Who Killed Chief Yellow Hand?
Next to the last survivor of the Custer massacre, there have been more claimants to the honor of having facilitated the entrance of the yellow handed chief of the Cheyenne into the realm of the happy hunting ground, than any other incident of note in Indian warfare that has come to our knowledge.
No less a personage than a retired major general of the United States Army was interviewed on the subject of this incident and asserts that he saw the fight and that Buffalo Bill was the victor over the chief but that Cody did not scalp the chief. In this issue of Winners of the West will be found an article by Jules Green late scout 5th U. S. Cavalry purporting to be an eyewitness also to the scrimmage and in fact had considerable of a hand in rounding up the query and confesses that he could have easily killed the chief himself but deferred to his superior, Cody.
According to his segment, Buffalo Bill really did scalp the chief and not only so but he handled the chieftains locks in a rather sacrilegious manner by using it as a slap stick in an exhibition of levity with a buck Indian by slapping him in the face with it.
Mr. Alfred James Mokler in his book "Transition of the West," states that Buffalo Bill received and accepted a challenge from Chief Yellow Hand to engage in a duel to the death of one or both combatants.
The duel occurred on Goose Creek, western Nebraska and began with both men mounted. But soon resulted in the killing of the mount of the chief and the unhorsing of Cody.
Yellow Hand made a savage attack on his opponent with a tomahawk which Buffalo Bill warded off with his left arm and with his right hand plunged a knife into the heart of Yellow Hand and took his scalp and war-bonnet.
Comrade Jacob Blaut of Troop I, 5th U. S Cavalry 1875-80 at this writing a member of Newark, NJ Camp #6, National Indian War Veterans states, " I shot and stripped Yellow Hand."
Comrade Blaut states, "I was on picket duty in charge of three privates when early in the morning we sited some Indians in the valley laying for two dispatch carriers who were in advance of our wagon train.
Chief Yellow Hand and fifteen of his Indians made a charge for the dispatch carrier.
I was a messenger to General Merritt who ordered us, his staff and ordered me with Buffalo Bill, Green two orderlies and my three men to charge the Indians, which we did shouting and shooting.
When Chief Yellow Hand's horse dropped he took refuge behind a knoll aiming his revolver at me.
I dropped from my horse and running around the knoll, I shot and stripped Yellow Hand. Then Buffalo Bill took his scalp."
With all due respect to the considerable company of eyewitnesses of this important new incidence we're quite sure our readers as well as ourselves will feel that the evidence is somewhat contradictory, to say the lest. And, no doubt the occasion was not one conducive to cool headed thinking.
We give each witness full credit
for having testified truthfully, as the court would say, to the best of
his knowledge and belief.