Newspaper of The New York Herald, April 30, 1873, Page 5

Newspaper of The New York Herald dated April 30, 1873 Page 5
Text content (automatically generated)

SLAUGHTER. The Modofs Surprise and Destroy a Detachment of Troops* CAUGHT IN A TRAP. Fifteen Killed, Nineteen Wounded and Nine Missing. THE OFFICERS LOST. 3liyor Thomas and Lieutenants Howe and Wright Killed. A TERRIBLE BUTCHERY. Graphic Description of the Struggle in the Rocks. SOLDIERS SHOT D0W3 LIKE DEER. "We Must Fight and Die Like Men and Soldiers." AN INVISIBLE FOE. ? - * i The Troops Led Into the Fastnesses and Nearly Surrounded. THE KNIFE IN THE DARK. Modoc Savages Scalping and Stripping the Dead and Wounded. THE NINE MISSING. Lieutenant Cranston and Eight Men Left in the Rocks. THE MODOC LOSS. Four Scalps Taken by the Warm Spring Indians. EXCITEMENT IN YREKA. Frontiersmen Moving to Take the Savages in Hand and Ladies Aiding the Wounded Soldiers. Oajcf on Lata Beds, April 28 ? 6 A. M. Death Is again among us, and on tfcij oc casion the call hu boom mrulii with %Q upwing hand, as the lava beds are red with the blood of some of our bravest officers and men who fell on Saturday afternoon, the victims of A surprise from an enemy who, in the rocky fastnesses of this volca*ic debris, is master of the situation. In a previous despatch I told you of THE DEPARTURE CAPTAIN EVAN THOMAS, Brevet Major, vith a force of sixty-nine men, to reconnoitre the position supposed to be held by the Mod**58 pfREN'OTH OF THE COMMAND. The comnand comprised Lieutenant Albion Howe, Lieutenant Arthur Cranston and twenty men of Sattery H, Fourth artillery; Lieuten pnt G. Harris and twenty-one men of Bat tery Fourth artillery, and Lieutenant Tjjmas Wright, with twenty-six men of E cmpany, Twelfth infantry. They were under Jie command of Captain Evan Thomas, Bre vet Major, of Battery H, Fourth artillery, and were accompanied by Acting Assistant Sur geon Semig. CITIZENS WITH THE TROOPS. Mr. Ticknor was with the party in the capaoity of guide, and a citizen named Louis Webber had charge of three mules, carrying the medical stores and hand litters. The party left camp about seven A. M. on the morning of Saturday, April *2G, with a ' small party of E company, Twelfth infantry, deployed as skirmishers, and advanced in the direction of A LONO BARE SAND HTT.T. about four miles south-southeast of our camp, in the neighborhood of which they expected to find the Indians. Major Thomas had received orders from General Gillem to reconnoitre the position of the Modocs, but not to bring on a general engagement THE OBJECT OF THE RECONNOISHANCE. The object was mainly to find out how the Modocs were situated, and whether the mor tars could not be brought up and used effec tively against them. THE WEATHER was charming, and with their muskets glitter ing in the morning sun this little band tramped along over the rough and eraggj rocks, never thinking that before that glisten ing planet had disappeared from sight on the western horizon, half their number would be dead and dying at the mercy of a pitiless and barbarous savage. THE MARCH TO DEATH. Onward they marched, following their gal. lant commander, a man who knew no sucl Heeling aa fear, and yet who, after passinf Jhrough the war of tfcc rebellion, the fecro cf THE SCENE OF THE BUTCHERY. Map of the Country Through Which the Troops Advanced. m NATURAL BFIDCEI'1 ... LirJttM* oS&l* R'x"k Sm ** wirm Hn Battle .'an 17 * > ? ? F A A sc. ne or the l MASSACRE op CANE* fc THOMAS (SCENE OF FIGHT I cr APHIL *?' j fcvtq) j ,TMou n tainHou Bf ?^,rr*S ^ : .<2/JS O iw8 thi STAND.NORTH . .. o. 1 -t W ' I /? /- ! TT" cxld Bpnnt/x % j Vulcanic lloclci ?SA^DLLEMTS., <n<*' lAKM a score of battles, was doomed to die at the handB of savages, deserted by all except a few of his non-commissioned officers. After a two hoars' tramp THE LAVA BUTTE TO THE SOUTHWARD loomed up grander and blacker as they neared its baae, and presently, at about half past ten o'clock A. M., tho command were brought to a halt and the men allowed to take a rest. From this point my story is derived from hearsay alone and from THE EVIDENCE OF THE SURVIVORS who have returned. They, however, are all agitated and unsettled by the bloody scenes they have just left, and it will probably be two or three days before the exact; position of the troops at the time of attack can be ob tained. Up to the time of their halt no In dian signs had been seen, and Major Thomas ordered private Kitchen, of K troop, First cav alry, doiu.; J at / he signal corps to adviso Lifcutenanf Adams, in onr camp, to that effect THE FIRST FIRE. The order was being executed when our troops received. their first fire. It is differ ently reported; some saying five or six shots were fired, and others only four; but Mr. Ticknor states positively that it came from A PARTY OF NINE INDIANS, who occupied a bluff to the eastward of where the troops were stationed. Major Thomas immediately threw the men into skirmishing order, with Lieutenant Wright's company on the right. The latter, however, had not got in position before they were FLANKED TO THE RIGHT by a party of fourteen other Indians that had come up to the advance of those who fired first. The cross fire on Wright's men proved very demoralizing, and they broke back in contu sion, leaving their gallant leader in an ex posed condition and supported by a few of his non-commissioned officers. In the meantime ANOTHER SMALL PARTY OF INDIANS had obtained a position to the left and they opened a raking fire on the two batteries of artillery. It was A FEARFUL TRAP, and the first four shots were only fired to draw the troops more directly between the fire of the Indians on the right and left Tho rout was complete, and with the exception of the officers and non-commissioned officers, the majority of whom lay stretched on the - -W*' '? r * ' rocks with their life-blood eVLing fast away, the watchword was ?! 