COUNCIL GROVE, Kan. - When on the evening of July 16, 1861, Judge J. H. Watson observed several Indian graves on the brow of a hill overlooking the Cottonwood River and Middle Creek in western Chase County, he proceeded to desecrate them.
"These [the graves] are formed by piling up stones over the dead body," wrote Watson. "On removing a few of these, I perceived the moldering bodies of the once proud savage, an old rusty tin cup, and the decayed remains of what was once a bow and arrow."
Because the Kanzas had encamped in this area the previous winter, it is likely these were the graves of their tribesmen. And the violation of Kanza graves by white people was not uncommon.