General Fiction posted January 27, 2021 Chapters:  ...82 83 -84- 85 


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A large battle looms.

A chapter in the book A Grain Of Wheat

The Fight continues.

by Ben Colder


The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.



Background
Dedicated to those who fought so hard to survive the times.
I never knew what to say but tried building hope toward finding the Major. I lay trying to remember how the creek flowed and how it made a fork to the east forming another small branch. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced the other would be where the man could be.

Before dawn, I saddle Star and left word with the sentry where I was going and tell the Captain we would meet near the mouth of the creek and if I was not there when he arrived then to wait.

It was just enough light to travel to see where I was going. I rode slowly as I could hear drums beating somewhere in the distance.

I approached the creek and followed it away from where I searched the day before. The small branch flowed east as I remembered but found it winding into a much larger stream.

From my position I could smell wood smoke and see the column moving about. I rode to where the sentry could hear me.

"I'm J B Wright, a scout from Captain Lucas's patrol. Hold your fire!"

The man waved me into their defense, and I was immediately ushered to the Major.

They too had been hit hard with the loss of several with their scout being one of them, this explained why the column never met where we thought they would be.

They were lost and the enemy knew it. Gall's strategy was to wipe us out or kill as many as he could and then take out the Major's column.

Killing the scout would keep everything in check while he finished us off.

It was a brilliant plan, but it quickly fell apart with the loss of so many Arapaho warriors that they gave up the fight leaving not enough to take us down.

Providence, Great Spirit, or plain luck, the Major still had thirty good fighters and together our numbers presented a much larger resistance.

Later in the day I led the column to where we were to meet our group. Together, we made up a 58-man fighting force, but we still had three wounded from the major's bunch and luckily, none of them were of a serious nature and if necessary, they could be made to help.

It was late evening, near 4 pm when the Pawnee showed up leading the main column. Together we now numbered 121 fighting men assisted by the Gatling.

Gall was being reinforced as well. The southern Cheyenne, my mother's people made up the difference when the Arapaho left. He was now numbered more than three hundred.

The main column swung into position as we joined their ranks forming a skirmish line with the Gatling in the center. The medical wagon with the sharpshooters were to our right flank which our commander thought Gall would hit us first.

Before the first wave of the enemy's assaults, I could see two or three mounted war chiefs with each monitoring the charge.

As we revoked the first attack, we readied a much furious action as a hundred mixed warriors lunged in full force only to meet with such penetrating results.

The death toll of the many horses and men were so staggering, the chiefs came out from their positions waving a white flag.

I could see and hear Gall and the two other chiefs as Gall shouted with a tearful voice. "No, more, we fight no more. In a weeping voice he cried. "We will go to the white man's reservation, no more, our young men dead, so many, dead! We fight no more."

Like a dark cloud a sadness hoovered over the entire battlefield, the officers accepted their surrender.

I rode next to the captain as we passed several dead Cheyenne warriors when noticing someone I knew. I dismounted and despite the war paint, I knew who he was.

With a heavy heart I brushed away the debris from the side of his face as I heard the Captain ask, "Did you know this man?"

At first, I was silent but responded, "Man? You mean young warrior. He was called spotted owl. Yes, I knew him, he is the son of a dear friend. Captain, with your permission, I would like to take him home to his people."

I wrapped his bullet pierced body inside two Army blankets sealed within a canvas and strapped him down across a painted pony who had been fortunate to survive the battle.

Before leaving, Gall was kind enough to tell me the Cheyenne were somewhere in the Powder River basin.


I left the Army that day as still hearing the weeping voice. " No more, we fight no more!"

It was a sad scene as I gazed at the evening sun going down behind a mountain.

In a voice buried deep inside my mind, I could hear my mother's words. "The white man comes to kill and take our land. One day the Indian will be no more."




Book of the Month contest entry

Recognized


I sincerely thank each of you for riding back into American History with me. This is the last post of the series of J B Wright.
It has been a pleasure doing research for this novel and knowing I have few readers who actually liked the story. As you know it is refreshing when a reader shows an interest with encouraging comments.
I bid you farewell to all who have been so kind to have endured me and my style of writing.
I leave you with my blessings.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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© Copyright 2021. Ben Colder All rights reserved.
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