1 ? - &AUVE QUI PEUT. Confused and demoralized as they were tho men became an easy prey to the Modocs, who, confident in tin protection of their native rocks, shot them down like so many frightened dwOr. THE NEWS IN CAMP. In the meautime the news had reached our camp of the attack, and, although no one dreamed of the scene of carnage that had been enacted, the troops were ordered out as reinforcement*. Colonel Mason was also Big- 1 nailed to send what help ho could from his camp. REINFORCEMENTS FORWARDED. The two commands presently started and moved out in direction of tho fight. The force from Colonel Mason's camp comprised Ciptain Throckmorton, brevet major, and Battery E, Fourth artillery; Captain Bernard, brevet colonel, and B troop, First cavalry; Captain Jackson, brevet major, and G troop, First cavalry. THE LINE OF ADVANCE. XJiey struck right across tho lava beds skirt ing the lake, where Hovey was killed, and headed for the scene of the fight. They were under the command of Captain Miller, brevet colonel of the Fourth artillery. ? THE OTHER BUFPORTB. The command from our camp under Major Green, brevet colonel of tho First cavalry, consisted of Captain Perry, brevet colonel, with F troop, First cavalry ; Lieutenant Creason, brovet major, with K troop, First cavalry, and Captain Trimble, brevet major, with H troop, First cavalry. Colonel Green's command advanced along the bluff and finally connected their left with Colonel Miller's right. DARKNESS SETS IN. Darkness finally set in, and the living, dead and dying were soon surrounded with the im penetrable cloak of night. Occasionally news was brought in by the scared stragglers, eiaggi rated in the extreme, but significant of some dire disaster. Many of these MEN, WHO HAD DESERTED THEIR OFFICERS in the time of peril, had seen a hundred Indians all around them. Fear had distorted their vision and rendered them so helpless that one of their number was afterwards found dead on the field without a shot. He had been butchered by knives, and so panic struck he could not fire a shot in his own defence. A MELANCHOLY NIGHT was passed in c|mp, awaiting tho return of the killod and wounded. As the reports had been so vague, no one felt assured who were numbered among tho killed and wounded. There was little sleep among tho garrison of that camp. They moved about from tent to tent through the drizzling rain, each anxious to hear the latest news. There was A MYSTERY ABOUT THE ATTACK that nobody appeared to solve, as to how the troops were so completely surprised. Ii in camp, where were tho pickets or advanced skirmishers? It appeared bo strange that a party of sixty-nino men Bhould be al most surrounded by Indians without their being aware of the sign of an Indian as far as they could see. This fact alone will give the public an idea of the nature of the ground in which these Indians fight, (la;l what our soldiers have to contend against. ' FRONTIER SCOUTS WANTED. One hundred well armed frontier Scouts are wanted in thin tfflfiilry?men each of whom is i general Tn himself. These Modocs, once in line, fight on their own responsibility and do not require orders ; and we want men to meet them accustomed to Indian fighting, not mere machines who have to await the orders of their officers. They would be all very well in open country, but in these rocks every man has to look out for himself and fight the Modoc in his own way. arrival of a woundeb SOLDIER. Alxmt daybreak on Sunday morning Corporal Noble, of Battery A, Fourth artil lery, arrived in camp severely wounded in the nock. From this man was learned the first authentic news of tho fight, and the pre vious reports of the death of Brevet Major Thomas, Brevet Colonel Wright and Lieu tenant Howo were coufirmed. Each death had its own sorrowful tale of unswerving courage in the fearful position into which their duty had called them. A TARTT LEFT TO THEIR FATE. Colonel Wright and some few men, seven or eight in number, were left by the rest of tho company shortly after tho first fire. They were lying behind a small ridge of rocks, wbicb oniy proved ft protection cu one side, | and they were soon exposed to a volley of bullets from their ,rik'ht. COLONEL weight was first shot through the groin, dangerously wounded; but even then the indomitable pluck of this starred veteran kept him up, and, with his revolver in onc'hand, he buried his wutch in the sand with the other, saying, "The red devils shall not get that." He had not long to live, as a second bullet passed through his heart, and he shortly alterwards breathed his last. Home of his company remained by his body through the night, several badly wounded.

