BUCKNER – Witness To Indian Massacre

CHINEWORTH SPRING MASSACRE:

Not far from the Buckner farm was a beautiful spring of water called The Chineworth Spring from the family who owned the place. One day a report reached Col. Nick Buckner that a party of Indians had been seen near Chineworth place. In great haste he started with his company of Indian fighters, armed with shot guns and rifles for the Chineworth farm. No Indians were found at the Spring, but when they reached the cabin, seeing no signs of life about they pushed open the door and there to their horror saw Mr. Chineworth on the floor dead, and his murdered children around him—all had been scalped. One child only had escaped death. Pursuing their search they found in another room this child, a little girl, trying to kindle a flame by blowing on a few coals left in the fireplace.

With sobs she told of hearing the dreadful cries and blows, and knew that the Indians were killing them all and had slipped out of bed on the side next the wall and hid behind the bed curtain, by which means she escaped the tomahawk and scalping knife of the Indians who passed through the room without seeing her. Being asked about her mother she said “They are all dead but me!” Pursuing their search they found in the yard traces of blood, following they reached the spring house, a rude cabin built over the outlet to the spring in which milk and butter were kept. Here they found Mrs. Chineworth covered with blood from a wound in the body, and her head scalped. She said the Indians drove a spear through her body as she ran which pinned her to the earth, and taking her scalp, left for dead. Bye and bye she returned to consciousness and managed to pull the spear from her body, then swooned again; but finally crawled on hands and knees to the spring, bathed her wounds and with a piece of her skirt managed to bind them up and waited for help.

About forty years later there passed through Little Rock a lady missionary bound for the reservation of the Indian Nation, where she was going to devote herself to the civilization and conversion of the Indians. She stopped at Mrs. Roswald Beebe’s house, where she told them the gruesome story of the massacre at Chineworth Spring as told by Col. Nick B. She was the child who escaped the fate of the rest of the family – going in the spirit of Christian love and forgiveness to help the race that had killed hers.

How little Col. Buckner could have imagined such a finale to his story!

Source: “Reminiscences of The Buckner Family”, by Mrs. Priscilla Aylette Buckner Reardon, about 1901, pages  9-10.