April 10th, 1868
On April 10th, 1868, two letters with very different perspectives were written on the same day. One of those letters was written to the Governor of Kansas, Samuel J. Crawford. The individual writing to Crawford was seeking a possible assignment in the state militia:
Ottawa Apr 10/68
If you have to put the hostile Indians down again, I am at your service. If I ever make peace with the miserable devils I’ll do it after the style of Chivington
[Lieut] Col of the 62nd Ter Veterans
You doubtless remember the credentials I sent you last fall from Senator Yates, Governor Oglesby and others.
To Governor Crawford
The other letter, written by Indian agent Edward Wykoop, reported that his wards were in a “happy and quiet state”, although the Indians were “destitute” before government rations arrived. In addition, he declared rumors of impending Indian hostilities on the Southern Great Plains false. The main problem he faced, in fact, was the prevention of conflict between the Cheyennes and Arapahos versus the Kaws and Osages. The two letters demonstrated just how far apart public opinion was on the Southern Great Plains, with both views painting a completely different picture.