"Texas, by God"
and the
This week 1864 Morgan Earp opens fire on humans...
Wed Jul 18, 2018 19:14

...for the first time.
The Earp wagon train heading to the "Promised Land" in California, stopped along a bend in the Platt River in Wyoming to take a break. Three days out from Fort Laramie, they had been fully alerted to reported Indian attacks.
Wagon master Nick Earp was 51 and a Mexican War veteran. All of his "hands" were considered competent to fight. They included his three sons Jimmy Earp (23), a trained
"skirmisher" who had ambushed Confederate soldiers in the Civil War, Wyatt (16) Morgan (13), Charlie Coplea (19) and another teenager named Tucker sometimes included. Across the river was spotted "good grass." Nick ordered his four regular hands to take all the Earp horses and some stock belonging to others across the river to graze:
"I gave the order for the stock to be turned over the River. My hands took my horses and all the cattle over the balance, turned some of them over such as they could drive over after the rest, but some would not go over...So there was some stock on one side and some on the other. I gave orders to those that went across the River that in case I gave the alarm, to get hold of their horse's picket ropes as quick as possible and bring them across...into camp."

All this time a Sioux raiding party in hiding was watching, and took the opportunity while things were in slight disarray, and suddenly made their move to stampede valuable horses. Nick continued:

"We had been in camp a little while, when J. B. Hamilton, Dr. Rousseau and myself were seated on the bank of the River talking. And I happened to look around behind me and about 400 yards off I saw a squad of men galloping towards us. I sprang to my feet and sang out, "Indians,! To arms, boys!" and we all rushed to the wagons and got our guns and ran to meet the Redskins who by this time was among the horses.....Whooping and yelling like Indians sure enough, we met them and began to shoot at them and we soon checked them up and turned them back. While one of them was trying to lasso one of Hamilton's mares, I leveled [my] rifle at him and at the crack of the gun he fell forward in his saddle and turned his horse around and ran off badly wounded, I am sure. But the yells of the savages and the firing of the guns frightened our horses so that it caused them to stampede and run down past the camp. The Indians seeing that, ran around and got in between us and ran them off."

Meanwhile it was noticed that brave mother Ginnie Earp (43) had run right into the fray to save her personal horse and grabbing the picket rope held on with all her strength.

Single-shot rifles were reloaded when the Indians came for another pass. Mrs.. Rousseau described it thus:

"The Indians made a rush by the bluffs, our men firing on them as they passed. Oh what an exciting time, the bullets flying in every direction & horses running as fast as they could. I was left in the carriage, the rest of them all helping....They run four of our horses off and five of Hamilton's and a Philly belonging to Mr. Curtis..."

Two days later on July 14 came the next action, while the train was now camped at a similar spot in a bend of the Platt River. Soon after securing valuable stock inside the circle, Nick's sentinels gave the alarm that the Indians were coming again - 25 to 30 in number:

"When they got as close as we intended for them to come, we commenced pooping away at them and soon succeeded in checking them and putting them to flight. They ran off about a half mile and stopped and turned around as if they were not satisfied. I said, "Boys, they are not satisfied! Let's satisfy them!" So I ran to the wagons and jumped upon a horse and said, "We'll make them leave there!"

A posse of only seven men went out and "charged after the Indians" who were armed with bows and arrows. They consisted of Nick Earp, T. J. Ellis, James Rousseau, James Earp, young Tucker and two others not named.

During this foray Jim Earp distinguished himself by making an aggressive single-handed charge, during which he made a shot from horseback and hit his moving target "in the leg or foot." Nick summed up:
"We had exhausted our shots, so we had to stop the pursuit, but saw by the blood on the trails that we had wounded four of them. So that was the last time we was attacked by the Indians....Mrs. Hamilton brought forth a fine boy a few days after we was attacked by the Indians."

The next time Morgan Earp fired upon Indians, they were the Yuhaviatam (a.k.a. Serrano) tribe, native to the San Bernardino Mountains, highlands, passes and valleys. This was in response to two consecutive raids made on Santa Ana River farms, as was the Earp farm, in June 1866 and June 1867. After that the U.S. Military took drastic action against the previously peaceful tribe of Yuhaviatam Indians, finally having there fill of white man's encroachment.

  • Ok, who has a good old west story to tell (nm)James Wright, Wed Jul 18 12:04
    • This week 1864 Morgan Earp opens fire on humans... — K.t.K., Wed Jul 18 19:14
      • Thanks KennyJames Wright, Thu Jul 19 10:05
        Makes me wonder who wed talk about if the Earps has all been killed my the Sioux
        • That's another great story - David, Sat Jul 21 14:03
          thanks K.t.K. James, without the Earp's, we would more than likely all be talking about Bozo the Clown (aka B.t.C.) or some other similar famed historic character lol. David
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