Indian Pioneer Papers - Index
Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: Sallie Manus
Residence Address: Route 3; Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: March
Place of Birth: Five
miles west of Stilwell, Dick Busheyhead Store
Place of Birth: Georgia
Information on father: Died near Welling
Place of birth: Georgia
Information on mother: Died at my birth place
Field Worker: Wylie Thornton
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,
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.
Indian Pioneer History Project for Oklahoma
Name: Sallie Manus
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
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
<firstname.lastname@example.org> August 2000.