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Sedalia Daily Democrat / March 14, 1875


The Captive Germain Girls Returned to the Cheyenne Agency.

The Tribe of Indians who held the Germain girls captive have arrived at the Cheyenne Agency, accompanied by their principal chiefs. The Atchison Champion, in a letter from Indian Agent Miles, says:

The two girls, Catherine Elizabeth, aged eighteen years, and Sophia Louise Germain, aged thirteen years, report that they were captured on the “Smoky,” in Western Kansas, on the 11th day of September last, also their two younger sisters, Julia Amanda and Nancy Adeline. The last two were rescued some time since by the troops. Their party was surprised early in the morning, and their father, John Germain, and mother, Lydia, and the following brothers and sisters murdered:

Rebecca Jane, aged twenty-one; Stephen W., aged nineteen; James C., aged fifteen. That the party of murderers consisted of seventeen Cheyenne bucks and two squaws.

After having witnessed the wholesale murder of their loved ones, and the burning of some of them after they were scalped, they were compelled to mount ponies and accompanied the party on their mission for blood.

They were continually on the raid for about three weeks, before reaching the main Cheyenne camps, on the Red River. The Indians murdered other parties by the way, but the girls were never permitted to witness such scenes. At one time, just before crossing the Arkansas, returning South, they brought into camp three fresh scalps, and what they supposed to be the clothing of a man, woman and little girl, and some subsistence. This, I think, was in the vicinity of Pierceville. Afterwards, the Indians brought into camp the clothing of a man and a woman’s side-saddle. The girls seldom saw each other, and they say they were never permitted to lodge together or to give each other advice and comfort. They had supposed their sisters had been lost or murdered. Sophie saw them once after their capture. She was taken by the Indians to their camps to see them, and they told her of their experience while wandering on the prairie, after the Indians had deserted them, living on blackberries. They were afterwards picked up by the Indians. The girls say they can point out the individual Indians that participated in the murder of their relatives.

A few of the leading hostile chiefs and head men came in with the girls, who are here in advance of the main party. Among them I recognize the faces of “Grey Beard,” “Heap O’Birds,” “Lean Bear,” “High Back Wolf,” “Red Moon,” “Stone Calf,” “Eagle Head,” “Long Back,” “Wolf Robe,” etc., numbering twenty-five. The girls say that they recognize in this party two or three who were in the party that captured them, and Sophie says that she recognized in the party “the man that burned her sister.”

These children come to us now orphans, indeed, and poverty-stricken, and are justly entitled to the sympathy and substantial aid of our government and its friends. The military officers and troops and Agency employes have been very generous in alleviating their present wants.

It appears that the unfortunate family were formerly from Georgia. Five years ago, they moved to Missouri, where they remained three years; from thence to the vicinity of Elgin, Howard County, Kansas, from whence they started, about the 1st of September last, for Colorado, intending to make their future home.

The above is a brief statement of the sad experience of the sufferers from one of the many raids made by Cheyenne, Kiowa and Comanche Indians during the past season. But in order to fully realize what it is to be a captive, one must have the experience.

It is but justice to the Indians who have remained with us, and continued friendly, to say that their influence has been exerted in behalf of these captives, in securing their release. But we cannot speak in too high terms of the persistent efforts put forth by Gen. L. H. Neill, which has brought forth such a happy result, and none appreciated more than the girls themselves.

From the time that the massacre was committed the two unfortunate girls have been the mistresses of Stone Calf and Grey Beard. Eliz. is now enceinte [i.e. enceinte, French euphemism for pregnant — Dave], and in a half-crazed condition. Both were dressed in the Indian costume.

The last paragraph is clipped from another source.

For more on the German sisters, click here.


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