THE INDIAN SCALPINO IN THE DARKNESS. During the night the Indians were creeping through the rocks to scalp and strip the dead. One Indian caine near this party, talk* ing in good English all the time, telling them not to bo afraid; he was not going to hurt them. But when he came within about three feet fate Bonbim struck Hm over the ?doll* e#? of a uusket, and be was I speedily despatched. Noble stated that as he came in he passed through Colonel Green's line and told him where THE REMAINS OF BATTERIES K AND A were to be found. Colonel Green imme diately moved forward his line to the place indicated, and there, hid in some sage brush, stripped and naked, were the bodies of Major Thomas, Lieutenant Howe, Acting Surgeon Semig, Sergeant Rower and six others. Dr. Semig was wounded in two places, but hopes are entertained of his recovery. colonel wrioht's body lay a little to the left, and on the right was Lieutenant Harris, severely wounded, and the bodies of five of his men, stripped of all their clothing. As soon as Colonel Green's command arrived on the ground the attention of all was given to the dead and dying. The wounded were placed on pack mules and brought back to camp, where they arrived early Sunday morning. All the bodies of the dead have not yet been brought in, as there were not sufficient pack mules. THE MISSING PARTY. Lieutenant Arthur Cranston and five or six men are still missing, and hopes are enter tained that they escaped through the night tQ ^he southward, as nothing has been seen of their bodies. THE MODOC I-OSS. There is no certainty as to the loss of the Modocs, with the exception of four, who were i scalped by the Warm Spring Indians. The ' Warm Spring Indians were to have acted ia I conjunction with Major Thomas' command, ! but it appears they did not meet them at the appointed place. After the fight commenced the Warm Springs appear to have got in the rear of the Modocs, and did some good ser vice ; but finally our men becamo so de moralized that they mistook their friends for foes, and the Warm Springs had to walk back. NO FURTHER MOVE MADE. General Gillem has not made any further move, but awaits the arrival of Captains Men denhall and Hasbrook with two batteries of the Fourth artillery. They aro expected to night. General Jeff. C. Davis and staff are expected on the 30th. TIM MODOC WOMEN WITH THE PITT BIVER IN DIANS. Intelligence has been received that the Modocs* squaws and papooses have taken refbge with the Pitt River Indians. The above item is reliable, and it looks as if tho Modoc bucks meant to fight to the last man. THl HOSPITALS CROWDED. Tho sudden addition to our sick and worm (led has crowded our hospitals to over flowing, but now tenta aro being put up, and Assistant Surgeons McEldorry and Dcwitt are working lilce slaves. Nothing can ci << d their attention to the nick. THE KILLED, WOUNDEO AND MISSING. Camp on Lava Beds, April 2(5, IN7J. The following isa list of the killed, won in It d and missing as far as I have been able to (jet them: ? Killed. Captain Evan Thomas, brevet major, United States Army, Battery A, Fourth artillery, shot through right temple and leg; skull mashed in with a rock. First Lieutenant Albion Howe, Fourth artil lery, shot in groin and left arm. First Lieutenant Thomas F. Wright, Com pany E, Twelfth iufantry, shot through groin and breast. First Sergeant R. R. Romer, Battery A, Fourth artillery. Corporal Junius St. Clair, Company P, Twelfth infantry. Private Newsbnrg, Company E, Twelfth in fantry. Private John Parker, Battery A, Fourth ar tillery. Private John Collins, Battery A, Fourth ar tillery. Bugler John Moran, Battery A, Fourth ar tillery. Private J. Lynch, Battery K, Fourth artil lery. Private M. Wallace, Battery