Month: August 2013

An Utter Disaster

Braided trails converge on the ferry

A slow-moving path on the swift shallow stream

A one-way route of wagons and men

Children and mothers, cows and oxen

Crossing plains, buttes, mountains and lands

Through sagebrush, tumbleweeds dust storms and sand

Walking and riding until we were sore,

Then we got up in the morning, and then walked some more

Dresses frayed at the bottom from walking for miles

Holes worn through the soles of the barely shod child

The Indians watch us, we trudge on in fear

Round the wagons at night, for the demons are near

The first attack came on high ground near Castle Creek

We rounded the wagons, they only prey on the meek

They came at us again, down near Henderson Flat

We could not hold off them then, many died where they sat

Survivors escaped with the clothes on our backs

A few guns and some provisions, at night we made tracks

Along the Snake River, to the fork of the Owyhee

Where we camped and rested, ‘neath the cottonwood trees

Eighteen children, six adults and a young teenage man

Rested there by the river, before some began

To go in search of a rescue, but they met their sad end

Four small children taken captive, the rest dead at Farewell Bend

We folks who stayed behind by the river and were too weak to go

Died slowly of starvation, resolving to forgo

The morals of civilization, and we vowed to eat the flesh

Of the recently departed, lest we too become dead

Eventually the Army came to find us last few

Just eleven of the 44 who started had managed to make it through

But the small ones who were captured and were traded as slaves

Died of torture or went feral, now lost are their graves