State of Nebraska - Genealogy Trails










No Records On Cody – Yellow-Hand “Duel”

War Department Reports on Period Show “Nothing Authentic.”

“Should Divide Credit”

    From the World Herald Bureau Washington, D. C., July 27

    If colonel William F. Cody slew Chief Yellow Hand in the War Bonnet Creek battle in 1876, as legend has it, there is nothing in the records of the war department to show it.

    The report of General Carr, which covers the period in which a bowie knife duel between “Buffalo Bill” and Chief Yellow Hand is said to have taken place, contains no reerene to the matter, officials of the war department stated. No report was made by General Millard.

    Exhaustive Investigation

    In 1910 the department made an exhaustive investigation to establish the truth of the duel, at the request of a member of congress, and then reported that there was nothing of an authentic nature to show that “Buffalo Bill” has killed Chief Yellow Hand.

    Further investigation since the, say officials, has unearthed nothing that warrants it in reversing the negative decision then rendered.

    Credit for the death of Yellow Hand must be divided among Cody, the scout, Little Bat, and Sergeant Jacob Blaut, all with the Fifth Cavalry, according to Tom Rivington, 617 South Eighteenth Street, who says he talked with each seeking to learn the truth of the spectacular incident.

    ”Cody Didn’t Know.”

    “Cody himself told me that he did not know which of them killed Yellow Hand,” Rivington said.

    James Duffy said to have been a witness to the affair, described it once in this fashion: “That makes me tired. Cody never killed Yellow Hand. Why, about all he did was to kill his horse. I’ll give himcredit for that.

    “Cody killed the horse and creased the Indian and Jim Lanahan, one of the five men in the group besides Cody, killed Yellow Hand. I wasn’t more than five feen from Cody at the time he shot.”

    But according to Mrs. C. R. Nordin, 2439 Pratt Street, “Doc” Carver, noted rifle shot and known as the “Evil Spirit of the Plains,” gave the credit to Frank North, a brother of Captain Lute North of Columbus, Nebraska, himself an old Indian Scout. Captain North, however, never credited his brother.

    The World Herald; Omaha
    Saturday, July 28, 1928