A Frontier Doctor Page: 14
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A FRONTIER DOCTOR
whenever we were near high lands or mountains we would
see their smoke signals.
Somewhere along the Montana line we were awakened
in the middle of one night by the most unearthly yells,
the thunder of many hoofs dashing over the ground, and
the crack-crack-crack of rifles. It did not take long to re-
alize that we were attacked by Indians. I was hardly
awake when I heard the quick commands of the officers
and in less time than it takes to write about it, our
troopers were returning the fire. My shotgun in its case
was the foundation of my pillow at night. I rolled over on
my face, lying flat, unlimbered my gun, slipped in a
couple of buckshot shells, and lay there awaiting develop-
ments. This was my first experience under fire and I was
neither frightened nor excited. I had heard and read a lot
about Indian fighting and decided to keep as near the
ground as possible and so crawled out of the tent with
my gun cocked, to reconnoiter and see if there was any-
thing for me to do.
In a very short time, however, our enemies vanished
and the horrible din ceased. The attack was for the pur-
pose of stampeding our animals, but thanks to our system
of corralling them, the drive was an utter failure. Morn-
ing disclosed three bullet holes through our tent, as well
as many through others, but there was not a casualty on
our side. Scouts found traces of blood in two places on
the prairie and one dead Indian pony.
Later, when we were near the foothills of the Rocky
Mountains, although still on the plains, the Indians set
fire to the grass, during a very strong west wind, and
this nearly developed into a tragedy. Our men at once
started counter-fires, but before the ground cooled
enough to allow us to take advantage of the cleared
space, immense volumes of smoke overtook us, and for a
time we were all in danger of suffocation. We covered our
Here’s what’s next.
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Hoyt, Henry Franklin. A Frontier Doctor, book, 1929; Boston, Massachusetts. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143532/m1/36/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.