Letter to the Editor

Two sides to every story

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dear Editor,

There is a saying that "there are two sides to every story."

Recently I found "The Great Platte River Road" by Merrill J. Mattes and "Cheyenne Autumn" by Mari Sandoz (1901-1965) at the Trenton Public Library.

Mari Sandoz writes in her book that in 1878 a band of 278 Northern Cheyenne fled from the Oklahoma reservation where the U.S. government had taken them. (They set out for their home in Montana, 1,500 miles away.) Their path was along the northwest corridor of the Great Plains.

More than 10,000 men under Gen. Crook pursued them. On page 174 of "Cheyenne Autumn," it quotes Dull Knife, who said, "We were told by the army officers to keep the young men from hunting the whites along the trails."

There is a picture of the Cheyenne Chief Little Wolf at Fort Keogh, Montana, in 1879, with Lieutenant W.P. Clark, one of his captors. They Cheyennes endured starvation after their march from Fort Robinson.

Indians realized that white settlers and pioneers crossing the plains were a threat to their way of life and buffalo herds that fed their people.

According to Merrill J. Mattes, author of "The Great Platte River Road" (on pp. 158-159) Cheyenne and Sioux Indians ravaged ranches and stations along the Little Blue River, which ran southwest and connected Platte River Indian villages with their buffalo hunting grounds.

David Wimer of Trenton is the grandson of W. D. Wimer, who helped Mari Sandoz research the facts for "Cheyenne Autumn" published in 1954.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Neb.

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