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Indian Pioneer Papers - Index

Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Date:   January 25th, 1938 
Name:  Sallie Manus 
Post Office:  
Residence Address:  Route 3; Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Date of Birth:  March 1839
Place of Birth:  Five miles west of Stilwell, Dick Busheyhead Store
Father:  Peacheater
Place of Birth:  Georgia
Information on father:  Died near Welling
Mother:  Annie Smallwood
Place of birth:  Georgia
Information on mother:  Died at my birth place
Field Worker:  Wylie Thornton
Interview #295

Mrs. Sallie Manus is a Peacheater. She married Spake MANUS, whose English name is Claborn Manus. Spake Manus is dead now and is buried in the Peavine Graveyard in Adair County, near Barron, Oklahoma.

Mrs. Manus' father, Mr. Peacheater, went blind while serving in the Civil War and his Captain sent him home. Sallie Manus remembers how they hid him in a shallow cave on the side of a mountain for fear of the Bushwhackers and the Confederate Army. The cave made for his hideout was a shallow cave covered with boards and then the boards covered with dirt and leaves and sticks until the surface appeared perfectly natural. His family lifted a board to give him his food.
Sallie Manus told her children that she had killed cattle for beef by herself by placing a rope around the horns of the victim and pulling the beef up to a tree, so it could not move its head until she could hit it with a wooden mall she had made out of a hickory tree. After hitting it over the brain until it was dead, she skinned it and tanned the hide by covering it up with green wood ashes. After it had stayed covered with those ashes for a few days, about five days, she scraped the hair all of and the hide she cut in small strips and completed the tanning process by pulling these strips of hide back and forth over a smooth pole while holding to both ends, roughly illustrated. She scraped the hair off with a shovel. She spread the hide on a smooth ground with the hairy side up, this side she covered with these ashes.

Mrs. Manus said she had to quit eating pork during the Civil War because all the hogs ran outside on the ranges, and the meat became unfit to eat because there were so many men killed and a great many of them buried in very shallow graves and these hogs rooted them up and ate them. Mrs. Manus said it was a common thing to see an old sow running around her yard fence with the smaller hogs running after her squealing to overtake her for a chance to help eat on a manís leg or some other part of the body, and many times some of the clothing would still be clinging to the leg or arm or whatever it happened to be.

The soldiers very often came by to rob Mrs. Manus of anything she had in the way of horse feed, food or clothing. One time one bunch came along and they took the last bit of corn she had for her meal or to feed her cow with and as they went to leave the leader or captain said, "Woman I am going to give you a pony so you can make another corn crop this coming spring provided this pony don't starve to death before the grass comes up for it to eat." The next year Mrs. Manus made a good crop of corn. The grass certainly did not come up a minute too early the next spring and an extra early spring was a blessing.

The soldiers were very mean to the women. They treated them without any respect whatsoever. Conditions following the War were absolutely indescribably, no law, no respect, life worth nothing, property rights wiped away, no food or clothing.


Second Interview
Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma

Date:  February 1st, 1938
Name:  Sallie Manus 
Interview #300

An Interview with Mrs. Sallie Manus,
R. S, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

I was born five miles west of where Stilwell is now located, and we were living there when the war broke out.

I remember when I had to go to Fort Gibson to buy flour for Mother and Sister after the Civil War broke out, and Father joined the Union side and went away to fight, and after a very short time my brother died without ever going into the War.

My father was known only by one name, Peacheater. His father's name was Peacheater Eagle. He was born in the old country or Georgia. My father very often said he wished the Cherokees had never been forced out of Georgia.

One time I started to Fort Gibson with an old wagon to buy some flour and when I reached the Illinois River between here and Tahlequah I was put across on a wooden ferry by a woman by the name of GANES, a young like woman. I think she was the daughter of Nancy Ganes, and she is still living some place southwest of Tahlequah. I reached Fort Gibson and I drove my little ponies and wagon right up to the Fort and the soldiers crowded around. They communicated my presence to the officers in charge and something was done. I don't know just what they did but anyway I was permitted to drive right up to the Commissary. I was given a great number of shoes and other things. I was requested to give to my neighbors what I could not use myself. I had a fine time distributing these shoes and things. I had those starving women, some of whom were barefooted, looking up to me like I was a God.

I made it back to the Illinois River and there stood the young lady ready and anxious to ferry me back across the river. She sure did laugh and wonder at my cargo of stuff. During the bloody-war, we women felt very near to each other because our troubles were the same. We rejoiced to see any person alive. It looked very much like we women would finally be killed out as well as the men.

I was pushed along by a bunch of Confederate soldiers once to a spot to be shot, and it just happened that one of the officers recognized me and interfered and said, "Here men, this war will not be won by killing the women, I want her released." This officer was a preacher and a nearby neighbor who had joined the southern army. That is all that saved my life. A lot of other women were killed by soldiers of the opposite army.

I spun my own yarn on a loom and made my own clothing. I made everything I wore including my underclothes, top clothes, socks and gloves and caps. I also made my own shoes out of buckskins. The shoes given me at Fort Gibson were about the first shoes I ever wore made by a white man. There were no whites in this country in my childhood days. We Cherokees also made our own Medicine.

The first store that ever was opened up near my old home place was opened by a full blood Cherokee, Dick BUSHYHEAD. He hauled his stuff from Fort Gibson and some place east. Maybe it was from Arkansas, I don't know.

Once I was warned by a soldier who had left a camp of Southern Soldiers camping about a mile east of me. This man knocked at my door about midnight and told me he had sneaked away while the rest slept and that they intended to raid my house early the next morning and take my ponies; money, food, clothing or anything they could find. I thanked the stranger with laughter and tears. I put my clothes on, took my bridles for my only little pony I had to help me make a living, and I stalked through the dark wooded pasture nearby until I found him. I talked to him and said, "Pony Babe, you come here to me. You got to make your best run of your dear life. Our enemy is after us. Come here Babe." He seemed to understand my begging voice and submitted very quickly and I took him to the house and I fed him the last food I had. He ate, seemingly rather nervous. He seemed to hear the extra noises just one mile away. At daybreak I had gotten my money ready to leave. I pinned $50.00 to my apron and got on my pony, just as I saw figures of some men coming. I spoke to Babe, "Hurry Babe". He was such a tiny pony that I could almost touch the ground with my feet. I heard the soldiers whoop and the race was on. I heard a few shots fired at me and Babe and I couldn't tell whether I was gaining or losing for awhile, but Babe seemed to be just warming up to the race as we mounted first one hill and then another. I used the instructions my father had given me years before, as to what to do in a race of that kind. He had told me to never kick a horse with your heels but use your voice by talking to your mount or using a small limb on the shoulder, because kicking your mount only shortened the pony's breath. Anyway I out ran my enemies. I ran from home to Park Hill, as about where Park Hill is located now, to a woman's house I knew as being my friend, though she was a Confederate supporter. I jumped off my perspiring and panting horse, and fell on her porch. She ran out excited to death, and I muttered out my reason for my presence and she said, "Give me here that money. They won't rob me for I am a Confederate". I shoved her the money and sure enough we got by with it. Poor old Babe lay on the ground for two days unable to get around for being too sore to walk.

My grandfather on my mother's side was "Smallwood", he had no other name. He fought on the Union side and is [NOTE: remainder of the interview was not submitted]

Submitted to OKGenWeb by Kathy Pitts <ellen@oio.net> August 2000.