indians.

 The family consisted of John German his wife, Lydia, and seven children, as follows:

Rebecca, 21; Stephen, 19, Johanna, 15, Catherine, 17; Sophia, 11; Julia, 7, and Nancy 5.

Five years ago they left Morgantown, Fannin County, Ga., and removed to Howell county, Mo.

In  May, 1872 they removed to Merryville, Stone county, Mo., and in the  following September they emigrated to Elgin Howard County, Kansas, from  which place they started to Colorado and on the journey they were all with the exception of four murdered.   On arriving at Smoky Hill River, in the central part of Kansas only  about fourteen miles from the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and

within thirty miles of Fort Wallace, they were attacked by the Indians.

 Catherine, in an interview with a reporter of The Herald, said:

“Just as the sun was rising, and while engaged in driving the cattle up the river bank towards the wagon,

I heard shouts and yells, and running closer, saw my father fall, shot through the back by an Indian.

 I was terribly frightened, but I can never forget the spectacle that there ensued.

My brother Stephen was a half mile away hunting up some stock,  and he had a gun with him.  
As poor father fell mother rushed toward him only to receive a shot from another Indian

who fired at her head, killing her almost instantlyMy  father was not killed at once, for he moved his arms about as he was  scalped by one of the party.  They also scalped my mother.

An old squaw picked up our axe and struck it in my father’s head, leaving it fixed in his skull.

During the time this was going on one party rode after Stephen and shot and scalped him.

My sister, Rebecca, made a brave defense with an axe;  she knocked down one of the Indians, and would have killed him if she had not been tomahawked from behind.  While half insensible, and scarcely alive the Indians (five or six of them) despoiled her person and after that scalped her.

They then carried her near the wagon tore off her clothes, piled them over her, with some other things from the wagon, and while she was still alive set fire to the pile and burdened her up.

Here  the broken hearted girl  broke down and the reporter waited some time  before she could proceeded Amidst sobs and tears, and in broken  utterances she continued as follows, occasionally assisted by Sophia:

“After all were killed but we five sisters, they gathered around us to see which one should be put out of the way,

as they said they could only take four along.  One Indian, who seemed to be a chief, came up and looked at Johanna and me, suddenly drew up his gun and shot my sister’s head off.   I was so frightened that I could not stir for a long time.  As soon as  they got everything they wanted they set the wagon on fire and killed  the cattle;  then made Sophia and I get on horses and tied us on,

took our two little sisters up in front of them and started off as fast as the horses could go.

We traveled all day, going due south.  I should judge.  One squaw tried to save Rebecca’s life; but the Indian she hit with the axe said he would have her scalp, and so she was shot.

 After  traveling two days we crossed a railroad track.  The day after we got  over the railroad Medicine Man,  with a small party left, and were gone  until late in the afternoon.  When they came up to us they had three  fresh scalps and a number of articles of wearing apparel that must have  belonged to a man, woman and small child; also had a lot of canned fruit  and oysters.  
after keeping us riding nearly two weeks the main camp near the Staked Plains was reached.

Stone Calf had command and when they brought us in all the tribe turned out and had a great time.

The same night they had a big scalp dance over the scalps of our family and made us all look at it.  Two days after the main body of Indians was reached.  They took sister  Julia and Nancy away from the camp and I have never seen them since."


 

All of this time I was on horseback, and a good

deal of the time very sick, had to ride all the time and at night was often whipped and

beaten because I could not carry as much wood and water as some of the squaws.
All this time I was under charge of Long Back.  At times I was nearly frozen,  having

nothing but a blanket to keep warm  with at night.  Sometimes there would be a foot

of snow on the ground,  but they made me work just as hard  This was about December 1st. 

My feet were frozen, and the nails on my right foot all came off.  In January I met sister

Sophia for a short time, and she told me we were better to be killed.

The reporter asked Catherine if she thought they would kill her, and she answered,

“No; I always thought the soldiers would release us some time, and told Sophia not to be afraid.

In  the latter part of January I received a letter from General Neil,  brought to the camp by a Kiowa scout, telling me to keep up good spirits  and the soldiers would soon capture us.

 A second letter was received after this but the Indians would not let me open it.

They  said (this section black, blotted) ????? not let me take it. ?? hands.   As soon as the letter was received I felt ever so much better.

We had little to eat. Horses and dogs were all the meat we had to eat.

 (Next10 lines looks like ink blot unable to read)

 With Stone Calf.  At last Medicine Water came to my lodge and told me  I was to be given up.  I asked him to let me see Sophia, and he answered, sister dead.  I did not believe him, and one day Stone Calf told me she was alive and well.

About  two weeks ago I saw a four horse wagon coming toward our camp, and as  soon as it was near enough I started to run out to meet it.  The Indian  would not let me,  but made me go in to the tent.

Soon Romeo  came to me and spoke to me in English.  It was the first time I had  heard it for months.  He said I might go with him and he would take good  care of me.  I got into the ambulance, and there for the first time in  two months saw Sophia.

We at once left the Indians behind in  two days came in sight of the soldiers tents where I saw General Nell,  Mrs. Miles and all the rest who were so kind to me.  I could not help  crying.

Mrs. Miles is as kind as a mother to us.