K, Fourth ar tillery. Bugler J. W. Ward, Battery K, Fourth ar tillery. Private William Boyle, Company E, Twelfth infantry. Private Gerb, Company E, Twelfth infantry. Private Thomas Howard, Company E, Twelfth infantry. Wounded. Louis Webber, citizen, in charge of pack mules. Lieutenant G. M. Harris, Battery K, Fourth artillery, severely, in two places. Acting Assistant Surgeon Semig, wounded in two places. Sergeant A. Beck, Battery A, Fourth artil lery, wounded in the mouth and arm. Sergeant Clinton, Company E, Twelfth in fantry, shot through the thigh. Sergeant Kennedy, Company E, Twelfth infantry, shot through the arm and groin. Corporal James Noble, Battery A, Fourth artillery, shot through the neck. Private James Broderiek, Battery A, Fourth artillery, shot through the thigh. Private James McMillan, Battery A, Fourth ; artillery, shot through the right hand, severely j shattered. Private J. M. Gifford, Battery K, Fourth artillery. Private J. Higgina, Battery K, Fourth artillery. Private W. McCoy, Battery K, Fourth artil lery, shot through the groin and hand. Private J. McLaughlin, Battery K, Fourth ; artillery. Private Frolta, Battery K, Fourth artillery, shot through right thi^'h, left calf and right fore arm. Private Cuff, Company E, Twelfth infantry, 1 shot through right hand. Private Benharn, Company E, Twelfth in- | fantry, shot through both arms. Private Vandewater, Company E, Twelfth infantry, shot through hip. Private Murphy, Company E, Twelfth in fantry. Private Kitchen, Troop K, First cavalry, shot through right arm. Mlulnf. Lieutenant Arthur Cranston, Battery A, Fourth artillery. Sergeant H. Selig, Battery A, Fourth artil lery. Sergeant Matie, Company E, Twelfth in fantry. Corporal Lawrence Mooney, Battery A, Fourth artillery. Bugler Coraend, Battery E, Fourth artil lery. Private Albin. Batter? A. Fourth artillery. Private L. Broom, Battery A, Fourth *rtii kry. Private M. Flynn, Company E, Twelfth in fantry. Private B. M. Eshner, Company E, Twelfth infantry. THE TOTAL t iSCXLTIL I. The above li*t jfi*e# a total of fifteen killed^ nineteen wounded and nine missing ? making forty-thrti in all out of a command of sixty nine men. METCK1 OF THE OFFICERS KILLED. Major Kt?? Thorn** tM the eon of the late Adjutant Genera! Loreuao Thor:uw, .md *m boru iu Washing t.n. Appointed fr> m the District on the 9th A, ril, 1W1, to a second lieutenanc y in the Fourth artillery, and promoted ,fir:-t lieu t< riant in May of the same eventful year, hi afterward* served with the volunteer forces I and ?iM I revetted captain December 13, 18G2, | and nwjt r July 3, 1 -?*53. Iu 18'?4 be was pro in ?ti .1 captain in the reqnlar service and was | awdgn ? d to ll?tt?ry ri of his rudiment, which , he c muMnl il At the moment of his d? ath. l Howe born in Florida* but appoint J from No# York to the army. He entered the regular n rviee a* neeoivl lieutenant iu the Fourth ar tillery, Deoemb* r '2, 18M, from th * volunteers in which he b?-Ul the rnnk of m*jor. lie was appointed first lieutenant iu the Fourth artil* !? ry November 18, 1?69. Hu father i? Brevet Major General Albion P. Howe, United States Army, one of the majors of the Fourth artil lery; hie tathcr-in-law is Brevet if ijor Gen? < rnl Barry, commanding F >rt res# Monroe, and hie uncle was Bishop Mcllvaine. Llntcuacit Thnmii V. Wright was born in UitMouri. lie tu rvod during the war in th > v> mtoer armr an colonel of n Missouri regiment and won the brevet of brigadier general. In 1H6?1 he whh appointed first lieutenant in the Thirty-second in fantry and tronefi rred to the Twelfth infantry iu tlio same year. Ilia father was the dis tingaiMhcd general oAsrr of that name. EXCITEMENT IN YREKA. Tlif front Irrimrn Amioat to Interfere-? l.?riir? Organising to iMcor tho UiiiaiMlnl-Kiart that thi> Ml Ml Off I'ttrly Will Mot Hrlarn. Y kkk A, Cal.. April MX Tli" attack on Major TiiouriV ('eminemd by the Moiiom ia*t Saturday, and tup rout of the t roop*, ba* created considerable *xcitement In thin town ami ttie urronriduu J 'It. m 'ut*. There is * strong disposition evinced by a nuralxr of old lroiitier*in?