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Old 10-18-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
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Whitestone Hill ... September 3rd 1863

In the hours before dawn of 3 September 1863, five hundred soldiers and nine Indian scouts assemble just outside of General Sullyís encampment on the plains of the Dakota Territory. Leading the men is one Captain William A. Murray of Boston Massachusetts and a graduate of West Point. Their mission this day is to kill, without warning, innocent men, women and children.

Captain Murray loves his wife Mary with all his heart. She has been a dutiful wife, and the first years of their marriage were the happiest of his life. But, now after ten years, Mary has withered, become a drawn shell of the beautiful young girl he had married.

They have tried for years to have a child, all to no avail. As each succeeding year passes and it becomes more evident that they are not to be blessed with children, Mary has gone within. She follows him from posting to posting like the good military wife she is, but she is slowly dying, and Captain William Murray knows it.

These are his thoughts as he enters the Yanktonai village this day.

He was not told by General Sully that the men of the village had left the day before on a hunting party. It would not have mattered to him if he had known there were no braves in the village, he is an ambitious man, and his orders are to destroy the village and kill as many of its inhabitants as possible. And those are the orders he gives his men.

The few braves in the camp try to fight off the invaders but they are too few and their weapons are antiquated and no match for the back loading rifles the soldiers use.

Captain Murray stays on the edge of the camp as his men go from lodge to lodge setting them ablaze. If a woman or child emerges from a burning tipi, they are immediately shot, if the are lucky. Captain Murray witnesses women being opened with a knife as one would gut a fish, and children having their brains knocked out of them with the stock of a rifle.

The captain is as thorough as he is heartless. Some try to reach the ravine to the south, but from his white horse atop a slight rise Captain Murray directs his men to follow those poor souls, ď Ö and dispatch them from this earth.Ē

By the end of the one-sided battle as many as two hundred Yanktonai Lakota, mostly women and children, lie dead and mutilated. A woman was cut open and her unborn child ripped from her. Many were scalped, and not just on the head. Women had their private parts cut out and some soldiers wore them on their hats. Men also had their private parts cut off. One soldier took a manís testicles to use the sack as a tobacco pouch.

The children who had their brains beat out of them lay on the ground with the grey jelly seeping from the wounds. Fingers and ears were cut off the bodies for the jewelry they carried.

The dead, children two or three months old; all ages lying there, from sucking infants to old men. You would think it impossible for men to butcher and mutilate human beings as they did at Whitestone Hill.

Men, women and children all cut to pieces. The massacre lasted six hours and when all are dead, Captain Murray orders his men to destroy the meat stock and kill all the horses.

His last order, to kill the Indianís horses, is easier said than done. There were bouts three hundred in number. At first the men assigned to the detail tried cutting the horsesí throats. But when the horses smelled blood they got skittish and the smell of the White-Men made them even more so. In the end the Lakota ponies had to be shot. The sight of three hundred horses lying on the ground, some still kicking and crying, was not as bad as the sight to the west of two hundred people dead and mutilated, but it was a sad sight to nevertheless.

As Captain Murray passes a tipi, which has not yet been put to the torch, he hears a babyís cry. And for some unknown reason the wail draws him to it as a Sirenís call. He dismounts and enters the tipi. And as he enters, Fighting Woman runs at him with Yellow Hairís knife. Before she gets to within striking distance, he draws his revolver and shoots her through the right eye; as the bullet exits her head, it takes with it a large portion of her skull.

Captain Murray then hears a noise behind him and sees Little Thunder running at him, also holding a knife; the business end pointing in his direction. The boy, for his trouble, also receives a bullet to the head though it does not exit his skull.

As Little Thunder collapses to the ground, Captain Murray takes stock of his surroundings, and it was at that moment he sees the reason for his being in this particular tipi. It is a Indian baby, no, this baby has yellow hair! He immediately thinks of Mary, and how taking care of a child will bring the bloom back to her cheeks; without thinking it through, he wraps the child in the skins on which it lays and leaves the tipi. He plans on telling General Sully that before she died, the mother confessed to stealing the baby from a white couple.

A corporal passing is ordered to set fire to the tipi that Captain Murray has just exited. The manís name is Alfred Cooper and he sees the yellow haired baby in the captainís arms. The captainís first reaction at Corporal Cooperís interest in the child is to turn and walk away, but stops after a few steps and calls to the corporal, ďWhen you have finished here report to me.Ē It will be at least two months before they get back to Minnesota and during that time he will need someone to care for the child.

Captain William Murray has just killed the entire family of Yellow Hair, with the exception of his youngest son, which he now intends to rear as his own. It is the second time that Jacob/Yellow Hair had suffered the loss of a family.
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