Did they take all the clothes away from you at the time you wee captured?

Yes; and only gave me an old blanket to keep warm with.

Can you identify the Indians who made the attack on your family?

I have seen them 50 times since and can tell them all.

How many were there?

Seventeen men and two squaws.

Have you seen the squaw who hit your father with an axe?

Only once.Was Medicine Water one of the war party?

He seemed to be the leader

Did they scalp all the family after they were killed?

All except Johanna.  She had been sick and her hair was very short.

How was Sophia treated after she left you?

From what she tells me she had a much easier time than I had.

She was only whipped once or twice and did not have to carry so much wood and  water.

 Where will you go, now that you are rescued from the Indians?

 I don’t know yet, she replied.  I would prefer to remain here rather than return to Georgia.

If Sophia and I can get a good education here, I had rather remain here than go any where they are so good to me.

Note:  I have corrected some of the obvious spelling errors while being careful not to change the historical facts.


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Sand Creek Indian Memorial

Indian Steve Garcia wearing a dead eagle.

 

Proposed Sand Creek Memorial Purpose Is To Inflict Guilt!

Nov. 29, 2015

The proposed memorial to  Indians killed at Sand Creek, Colorado Nov. 29, 1864 has a nefarious  purpose.  The purpose of the proposed memorial in Denver, Colorado is to  inflict guilt and cause modern day man to forget about the massacre of  innocent settlers of all ages and races by the Indians of that time.  Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado and the Indian leadership prefer to  forget that many innocent settlers were massacred by the Indians.  The  proposed memorial is a politically correct memorial to revisionist  history and an attempt to inflict eternal guilt on those of European  descent in order to extract special ‘rights’ and privileges for  those of the supposedly wronged race.  I feel no guilt whatsoever for  any killing of Indians at Sand Creek and neither should anyone else  living today!  The Indians are playing the race card of guilt as it is  the only card they have left to play in a very weak hand. 

Why do  Hickenlooper and the Indians choose to forget about all the settlers  massacred by the Indians?  Why do they only focus upon Sand Creek and  not upon numerous settlers who were viciously attacked and murdered by  the Indians like the Hungate and Dietemann  families?  Why do they choose to remember only one side of the story  while forgetting the other?  Hundreds of settlers were killed by the  Indians in Colorado during the 1860’s and they are never mentioned by  the Governor and his Indian cohorts!  Don’t the Indians know that  Hickenlooper speaks with a forked tongue?  Why do the Indians and Gov.  Hickenlooper feel that another memorial is needed for Sand Creek when one already exists?

The  proposed memorial which is slated to be placed at the Colorado State  Capitol if sufficient funding is received purposefully ignores the  atrocities committed by the ruthless plains Indians during the Cheyenne  Indian Wars of the 1860’s! If this memorial is placed at the Colorado  State capitol as proposed, then an equivalent memorial to the innocent  white settlers who were brutally and viciously murdered, raped, scalped,  tortured, burned alive, kidnapped and enslaved should be placed right  along side of it in my opinion.  Those atrocities far exceeded that of  Sand Creek.  Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper favors the proposed Indian  memorial and has so far forgotten the innocent settlers who were  massacred by Indians even though he once stated that we should not forget our history no matter how painful it might be.   Hickenlooper is a hypocrite if you ask me since he conveniently forgets  the wrongs done by the Indians!  So are the Indians proposing this  misguided memorial!

According to a noted Colorado historian Jeff Broome  the Indians slaughtered and massacred at least as many or more white  settlers than the settlers and military killed of the Indians.  If that  is so and history supports it, then why shouldn’t the settlers and  military that were wrongfully killed by the Indians also deserve equal  remembrance?  It is because the Governor and Indians prefer to focus on  their one-sided and politically correct version of history while  ignoring the truth.

The Sand Creek Massacre is one event that has  been used to fan the flames of eternal guilt by the one-sided  revisionist historians and politically correct propagandists in order to  rewrite history in favor of a modern day attempt to destroy the true  history of the United States of America and expunge the Christian  heritage of this nation.  The Indians of today and the political  leadership of Gov. John Hickenlooper prefer to forget history by  focusing on one event while forgetting hundreds of others in order to  promote their racist and revisionist historical views.  It is time for  both the Governor and the Indians to stop dredging up their slanted  views that conveniently forget so much to advance an agenda that  promotes hateful and harmful politically correct historical  revisionism!  Get over it folks and move on or remember the other side  of the story as Paul Harvey would say!


 

Related articles:

Indians Get Apology from Gov. John Hickenlooper for Sand Creek!

Catherine's Story

Dietemann Massacre

Hungate Family Massacre

Cheyenne Indian Wars

Dog Soldier Justice: The Ordeal of Susanna Alderdice in the Kansas Indian War by Jeff Broome

Indians Want Free Tuition!

Columbus Day Expunged!

Searching for Culpability in Sand Creek Massacre

Real life Tontos

A Fate Worse Than Death!

Captured by the Indians!


 "He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."  The Declaration of Independence. 


 It is okay for Indians to kill eagles, chop their heads off and put them  on a stick, run around dancing with eagle feathers on their bodies but  not for anyone else in the US!  If anyone else did likewise with another  type of animal, you would think they were a nutcase! 

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