17 February 2014

A Sporting Country - Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling is a military post of the U. States in the territory of Iowa, situated at the foot of the Falls of St. Anthony, on the majestic Mississippi, just where it receives the tribute of the river St. Peters, in the latitude of 45, as far north as Passamaquoddy, on the Atlantic, and about 16 degrees longitude west of Washington. Of this out-of-the-way corner of the country, in the midst of the Indians, some of our readers have never heard, and probably but few have any definite idea of its adaptation to the purposes of civilized society. The following extract of a letter from a gentleman residing on the spot, to a friend here, gives, in a very few touches, a picture of this wild country that will charm the heart of the sportsman:

"In shooting I quite distinguished myself last summer. I must tell you the quantity of game I killed during the hunting season: 300 ducks (mallard, red, black, &c.) 266 grouse, about 360 pigeons, besides woodcock, plover, snipe, quail, pheasants, and various other birds. I have but one pointer dog, but next summer I shall have four, having three others in training. I also caught 156 fine brook trout, and a few bass, pike, &c.
"We have had several Indian battles since we have been here. The last one was between the Chippewas and the Sioux. The former, 150 in number, attacked the Sioux while the latter were in a drunken frolic. The Sioux fought bravely, and drove the Chippewas from their ground, and killed 5. The Sioux lost 14. They rushed madly into the battle, with nothing but a small knife or club, and in that way killed 5 of their enemies, whom they cut in piecemeal. The troops at the post were ordered out to prevent further shedding of blood. So you see that we have sports of all kinds and to suit all tastes."
April 27, 1843. A sporting country. Pittsfield Sun 43(2223): 1.