Wagons West Chronicles October Issue 2016 October Issue - Page 20

20 A TERRIBLE LESSON Modoc Attacking Peace Commission. April 17, 1873, Weekly Union, Kerrville, Texas — There is a threatened uprising of the Indian tribes inhabiting that portion of the western part of the Indian Territory, lying between the headwaters of the Cimarron and Red rivers. These tribes consist of the Cheyennes, Arapahos, Kiowas and Comanches. Several surveying parties are reported to have been attacked recently, and a number of their members killed. The Seventh Cavalry have been dispatched to the scene. The telegraph brings us the October 2016 dreadful tidings that the Modoc Indians have murdered General Canby and the Rev Dr. Thomas, of the Peace Commission, and that they have mortally wounded Commissioner Meacham. This awful tragedy is the direct result of the criminally foolish policy that has been pursued by the Government in dealing with these renegade savages. When the outbreak of these Indians occurred in November last, we briefly sketched the causes which had induced it, and affirmed our belief that nothing but the immediate and thorough chastisement of this refractory band would meet the necessities of the case. We then said: “During the whole of the past three years this band of Modocs has been permitted to treat the Indian authorities with contempt. They have been coaxed and entreated when they should have been promptly and severely punished. The present trouble may be traced directly to the same woeful mistake that has ruled in Arizona. It is due solely to the vacillating course that has been pursued towards a comparatively small number of Indians who have persistently defied the authority of the Government.” Having taken this position at the outset, the UNION has steadfastly maintained it throu