"Close Call at Dog Tent Hill"

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"December 24, 1797"

"Wind south, a steady breeze, with low drift, fine mild weather...At 8 1/2 AM we set off and went ESE half a mile to the heights of the river [bank] and in sight of Dog Tent Hill [Dog Den Butte, North Dakota]; our course to a ravine was S 48 W19 miles across a plain. The ground was undulating in form without any regular valleys, but had many knolls. As we approached the hill, we anxiously kept our eyes on it, being the place where the Sioux Indians were to waylay us. About 2 PM I perceived something moving on the ridge of the hill, and, by my telescope, saw a number of horsemen riding to the southward; I made signs to the men to lie down which they did. After watching their motions for about ten minutes, I saw plainly that they did not see us and rode descending the west side of the hill and were soon out of sight; thus kind Providence, by the storms, and lateness of the season, saved our lives and property. About a month after, the Stone Indians informed Mr. McDonell that the above, with the want of provisions, were the occasion of their leaving the hills and they would return...