NOTE: PARTS OF THE FOLLOWING
ARTICLE ARE VERY HARD TO READ AND MANY UNDECIPHERABLE.
When Buffalo Bill Was At Fort Yates
Unwritten History in Connection With Sitting Bull Campaign Brought
Out in Reminiscence Over Scout's Death
(written by Frank Fiske)
The most famous scout of the western plains passes to the Happy Hunting Grounds.
Buffalo Bill visited Fort Yates, then as now, Agency headquarters of the Standing Rock reservation in December 1890, when Sitting Bull was for the last time occupying much front space in the eastern newspapers, for he was conducting a great ghost dance in his camp and getting his people ready to be introduced to the Messiah who was expected to come marching through the sky from the west to wipe out the white people and restore the land to the Indians.
The famous scout had orders from General Miles to bring Sitting Bull in. With him were two other scouts known as White Beaver and Pony Express Bob, and at Fort Yates they were joined by Steve Burke and M. E. Urell who was then known as "Bully" [Billy - Belly] Welch.
With a brave and gay farewell the party left Fort Yates for Sitting Bull's camp, bout 40 miles south west on the Grande River. Buffalo Bill and party made camp that evening on the banks of Little Oak creed, just north of where the town of McLaughlin now stands. The next morning, Louis Primeau came along on horse back from J. M. Carleman's school on the Grand river. Quoth he:
"Why, Buffalo Bill, what in nation are you doing here?"
"Going after Sitting Bull" calmly replied the great scout as he lighted a fresh cigar.
"Well, you [undecipherable] be taking him over the Bull Head trail" And then Louie wondered why he had said it.
"Can it be possible?" exclaimed Buffalo Bill, and it has been said that some of the other members of the party felt a tide of relief surge through [undecipherable] when they heard that.
But Buffalo Bill was skeptical and he struck up the [undecipherable] for the other trail and saw there the [undeciphrable] tracks of a team and [undecipherable] heading toward Fort Yates. He followed the tracks until he reached Four Mile Creek where he was met by a party of U. S. Indian police and escorted back to Fort Yates, but Major McLaughlin had succeeded in convincing the authorities in Washington that it would mean the death of Buffalo Bill and his party if they went near the hostile Indian camp. As it was, Buffalo Bill left Fort Yates a very disappointed man, as he claimed to his dying day that he could have induced Sitting Bull to come in had he been allowed to proceed.
It turned out afterwards that Primeau was partly right, for J. M. Carigman had gone into Fort Yates that morning over the Bull Head trail and it was his tracks on the road, but he did not have the Sioux chief.
Never again will the world know just such a character as Buffalo Bill. When he was made the mould was broken, and the mould was the great Indian country through which he [undecipherable]. The wild fee environment was the making of him and being an opportunist he went gaily on his way from a buffalo hunter and scout to the honored friend of kings.
As a scout he was a great [undecipherable] though is has often been said that there were other scouts just as good as he. This may be true, but they did not have the happy faculty of cashing in on their talents, or getting the most out of their opportunities. They were diffident men who did not care much for fame. So were soon forgotten about by the great American public.
After the scouting days were over Buffalo Bill entered the show business, and until 1910 was almost constantly on [undecipherable end of this sentence and beginning of next] ... royalty who greatly admired him.
The [undecipherable] facts in the life of Buffalo Bill are that his real name was William F. Cody, and that he was born at a farm in Scott County, Iowa, February [undecipherable]. At the age of seven his father moved to Kansas where his father became a prominent [undecipherable] and was a member of the first legislature. In [undecipherable] Billy started across the plains with an [undecipherable] that was taking a [undecipherable] of cattle to the U. S. troops who were after the Mormons [very hard to read]. The Indians attacked the party, killing three and drove off the cattle, while the rest of the men made their way back to Fort Kearney. During that [undecipherable] Billy killed his first Indian, whom he said was six feet long.
From this time on, Bill Cody was a trapper, miner, hunter and pony express rider. At the outbreak of the civil war he enlisted [undecipherable] service until [undecipherable]. He killed 4,820 (hard to read) buffalo single [undecipherable] in 11 months thus earning the title Buffalo Bill.
He died at Denver, Colorado January