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Territorial Enterprise, November 1, 1862

Adventures of Secesh Party on the Plains

Several emigrant trains arrived yesterday morning and went into winter quarters in various parts of Virginia City. Henry J. Price and family, of Pottawatomie county, Kansas, came with these, and from him we have gathered intelligence of the Secesh party which left this vicinity several months ago for the States. It appears that these gentlemen had a rather rough time of it than otherwise. They were attacked by the Indians beyond City Rocks, who killed and scalped two of the party, wounded several more, and robbed them of all their animals (27 in number,) as well as nearly everything in the shape of property which was worthy carrying off. Price's train found 11 of these men at Malade creek, 70 miles beyond City Rocks, two of whom had their arms broken in the skirmish. They were pushing on for Salt Lake, without animals and almost destitute of provisions. This was seven days after the battle. Three of this party -- Jackson, Reilly and Grant -- joined Price's train, and the balance went on. During the second night after this, Goodman and Sharp came into camp, almost overcome with starvation and exhaustion. Three men were badly wounded, one of them, Goodman, having been shot through one of his lungs; yet they had tasted no food for nine days and nights, except "Raft river fruit," i.e. rosebuds; had lain hidden in the willows on the bank of the stream every day, and traveled on food every night, half clad, although the weather was so cold that ice froze to the thickness of half an inch, and the ground was covered with a white frost. In this way they had managed to drag themselves about 20 miles beyond the scene of the conflict.

Goodman and Sharp informed Price's party that two wounded men, White and Comer, or Komer, were still in the vicinity of the battle ground, and 11 horsemen were immediately despatched to bring them into camp. They reached the spot before daylight, where they found Comer stowed away in the willows. He had remained there nearly ten days, subsisting, or rather starving gradually on rosebuds, unable to get away, and tortured by the pains of nine bullet wounds, to say nothing of the suffering he experienced from the bitter coldness of the weather. White had remained exposed where he fell, during five days and nights, when a party of Indians returned and killed and scalped him. Comer was placed upon a sheet, and carried along about five miles by the horsemen. Here they stopped until the train came up. After the three dead men had been decently interred, the train moved on, and while resting at noon, a day or two afterward, a few miles this side of City Rocks, it was fired into by a party of 8 Indians, and a young man named George Kauffman of Nebraska wounded in the head. This was on the 22 of September; Kauffman lingered until the 1st of October and died. The Indians were pursued, but being better mounted than their pursuers, they escaped. They were well armed with long-range rifles captured from emigrants. Price thinks that the leader of this gang, from the style of dress and his manner of riding, belonged to that meanest breed of Indians which the world has produced, viz: renegade white men.

Goodman and Sharp came on with Price as far as Unionville, Humboldt county, but Comer came through to Virginia City. These three men are rapidly recovering from their wounds and the effects of the terrible hardships they have experienced; and if a restoration to health leaves their tenacity of life unimpaired, insurance companies need not be afraid to take risks on them.

[Reprinted in San Francisco Bulletin, November 5, 1862, p. 3.]

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