Make your own free website on

panions did not give up but died while trying to free himself.  Thus ended the scheme of capturing wild buffalo for the show at Niagara Falls.
     Two of our horses died from heat and overwork, while some of our men got terrible falls.  Texas Jack said, "They swapped ends."  There has been a great deal said about shooting buffalo, but the world's history does not record the fact that any party ever roped and tied down full-grown buffalo, as we did in the summer of 1872.
     Medicine Valley was the dividing line, north and south, in the hunting grounds of the two great Indian tribes, the Pawnees on the east and Sioux on the west.  The buffalo having all gone west or east of this line, the Pawnees would occasionally steal across on a hunt.  The death knell of disaster swept over the Pawnees in the summer of 1873; they made a raid in Sioux territory and killed a number of buffalo.  The squaws, in high glee and happy, were busy cutting the meat in thin slices to dry, ready to take back with them, when their hated enemy, the Sioux, came down on them, in a canyon where they were at work, with a savage war whoop.
     The Pawnees were surrounded and after a hard fight the Sioux won the victory.  They showed no quarter to their victims, who left many squaws and braves to molder away with the buffalo they had slain.  This was the last fight between the contending tribes in this part of the country; the Pawnee were so completely whipped that they feared the Sioux.  The bones of the "poor Indians" were picked up with animal bones and shipped East to be ground into fertilizer to enrich the worn soil.


     An interesting hunt took place on the Medicine near where the town of Maywood now is.  My sister, Mrs. D.C. Ballentine, honored us with her company.  She said:
     "I will try the difficult feat of shooting elk and buffalo from horseback while at full speed."
     There are but few men able to ride a horse on the rn over rough country, and shoot with any accuracy.  It took a speedy horse to catch a buffalo.  I had one that was trained in the chase upon which Mrs. Ballentine was mounted.  We sent out a scout to locate the buffalo.  After a long ride in the direction he had taken, we saw him about a mile away, riding in a circle, the Indian sign he had found them.
     We approached him cautiously and a large herd was seen coming up from the creek, where they had been to water.  The saddle girths were tightened, guns got in readiness; but not any too soon for they had scented us.  Then away they went, with heads and tails in the air, for the hills.  Soon half a dozen of us were strung out, the fleetest horses in the lead.  As we neared the lumbering, awkward-looking monsters, they began to gain in speed until it was like a whirlwind, increasing all the while.
     Mrs Ballentine's horse took her along side the herd, on a level run, when she began to shoot, not ten feet away from them.  Three of the party were left far behind.  The buffalo finally went over a bluff, rolling like balls, with the exception of seven dead and wounded along the trail, Mrs. Ballentine having killed two and wounded several others.  This is the first and only case where a woman was ever known to have killed buffalo from horseback while on the run.

Return to Paddy Miles

Next Page