-n accustomed to Indian fighting to form a party that woul<i meet the Modoc a on their uwu ground an-l fljrht tliput in their own ?tyle. II | any Inducement* were h'.-ld out to these own they could probaoly accomplish tlie extermination ol captain Jack and hi* baud with a far smaller sacrifice of life Mian will ultimately be lost if the : regular troop* have to do it tncmselvca. II IMPORT IXtNTItlHITtO. The report that the Modoc squsws or papooses . have taken refuse with the Itti River Indiana ?( I not credited, ait the Modoc* ami the Pitt Invert arc known to be gn uniriendly term*. ladies' aid foh thr wor*t>RH. The ladles of Treka organize-! a aoclety for the relief of the wounded soldiers, and Intend sending out to-morrow a quantity of supplies for their relief Till MUSI.Va TAKTY THOCOBT TO Bit LO*T. Fear* are entertained that Lieutenant Cranston and the missing will not t*> heard from again. General Davis and staff leave to morrow morainf for the front. ANOTHER ACCOUHT Of THE B1TTLL Lata Hiih, Apr.! at, lltX A reconnoitring party, composed of PatMrte* K and A, Fourth artillery, and Company I:, Tweirtl infantry, left camp at hair pait nine o'ciack Uiu morning, proceeding In a direction kt.own to lead to the present stronghold of the Modors, ? apiaio E. Thomas, of the Fourth art. try, being i a com manrf. A dozen or no of M arm Mprlaf Indian* were expected to co-operate on Captain Thotnaa' .? .t. ADVAM'R IN *(IRMHUIvi ORl'ER. Tne troop-, having forme I a Una ol *kirui sher% advanced without molestation until tn**ir arnv.i ! at the loot of the Maff eoath of the tv| be<t?, hav< | in?, meanwhile, sigaalitd to t*e caap tost ao In I rllans were to be found, on reaching the Mug tiif. MODOCS orcMRO A <KT>:ai riar, causing the troop* to seek *u>-h shelter a* they could Una in the crevice*. <iiami ? kr. A* uaoal, the foe wu urn ?n. The first |e?lti >? soou became untenable, owing to tn?> facr it at um Indiana were ab!e to deliver t.<,.tfi a eio?? >(? ea t au eudladlng fire, am the pastime >4 tat uvoye was so expose I that up to t ie prs> eat wruaur seven o'clock P. V.? am* 'wo f the w?u?4rt ru?.d reach caiup out of nine woun le-L ?ao fate or a aorai hr?*t. Lieutenant Wright, of the Tw< au tnlaatry, Lad sought shelter la a crev, -t wtuct wa? part*- warty open to the Moloc flit. Grave d.;u? ?* ta>?t oa to their ultimate safety. Aa n aa ta lormatlon was received at betdq tn<rt relative to the p?*ril of the party troui* were ai onca pushed forward to their reecii?. l> ut cuss panics wero ordered out, two of 0?v*.ry fr-in ti t* camp and two from Cotouei Mt?<n's. mret?' re lor the conveyance of the woun I d w? r ? foraarcA, but the latter are now returning w. 'tu.it letiae aclilevcd the object for which they w. re iuteiidel. POOR fBLLOWS t A bitter cold night at leo*t !? iwfor# Mien, itte barely possible that iooh1 of them no tougt r hee l the cold or heat. Their eomra le*. who from aotu.? cause are coming to camp, show plu.niy by their demeanor their heartfelt aorrow ; th. y feel for them, hut are powerle** in the matter. Lata Brds, April 3*. l*:j? * P. M. From a second despatch sent by Colonel Greta it appears that there are now collected and wait ing conveyance to camp the bodies of sixteen mto killed, Including Captain Thome*, Lieutenant Howe, of the Fourth artillery; Lieutenant wngLt, CONTINUED OH NINTH PAA2L

Other pages from this issue: