“The red skins are on the war path, and are amusing themselves with scalping Black Hills immigrants. On May 6 they made (their) appearance near Fort Laramie.”
“Upwards of 35 head of cattle were driven off. Massacres have been committed in Red canon, and three fights have occurred, in which the Indians were repulsed. The Black Hills miners have something to do besides digging gold.” (Northern Tribune, May 20, 1876)
“The Indians run off thirty-one head of horses and mules from Hunton’s ranche, belonging to Col. Bullock, of Cheyenne, and Mr. John Hunton, yesterday.” (Nebraska Advertiser, May 11, 1876)
“A courier has just arrived at this post from Hunton’s ranch with news that the body of James Hunton had been found. It is completely riddled with bullets, and moccasin and pony tracks in the vicinity of where he was found show that the victim was chased some distance by twenty-five Indians and finally surrounded and was shot at leisure.”
“Mr. Hunton was a prominent and highly esteemed frontiersman, and the murder causes great excitement. Scattering bands of hostile Sioux have even come within four miles of the fort the past few days, and we expect more of their bloody work at any moment.” (Cincinnati Daily Star, May 8, 1876)
His headstone simply says, “James Hunton – Killed by Indians – May 4, 1876 – Aged 24 yrs”.
“Prior to the spring of the year 1867, there were no white inhabitants living within the area of what is now Platte County, Wyoming, except a few, less than ten, along the Oregon Trail from the Platte river valley east of Guernsey”. (John Hunton)
“In the spring and early summer of 1868 the Government, having induced the Indians to consent to be moved to White Clay River, near Fort Randall on the Missouri River; then to concentrate into one large camp east of Ft Laramie about 8-miles”. John Hunton)
Tension between the native inhabitants of the Great Plains and the encroaching settlers resulted in a series of conflicts … this eventually led to the Sioux Wars.
The most notable fight, fought June 25–26, 1876, was the Battle of Little Big Horn (Lt Col George Armstrong Custer lost – Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and others won.)
Most native Americans were confined to reservations by 1877. In September 1877, Chief Crazy Horse left the reservation and General Crook had him arrested. When Crazy Horse saw he was being led to a guard house, he resisted and was stabbed to death by a guard. (Denardo)
In the fall of 1877, Sitting Bull headed north to Canada; life there was tough and in 1881 he surrendered to the US. In 1889 Sitting Bull was shot by Police. (NPS)
OK, back to Hunton and a connection (although indirect) to the Islands.
“James Hunton, a brother of John was killed (and scalped.) His body was found eight miles from the ranche, at Goshen Hole, and brought into the ranche last night, by JH Owens, of Chug spring’s ranche, and Little Bat, a hunter and scout.” (Nebraska Advertiser, May 11, 1876)
His brother John provides a description of what happened, “James Hunton, my brother, left Bordeaux, my home, on the afternoon of that day (May 4, 1876) to go to the ranch of Charles Coffee on Boxelder Creek about 14 miles east of Bordeaux, to get a horse he had traded for.”
“While going down through ‘the Notch’ in Goshen Hole, about half way between the two places, he was waylaid, shot and killed by five Indian boys who were out on a horse stealing expedition.”
“The Indians then went to my ranch at Bordeaux after night and rounded up, stole and drove off every head of horse and mules (38) I owned except my saddle horse, which I had with me at Fort Fetterman, where I received the news by telegraph the evening of the 6th.”
“The horse my brother was riding ran and the Indians could not catch him and the next morning was seen on top of the bluff east of the ranch. Blood in the saddle told the tale and a searching party found the body that afternoon.” (John Hunton)
The Sioux Wars military campaign provisioned at Fort Laramie, prior to heading north to South Dakota and Montana. John Hunton was fort sutler (providing provisions out of the camp post.)
John Hunton lived with/was married to LaLie (sister to fellow scout (and half-breed) Baptiste Garnier (Little Bat – the scout who helped bring James Hunton’s body back to the Hunton ranch.))
(I don’t mean to be repetitive, I just want you to remember that LaLie was Little Bat’s sister.) LaLie later left Hunton and married Frank Grouard – that marriage didn’t last either, and she left Grouard, too.
The Grouard family lived in Utah; Frank ran away from home and at the age of nineteen, ended up a Pony Express mail carrier … “out West” through hostile Indian Country (between California and Montana.) (Trowse)
Kuakoa tells us the Hawai‘i/Polynesia link … “A Hawaiian by the name of Frank Grouard (Standing Bear) is living as a scout in the American Army under General Crook, fighting Sioux Indians.”
“During one of his trips on a lonely trail (Grouard) was captured by Crow Indians and taken prisoner. The Crows took him many miles from the road, and in a lonely forest, stripped off his clothes and possessions, then released him to wander alone.”
“He wandered, cold and hungry, a piece of fur for clothing, eating grasshoppers and other bugs for food. When he had given up hope of surviving, he was discovered by a group of Sioux Indians. Because of his expressions of aloha, they took a liking to him.” (Kuakoa, September 30, 1876; Krauss)
He learned the landscape, customs and traditions – all the while constantly on alert to escape captivity. Around age 26, he eventually escaped from his Indian captors. Then, Grouard (Standing Bear) became an Indian Scout in the American Army under General George Crook, fighting Sioux Indians.
Almost every summer for nearly a dozen years, Grouard was in the field as a scout, commanding as many as 500 scouts and friendly Indians with all the Indian fighters who made reputations in subduing the Indians. He was wounded many times, suffered almost incredible hardships, saved small armies on several occasions and often saved the lives of individual men and officers.
OK, one other bit to this story … John and James Hunton are Nelia’s Great Great Uncles.