THEY TAKE FORT PITT.
The morning of the 6th of April was a memorable one. Something unusual
was going to take place from the excited state of the camp. Everyone
was on the go. I was in a short time made acquainted with the reason.
It was more blood, more butchery, and more treachery. And oh! such a
sight presented itself to my eyes. The Indians were all attired in
full war habiliments. They had removed their clothes. A girdle around
their waists, was all--and their paint--every shade and color. Heads
with feathers, and those, who had killed a white, with quills. A quill
for every man scalped. Eyes painted like stars, in red, yellow and
green; faces, arms, legs and bodies elaborately decorated, and
frescoed in all their savage beauty, with bars, spots, rings and dots.
Brandishing tomahawks, bludgeons and guns; flinging and firing them in
every direction, accompanied with yells and whoops; a most hideous and
terrible sight. They embraced their wives and children, and the
command was given to start for Fort Pitt. In order to swell their
numbers they compelled the half-breeds and some of their squaws to
accompany them. The squaws ride horses like the men.
On Sunday the 12th of April they returned from the Fort flush with
victory. They had captured that place, killed policeman Cowan, taken
the whites prisoners, and allowed the police to escape down the river,
all without loosing an Indian or half-breed. The prisoners were
brought in while we were at dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Quinney came to our
tent. Mrs. Quinney said she was cold and wet. She sat, down and put
her arms around me and cried. I gave her a cup of hot tea and
something to eat. Shortly after the McLean's and Mann's came in. It
was a great relief to see white people again.
--Two months in the camp of Big Bear
by Theresa Gowanlock and Theresa Delaney (Primary source documents / Timeline)