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white river poems 357
am hardly contemplating,
now, with pleasure the fury
in which my mind went up, all
timbers crashing and fl ames, smoke....
Message to Major Thornburgh, September 27:
Understanding that you are on your way
with troops, I send a messenger, Mr. Eskridge,
and two Utes, Henry Jim, interpreter,
and John, to inform you that the Indians
are greatly excited, and wish you to halt your men,
at a convenient camping place, and thence
come with fi ve soldiers to the Agency,
that a council may be held. This I agreed to;
it seems for the best, though I do not presume
to order your movements, of course. The Utes regard
your troops' approach as a declaration of war.
In this I am laboring to undeceive them,
at the same time attempting to convince them
they cannot do whatever they please. Just now
the prime objective is to allay their fears.
N.C. Meeker
Sept. 28, the night before
the massacre. Frank Dresser,
young Agency employee,
writes in a letter home: