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Desperate Indian Battle at the Forks of Beaver Creek

, KS


About this Exploration:

The Legend of the Desperate Indian Battle at the Forks of Beaver Creek in 1832 was fought 31/2 miles southwest of Smith Center, KS between the Pawnee, Delaware, and Omaha Indians on one side and the Cheyenne, Comanche, Arapahos and Apaches on the other.  The Pawnee numbered some 7,000 warriors and the Cheyenne Confederation about 9,000.  Over 2,000 Pawnees were slain and the Cheyenne some 3,000 were killed outright and some 700 were taken prisoners and afterwards burned at the stake.
The fight was brought on by the Pawnees who at that time were the most powerful and war-like tribe west of the Mississippi.  The fight lasted for three days and was one of the most bloody conflicts between opposing banks of Indians ever fought on the American continent resulting in a complete victory of the Pawnee.  In  this desperate conflict the Pawnee were led by the celebrated Chief Tar-po-na-ha, at that time the most crafty and daring chief of the Pawnee confederation.  The Cheyenne were led by Chief O-co-no-ma-woe, of whom Sitting Bull, of the Sioux is said to be a lineal descendant. 
This romantic tradition was told to the Smith County Pioneer Newspaper by an old blind warrior of the Pawnee as they were on their way south, who is said to be the only survivor of the bloody conflict now left to tell the bloody story.  It is authenticated and substantiated by Moncravie, an old French trapper and hunter, now living on the extreme headwaters of Frenchman's Fork of the Republican River, to who it was told by the Pawnees.
Information taken from the Smith County Pioneer April 16, 1903 issue
contact info
City of Smith Center
119 West Court
Smith Center, KS 66967
Phone: (785) 282-3249
Fax: (785) 282-6703
Smith Center Economic Development
219 S. Main
Smith Center, KS 66967
Phone: 785.282.6517
Fax: 785.686.4116
Smith Center Chamber of Commerce
219 S. Main
Smith Center, KS 66967
Phone: 785.282.3895
Fax: 785.686.4116
Kansas Sampler Foundation   Kansas Department of Commerce - Travel Kansas   Get Rural Kansas