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Records Relating to Investigations of the Ft. Philip Kearny (or Fetterman) Massacre
Testimony of Dr. C.M. Hines
M740 roll 1 of 1
National Archives & Records Administration



Dr. C.M. Hines appeared before the Commission, and testified as follows.

Question   What is your name, age, and occupation?
Ans.   C.M. Hines, twenty eight years of age.  Physician.
     
Ques.   When did you arrive at Fort Phil Kearney, and how long did you remain there?
Ans.   I arrived in October or November 1866, and left there on the 28th of January last.  While there, I was Acting Assistant Surgeon of the Post.
     
Ques.   While there did many Indians visit your post in a friendly manner, and to what tribes did they belong?
Ans.   None that I am aware of.
     
Ques.   While you were there were there any hostile demonstrations by Indians?
Ans.   Yes.
     
Ques.   What Indians were they?
Ans.   From my knowledge of the Indians in that country, and from some appearing on the hills and calling out to the garrison, I believe them to be Sioux.
     
Ques.   What were the hostile demonstrations?
Answer   It appeared to me that every opportunity they had of killing any one of the garrison, or any white man, they would do so.
     
Ques.   Did they drive off stock?
Ans.   Yes.
     
Ques.   You were present at the Fort on the day of the massacre.  Did you go on the spot and see the dead bodies before they were removed?
Ans.   I did.
     
Ques.   Describe the dead bodies.  How they were situated?
Ans.   The spot was at the northern end of the point towards Peno Creek, from the fort, on Lodge Trail ridge, about three and one half miles from the fort.

There were some three or four rocks, from six to nine yards from the ridge.  These rocks were on a lower ridge from where the road ran out towards Peno Creek.  Behind, and in the neighborhood of these rocks, I should judge in an area of ten or fifteen yards in diameter, there were some fifty or sixty dead men, stripped of everything, their heads apparently radiating from a common centre, with the appearance of having died there.

Then passing on the road, I found five or six, some of them not more than twenty feet from the other bodies.  The heads of the horses and men were lying in the direction of the main body of dead.  No body was found between the large body and the fort.

Captain Brown, to the best of my knowledge, and Colonel Fetterman, were with the large body of men.  Lieutenant Grummond was on the road some distance off.  Some three or four were from a quarter to a half mile from the large body.
     
Ques.   Were there any Cavalry soldiers with the large body?
Ans.   There were.  There was a dead horse between this body of men and the fort, and another to the right, in some brush not quite dead.  There were no dead men near the horses.
     
Ques.   How do you think the majority were killed?
Ans.   By arrows.  There were some sabre or spear wounds.  Not punctured but incised wounds.
     
Ques.   Were the men beaten by clubs or tomahawks?
Ans.   Yes, the brains of the greater number were beaten out.
     
Ques.   Were they scalped?
Ans.   All that I saw.  I believe I saw all.
     
Ques.   Do you think they were tortured to death, or killed outright?
Ans.   It would be difficult to tell.  They may have been tortured to death, but I cannot positively say.  The limbs of some were contorted.
     
Ques.   Would you judge from the appearance of this ground, that one party had advanced and the other halted on the ground where they were lying?
Ans.   My impression is, from viewing the ground, that the cavalry were in advance of the infantry -that the Indians decoyed them on, and that the Indians rose up from the defiles in the rear of the entire command, that the cavalry dismounted and fought on foot, that they retreated or fell back to join the infantry.  I think they fought in a circle, being attacked on all sides.
     
Ques.   What time in the afternoon did you reach these dead bodies?
Ans.   I suppose between twelve and two o'clock.
     
Ques.   How long after you reached the extreme crest of this hill, did you reach the dead bodies?
Ans.   I was ordered perhaps an hour after they had left the fort, by Colonel Carrington, to go to the wood train.  His orderly was to accompany me, and a Mr. Phillips, a citizen, was also to accompany me.

I was afterwards joined by Lieutenant Matson, and a mounted infantryman, we joining with some employees of the Quarter Master's Department, in one or two wagons.  We followed the road towards the wood train, and were satisfied the wood train was safe.

My orders were, after being satisfied of the safety of the wood train, to cross to the command under Brevet Lieutenant Col. Fetterman.

Following this road for two miles or more, we then determined to join the command under Colonel Fetterman.  Passing down the side of the defile, between the big and little Piney, we reached the Big Piney.  We tried to find a crossing, but could not, and were obliged to go lower down the stream to where the road crosses.  The firing at this time being very rapid, and the Indians appearing on Lodge Trail ridge, between us and the command, we came to the conclusion that the command was surrounded, and rode into the post for reinforcements.  This was done as expeditiously as possible.

Captain Ten Eyck was then sent out, with which command Lieut. Matson, myself, and the others who had been out, joined.  We crossed the Big Piney, at the regular crossing, on the ice, marched up the road nearly opposite the Indian picket left on Lodge Trail ridge, and he descended, joining other Indians then there.  We then took a position on Lodge Trail ridge, where we received reinforcements and ammunition.

We remained about one hour.  The Indians were gradually moving off on horseback.  A few remained near the bodies.  Captain Ten Eyck, and some of the men, fired at them to drive them off.  They were from six to nine hundred yards distant.  The Indians were apparently waiting to gather some things.  Captain Ten Eyck then advanced his line to those bodies, which were by the road side.
     
Ques.   How far were you when you heard the last shot fired?
Ans.   When we arrived at the point where we had a view of the position where those bodies lay, they were surrounded by Indians, and there was some firing then.
     
