01 February 2014

Doctor Big Snake and Time in Indian Territory

It is going to be a little difficult to determine who is meant by an Indian Doctor "Big Snake" who was in the Indian Territory in the late 1860s.

The vast majority of the information in the pension application of Leander Butler centers around his medical issues which supposedly stemmed from his military service.

This statement made in 1898 references Butler's medical care in the 1860s and includes a reference to a "Dr. Wining of Zena [sic] Kans" and an Indian Doctor "Big Snake."

"Affidavit," 15 March 1898, Leander Butler, Union Civil War pension based upon service of Leander Butler in Company B, 10th Kansas Infantry, National Archives and Records Service.
What's not clear from the affidavit is whether Butler went to Indian Territory by himself (he was unmarried at the time and it's possible his father and siblings were there) or if he went only for medical care. It seems unlikely he only went for medical treatment given the transportation of the time.

The pension file hasn't provided any "smoking guns" about Butler's life in the 1860s or clues as to whether his father and siblings were with him.

However the file continues to provide little snippets of information--particularly residential clues such as this one and names of associates--that may in the aggregate suggest from avenues for future research.