Ft. Marion POW Descendants 
planning activities for spring.



 
 
 

by John Sipes

   The Ft. Marion POW gathering for descendants of the prisoners of war sent to Florida from 1875-78 is planning activities, meetings and a dance for spring 2003.
   A meeting with Mike Leslie at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City focused on research the project is doing on Indian education, primarily Carlisle (Pa.) Indian School.
   Carlisle was formed by Capt. Richard Pratt, who was in charge of the POWs sent from Indian Territory to Ft. Marion.  He established Carlisle Indian School in 1879 when several POWs asked to stay back in the east and attend school.
   The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum houses the Arthur and Shifra Silberman Collection, which includes artworks and artists from the Ft. Marion experience.  I worked extensively with Arthur Silberman for years, and the POW project will enhance the Silberman Collection at the museum.
   Carlisle boarding school information and other Indian education research being put together will enable descendants to add to their oral family histories on the POWs they are descended from.
   A dialogue has been ongoing with the great-grandson of Capt. Pratt and myself on the planned gathering.
   A web site has been set up by Barbara Landis of Carlisle, Pa., in which historical information on each POW can be added.
   Landis for some years has been researching and documenting 
Carlisle Indian students.  Research on C&As who attended Carlisle and their extended families is being put together for the web site.
 

   Places of birth, death, Cheyenne names, English names, warrior societies, chief or headsman designated, placed of burial and accomplishments of each POW after their return to the reservation are also being put together.
   The concentration on Indian education at boarding schools is vital historically, and there is a peak in historians, writers, scholars and students researching and writing master's theses and dissertations on boarding schools and on students who returned to the reservations.
   Texas Historical Commission has shown great interest in the completed 1874-75 Red River War research in the Texas Panhandle and Palo Duro Canyon area.  A meeting with this group is planned in early spring.
   Oral histories of Cheyennes involved in the Red River War will enhance the already-documented information from agency and military reports and the surrender of POWs in 1875 at Fort Reno and on the shackled POWs being sent to Ft. Marion, Fla.
   Dates and places of coming meetings and a dance will be announced in March.
   Ruby Bushyhead, in my opinion, the foremost authority on C&A heirship extended family kinships, is actively compiling POWs' genealogies.  The genealogies are being completed so they can also be used for the Sand Creek Massacre project.
   Updates will be sent to this newspaper as progress is completed in each phase of research.
   Clifford Long Sioux, Northern Cheyenne Elk Horn Scraper headsman and ceremonial leader, with other contacts, will be notifying POW descendants in Montana about these developments.

Used by permission of the author.
Watonga Republican Jan 22, 2003.