MURDER OF PAWNEE INDIAN.
Winfield Courier, July 1, 1879. Monday night a most brutal murder was committed by a soldier belonging to the 16th regiment, U. S. army, encamped at Arkansas City. Some of these soldiers had been in the city drinking and carousing all day and on their return to camp, they passed the place where some Pawnee Indians were stopping and commanded the Indians to tell them where their squaws were concealed. This the Indians refused to do and told the soldiers to leave, which they did, after annoying the Indians as much as possible. After a short time one of the soldiers returned with a gun and again demanded the whereabouts of the squaws, and being refused, he deliberately shot one of the Indians dead, the ball striking him in the head and passing clear through. The Indians gave the alarm immediately and Lieut. Cushman, with a squad of men, started after the soldiers. In a short time they were found lying on the prairie in a drunken sleep.
Winfield Courier, July 17, 1879. We append below a letter from Lieutenant Cushman, defending his men from the charge of killing the Indian at Arkansas City last week. We received our information about the matter from one of the most responsible men of that place, and submitted a proof of the article to a gentleman who had just arrived from the city, and who said it was substantially correct.
The desire of Lt. Cushman to shield his men as much as possible is perfectly natural, but everything seems to point very strongly toward them. It was clearly proven at the inquest that the man whom the Indians pointed out as the one who did the shooting was uptown in the evening and had been drinking; but the soldiers all testified that he was in camp at the time of the shooting, upon the strength of which the jury returned a verdict of "killed by a rifle in the hands of an unknown person."
It doesn't seem probable that the Indians would kill the old man themselves and then go uptown and raise the alarm at one o'clock in the morning. If the U. S. troops are here for the purpose of raising a disturbance among the Indians on our border, they had better be moved out of the State; but if, as Lieutenant Cushman says, the troops had nothing to do with the matter, then we are willing to make all the amends in our power.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 10, 1879.
An Open Letter to the Editor of the Courier.
Referring to a communicated headed AA Brutal Murder,@ in your issue of the tenth instant, I have the honor to request that a correction be published therein, as no one statement contained in this article is correct and no enlisted man of the detachment stationed here is implicated directly or indirectly with said murder.
On the 7th instant the command was in camp during the day with the exception of two men, who were sent to town in the line of duty, and no "carousing," etc., occurred, and it was not until "mail time" that any number of men were in town.
I would also state of my own personal knowledge that no guns were taken from camp from the evening of the 7th to the 24 hours subsequent, excepting those in possession of patrol ordered out at 3:30 a.m., 8th inst.
Official statement of facts relative to said murder can be obtained upon application to L. Bonsall, acting coroner of this place, who has since notified me that there is strong evidence to fix the crime upon one of the Pawnee Indians.
2d Lieut. Sixteenth Infantry, Commanding U. S. Troops.