Colorado Pioneers

The Yellow Haired Boy

When the Third regiment arrived at Fort Lyons, all the soldiers were inspected and those not fit for service were left behind. A boy in Captain Johnston’s company was left out because he was too young, not yet eighteen. In appearance he seemed older, being over six feet tall but very thin. He had a fair babyish face framed with curly golden hair that was unusually long and tangled. He seemed to be anxious to take part in the raid against the Indians and when told that he must remain at the fort he was greatly disappointed. Lieutenant Gilson went …

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W. S. Coburn

Biography of Watson S. Coburn

Watson S. Coburn was born on June 4, 1838, in Decatur, Massachusetts. After living in the New England states about twenty-one years, he decided to go west. He made Chicago, then a town of a hundred and nine inhabitants, his first stop, where he remained six months, before going to Springfield, Illinois. While in Springfield the civil war broke out and he went to join the army. Failing to get in on account of the quorum being filled, each time he applied, he was given a position as a sutler to sell goods to the soldiers. He was in the …

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Union Pacific Railroad in Summer and Fall of 1867

In July, 1867, the railroad was completed to Julesburg on the north side of the Platte River from old Julesburg or Fort Sedgwick; thus destroying the business of all overland feed ranches for the coming winter, when all the freighting would be done from Cheyenne, a new town to be surveyed and platted early in August. We at once closed out our surplus stock and abandoned the old fort and ranch, where we had spent several years and had all our experiences with the Indians that we cared for, and went to Julesburg. There we found a new element with …

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Two Face

After his raid down the Platte, where he burned so many farm houses and hay stacks, when he took Mrs. Morris captive and got so good a price for her ransom, Two Face decided that there was good money in stealing and selling white women; so he took it up as a profession. He went over on the Blue river and captured Mrs. Ewbanks and Miss Roper. After he had them three or four months, and mistreated and abused them as the Indians usually did their captives, Two Face took them to one of the southern forts, supposed to be …

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A Trip to Montana

In November, 1863, I left Denver with a two horse team and some of my truck, and headed for Helena, Montana. A short time afterwards I took four or five wagons and men and went near Banick City, put up a log house and started a station. It was while here that I got acquainted with some of the road agents and familiar with their plans and tricks. The Indians were not our only enemies; we lost a lot through the road agents, who were principally the criminals and jail breakers that escaped from the East and took refuge in …

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A Trip to the Missouri River

A man by the name of Pease and I happened to run across each other, while on our way to the Missouri river. We were freighting and had several wagons and a large number of oxen with us. On the main traveled side of the river the grass was poor, so we forded the river and made camp on the opposite side. Right after we had turned the cattle out to graze, we noticed a large and dark cloud coming up over the horizon. We gave the boys orders to prepare a corral, by chaining all the wagons together in …

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Three Tribes Against the Whites

After spending the last forty-five years on the frontier, beginning in the then Territory of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Montana, and being a close observer of cause and effect in passing events, it will, no doubt, be of interest to the general public to know the real cause of the uprising and consolidation of the three tribes of Indians, namely, the Sioux, Cheyennes and Arapahoes, against the whites. The Sioux Nation was the most powerful and numerous of any of the tribe of Indians on the North American continent, at one time numbering …

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Standing Elk

The government was trying to arrange a treaty with the Indians in the northern part, around Fort Laramie, as it did not want to fight with them. Watson Coburn, a Mark Code and several other ranchmen had a number of horses stolen. Coburn and Code went after them and found a large bunch of horses, and counted seventy-four that had their brand on them. They went to the officers at the fort and asked them to help recapture the horses. The officers refused to do so, saying that an attempt to get the horses would interfere in making the treaty; …

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Shaw and the Horses

The first night out they made Pueblo. Sometime in the night forty horses were stolen. In the morning Shaw sent an escort on with the other horses, while he and Ad. Williamson went to look for the missing ones. Shaw and Williamson traced the horses up the Little Fountain. After proceeding a few miles, they came upon a Mexican in a thicket of willows. When Shaw questioned him in regard to the missing horses and asked if he had seen any stray ones, the Mexican would answer, “No savy, senor, no savy.” The deputy marshal being familiar with the bluffs …

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Sand Creek Fight

On the morning of the sixteenth day of December, 1864, the Third regiment of Colorado Volunteers moved from Pueblo down the Arkansas to Bent’s Fort. Here they made camp the first night. Before leaving the next morning they took Bent’s family prisoners, placed a guard over them, and took Bob Bent with them for a guide. He led the soldiers down to Boone’s ranch the second day, and the afternoon of the third day they came in sight of Fort Lyons. This was the first that Major Anthony and his soldiers knew there was such a regiment in existence. When …

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