Washita Massacre. “Garryowen” was the song Custer had his band play right before the exterminations began.
I had gotten into a discussion with a woman in Cheyenne about the Washita Massacre, and she told me how a couple men, who she guessed were historians, coordinated an event of reconciliation. It involved a reenactment with Sand Creek Massacre descendants and grandsons of Custer’s 7th Calvary at the same location Black Kettle was exterminated by Custer at Washita (see below).
Washita Massacre. Approximate location of Black Kettle’s death
Paramount was the re-burial of a child’s bones.
The Sand Creek Massacre descendants camped where Custer’s 7th Calvary had attacked Black Kettle’s camp one century earlier; however, they didn’t know grandsons of Custer’s 7th Calvary would be coming over the hill, while firing guns with blanks in them. When Custer’s 7th Calvary’s grandsons came towards them on horses firing blanks in their weapons, there were many feelings of surprise, fear, anger, and betrayal felt by the Sand Creek Massacre descendants.
Remember, the Sand Creek Massacre descendants and the ones who were exterminated at Washita were the same people.
A line was formed after the surprise reenactment with the grandsons of the 7th Calvary at the front of the line, while the Sand Creek Massacre descendants stood next. Lawrence Hart, a Mennonite pastor, felt very angry as he watched the bones of the child being passed down towards the front, where the grandsons of the 7th Calvary were standing. A Native woman then put “a beautiful new woolen blanket” over the little coffin containing the child’s bones, ”the victim’s remains,” which continued being passed down the line to Hart. The blanket, that “would be given to a guest,” was handed to Hart by the “older peace chiefs” to initiate peace. Furthermore, “When Hart greeted the captain, the officer took the Garry Owen pin from his own uniform and handed it to Hart.”
“Among the Cheyenne was Lawrence Hart, a peace chief and a Mennonite pastor. The celebration became tense. The final event of the day was the re-burial of the victim’s remains. The small coffin was covered with a beautiful new woolen blanket. According to Cheyenne tradition, the blanket would be given to a guest.”
“The older peace chiefs asked Hart to give the blanket to the captain of the Grandsons of the Seventh Calvary! He couldn’t believe what they were asking. This man was the enemy! Hart’s own great-grandfather, Afraid of Beavers, had barely escaped the attack by hiding in a snowdrift.”
“Hart was tense. As the captain came forward, Hart told him to turn around. Hart’s trembling hands then draped the beautiful blanket over the captain’s shoulders.”
“It was a grand moment. The wise Cheyenne peace chiefs had initiated peace.
The Grandsons embraced the chiefs. Some cried. Some apologized. When Hart greeted the captain, the officer took the Garry Owen pin from his own uniform and handed it to Hart.”
“Accept this on behalf of all Cheyenne Indian people,” the captain said. “Never again will your people hear Garry Owen.”
Read that last sentence again said by the captain, and remember that “Garryowen” was the song Custer had his band play right before the exterminations began at Washita.
“Accept this on behalf of all Cheyenne Indian people,” the captain said.” Never again will your people hear Garry Owen.”
The lady I spoke with said there wasn’t a dry eye left; and to paraphrase her, “It was between them, so who are we to be upset about it and judge?”
I said something similar in the other diary. I only meant to publish this one now, there must’ve been a mistake I made with the scheduling button I didn’t think I used. Thanks for understanding. Peace.