|We present this awful massacre as it was originally recorded from on eye witness, Mrs. Nancy Martin, one of the daughters of Mrs. Elizabeth Baggett, whose home was attacked by Indians, which is presented on another page. As you can see, these Indian attacks were vicious and bloody, terrorizing and killing many innocent victims.|
On the 11th day of July 1866, the Indians attacked a schoolhouse on the Leon River in Hamilton County. The children were out at recess, but they rushed in to tell their teacher, Miss Ann Whitney, who was their teacher at that time, that they saw Indians coming. She ordered them to take their seats, saying: “They are cowboys; they will think I keep bad order.” The children tried to obey the order of their much beloved teacher. The teacher could not believe they were Indians until she saw them cut loose a horse that was staked, then she exclaimed: “Oh children! Get away if you can! They are Indians!”
By this time the Indians were upon them! Miss Ann shut the door and bolted it. The children jumped out of the windows and were running in every direction. One of the Indians spoke in plain, fluent English, saying: “Oh yes, we have caught you by yourself this time.” And then they commenced shooting her. She still continued to hold the door. One Indian went to the window and told her to come to him. She replied: “If I were to go there you would shoot me.” Said he: “No, I will not shoot you.” She left the door, the blood dropping off her fingers, and when about the center of the room, he commenced shooting her in the face with arrows. The Indians were shooting her from both sides by this time.
She saw that death was staring her in the face and said: “Kill me if you will, but for goodness sake, don’t kill the children.” Then an Indian stepped up and held up his right hand while the others finished killing her. By this time the children had all gotten away except five: Miss Mary Jane Manning, Lewis Manning, John Coal, John Kuykendall, and Miss Sarah Jane Kuykendall. Miss Sarah Jane was sick at the time and lying under the writing desk. One Indian came in the house where Sarah Jane was lying. She picked up a bench leg and said: “I will knock you down if you don’t let me alone.”
She started out of the house and he told her not to run; if she did he would shoot her. She ran, and the Indian shot her through the wrist and back. She fell and lay there until the Indians left. Then she got up and made her way to John Baggett’s house. The Indians captured John Kuykendall. The other children got under the floor and stayed there until the white men arrived.
Amanda Howard and Sallie Howard, wife of Val Howard, had been to John Baggett’s home on a visit and while returning home and within one hundred yards of the schoolhouse they saw the Indians. One of them took after Amanda and Sallie, but they kept ahead of him. They made it for John Baggett’s place and when they arrived, Amanda made her horse leap over an eight rail fence. The Indian ran up to the side of Sallie with a six-shooter in his hand. She jumped to the ground and the Indian followed her to within thirty yards of the field fence, where Baggett lived. Mr. Baggett was nearly blind.
His daughter, Nancy, said: “Here he is, Pa!” The old man then presented his gun. The Indian left Sallie and fell over on the opposite side of his horse for protection. Miss Amanda said she was going to her brothers, Val and Chap Howard. When she started, four Indians from the schoolhouse took after her, but she escaped.
As the Indians left the schoolhouse they attacked some movers in the valley by the name of Stangeline. They knocked two girls off their horses. Mr. Stangeline shot one of the Indians. They turned on him and shot him with guns until he fell over in his wagon. When he fell, his children left the wagon. Then the Indians ran up, raised his arm and stabbed him as long as he would flinch. Mrs. Stangeline raised her baby and told them to kill it first. They shot her through the arms first, the ball passing through into her babe’s arm. The Indians took one of the girls to a certain place and left her. Some neighbors took the girl’s dead father, her wounded mother, and brothers and sisters to Mr. Eli Howard’s house.
The Indians took little John Kuykendall off with them and sold him to an Indian agent far up north. The Indians had sold him to the agent for four gallons of whiskey. During his ordeal with the Indians, little John had forgotten who he was. His wild surroundings with the Indians had almost obliterated from his mind any trace of his former life. All efforts were made by the agent to find his family, but all in vain. He and his wife took care of him during his lapse of memory and after about eleven months, little John Kuykendall’s memory began to recover. He finally remembered some of his family. The agent advertised and his father came for him.
(This Editor’s Note: Nancy Martin, author of this narrative, was an eyewitness [this is according to the article, A School House Tragedy]. Nancy was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Baggett.)
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