Post by kingsleybray on Nov 15, 2011 15:40:20 GMT -5
ahmann, thanks for taking these fine photo's of the items left to Dr. Mann by Used As a Shield (Grass sr.).
I thought you would like to read this interesting account by Col A. B. Welch, in which he describes locating in 1939 the grave of Used As a Shield, in company with the latter's daughter (sister of John Grass). it has fascinating details of the death and burial of Used As a Shield, which nicely complement Dr. mann's information. The account has just been posted on the excellent new website devoted to Col. Welch's papers. Here is the link to this particular page. It's a resource that is daily growing and very exciting. Everyone with an interest in Plains Indians would do well to keep up to date with the coming additions.
Thanks again, ahmann, for the fascinating information and photographs.
"On the Oct. 14th, 1939 [writes Col. Welch] I drove to Wakpala, S.D., where live the Sihasapa (Blackfeet) Dakota, where I called to the group of tents and log houses where lives John Cadotte (whose Indian name is Standing Alone) and who is the nephew of Chief John Grass, being the son of his sister. Also here I met, again, his own sister, Mrs. Cross Bear (who goes by the name of Auntie Cross). She is 84 years old now. I made arrangements to come again the next day and take her over to the Missouri River to point out the spot where her father lies buried in the ground. I then drove on to spend the night at Mowbridge, S.D.
In the morning of the 15th, I went to the Sihasapa camp again, picked up Auntie Cross and a good interpreter whose name is Brown Wolf (the last of his family, by the way) as well as Mrs. Angela Boleyn who is writing the story of Chief John Grass, and we went via little-used trails through the hills and arrived at a point a short distance from the mouth of Oak Creek, where the aged Indian woman pointed out the site of the old Grand River Agency (previous to establishment of Fort Yates). I had her describe the place where her father was buried first, and then we drove to a spot on the edge of the hills overlooking the wooded valley of the Missouri. Here had been buried soldiers of the U.S.Army and it was plainly to be seen that bodies had been disinterred and removed to the grave yard at Fort Abraham Lincoln. Later they were taken up again and found final resting place in Arlington at Washington.
She stood on the edge of the hill, her calico dress whipped by the wind, her hair done up in a black cloth; slowly she turned her head and her eyes riveted upon a certain spot, partly down the hill; she stood for a few moments with her hand covering her mouth, her thin nostrils dilated, then motioned with her flat hand to a certain spot where there was a two-foot ring of stones almost covered with sod and grass.
“There,” she said, “He was sick. The soldiers liked him. They took him to the hospital then. He died there. They buried him in the ground (This was rather unusual as the Sioux buried on scaffolds or in the forks of trees) They blew a horn, too. (Taps?) They put stones on him. I was not there. I was away toward the Black Hills for meat. When I returned I saw this place then. He was my father. His name was Wahacankeyapi (Uses Him as a Shield). He was the father of John Grass, too. There’s where he is.”
I placed many other stones upon the grave. Then we drove away, going north a short distance; opened a wire fence and came upon a flat space where the hill dropped down toward the river and there were two ravines running east and west. "
Post by kingsleybray on Nov 15, 2011 15:45:40 GMT -5
Message to LaDonna:
Do you think we could locate the grave of Used As a Shield from the Welch description? Perhaps some memorial would be possible tied to the history of the Grass family.
It doesn't sound like they were exactly off-road - it reads like they drove from Wakpala through the hills to the Missouri near the mouth of Oak Creek. Then drove to a point on the "edge of the hills" overlooking the Missouri, and the grave was somewhat downslope from there.
I well remember our own drive through all this country three years ago -down the Missouri from Ft Yates, taking in Oak Creek, the Leavenworth site, the mouth of Grand River, up to Wakpala, the Cheyenne Hills. A great day capped with the powwow at Cannonball!
What I can add is that the burial place of John grass is at the St. peter Cementary, Fort Yates. Got this from the book...My Search for the Burial Sites of Sioux nation Chiefs by Veryl Walstrom. no mentioned of Uses Him as a Shield. Henri