Ques.   About this time how many shots were fired?
Ans.   Not many.  The shots appeared to be from the arms captured by the Indians.
     
Ques.   Was this circle standing in order or was it a crowded circle?
Ans.   It appeared to me to be an ordered circle, and in ranks.  I do not recollect of seeing the smoke of pieces discharged.  Upon reaching this point, we heard a tremendous yell or cry, then the guns were discharged.  The rapid firing had ceased half an hour before.
     
Ques.   How many Indians did you see on the field during the day?
Ans.   From this point where we saw the bodies, to a point beyond Peno, the Indians were scattered over a distance of two or three miles.  There was a large body around the dead bodies, and at the end of the three miles, there was another large body drawn up as it were across the road.  I estimated the number from 1500 to 3000.  I make my judgement from what I have seen of troops, while serving with the Army in the south.
     
Ques.   Were any of the dead bodies warm?
Ans.   I was on horseback and did not touch them.  I saw no cartridges, guns or clothing.
     
Ques.   When you went back to the fort to report the condition, do you think troops were sent out as rapidly as possible?
Ans.   Yes.
     
Ques.   How long a time was it before they went out?
Ans.   I cannot say.
     
Ques.   Did you go out on the double quick?
Ans.   I do not recollect.  I went ahead on horseback.
     
Ques.   Were the Indians generally mounted?
Ans.   It seemed to me a good many were on foot.  I suppose they had been all mounted, but were walking to carry off the dead bodies on their horses.  I saw no squaws.
     
Ques.   Was there any thicket or brush?
Ans.   There was a small thicket near the dead bodies.
     
Ques.   Were you in plain view of the Indians while on the crest of this hill?
Ans.   I was.
     
Ques.   Were you then endeavoring to settle in your own mind the number of Indians?
Ans.   Yes Sir.
     
Ques.   Have you any means of knowing what tribe of Indians these were, and what in your opinion were they?
Ans.   In my opinion, no other tribe but the Sioux, could furnish so many men.  In my opinion they were Sioux.
     
Ques.   What were the names of the citizens killed in the massacre? 
Ans.   James Wheatly and Wm. [sic] Fisher.  They had volunteered to go out with Colonel Fetterman.
     
    Dr. C. M. Hines, being recalled, testified as follows.
     
Question   Have you ever passed over the route, or any portion of it from Fort Laramie to Virginia City and Forts Phil Kearney and C.F. Smith?  If so, when and with whom? 

Ans.   I was the surgeon of the expedition for the survey and exploration of the Head waters of the Yellow Stone and Missouri rivers.

This expedition was under command of Captain W. H. Reynolds and Lieutenant Maynadier and Lieutenant Smith, 2nd Infantry.  This was in May 1859.

We passed up the Missouri river and landed at Fort Pierre, having the goods to be distributed to the Indians under the Harney treaty.  Passing from there we struck the Cheyenne river, near the Black Hills, and moved from there to the Powder river.  From Powder river we went to the Yellow Stone at Fort Sarpy, from thence Tulleck [sic] Creek.  At this point the command divided.  I accompanied Lieutenant Maynadier, by the way of the Rosebud, Tongue river to the Powder river, and travelled up the main stream to the mouth of Clear Fork and thence up Clear Fork and Crazy Woman's Fork; from thence towards the Platte to the Red Buttes, from the Red Buttes to the Deer Creek.

In 1860, the command again divided near the Red Buttes.  I continued with Lieutenant Maynadier, passing by the California road, by the Sweet Water and the South pass, from thence to the Papawagan, thence to Gray Bull and to Wind river.

The two commands here united.  From here we went to the Yellow Stone, and up the Yellow Stone to the three forks of the Missouri, and here, the entire command came together again.  Separating again, we proceeded down the Yellow Stone to the Missouri, and again united at Fort Union.  This terminated the expedition.

Ques.   What Indians did you find in this country at this time, and what was their disposition towards the whites? 

Ans.   We found the Sioux and Crow - Sioux of different bands, and we saw some Cheyennes.  The Crows were friendly and had the reputation of constant friendship.  The Sioux at Fort Pierre, Northern bands, Unkpapas, Sans Arc, Blackfeet Sioux, Minniconjous, Brules &c. were not disposed to accept the goods under the Harney treaty.  They seemed to have the idea that if they accepted those goods they would be under obligations to the Government, and the whites would take advantage of it.

In the council we had with them, they objected strongly to our command passing through the country.  They gave as their reasons, that wherever the white man went, the game disappeared, and game was their support.

These Indians complained of the Yanctonais for giving up a part of their land, without their consent, and said they were equally interested with the Yanctonais in the land that had been disposed of.  They gave us to understand that upon no account, and under no circumstances would they consent that a road should pass through that country.

Captain Reynolds told them that he was sent there by the President to do a certain duty, and he intended to do it if he had to force his way through the country.  This was in 1859.

In 1860 Lieutenant Maynadier held a council with some at Fort Berthold, and they reiterated the same determination.

We passed the most game on the Rosebud, Big Horn, and Tongue rivers.
     
Question.   Were you at the treaty of Fort Laramie in June last, and if so, did the Indians along the route to Virginia City, via Forts Phil Kearney and C.F. Smith, assent to it and sign it in such a manner, and under such circumstances as to make it probable they would abide by it? 

Ans.   I am of the opinion they did not.  Some of them refused to sign it.