When my grandmother was a little girl (probably eight years old) there was a great commotion in the pueblo. She wondered what was the matter; the men hurried to get ready, and they an went off to the north. Every morning her mother was crying. When she went around to the other houses, everywhere all the women were crying. She wondered and wondered. Her mother said to her, "Do not go to the other houses, nor play with the other children. You haven't sense yet; you don't know why we are crying. Our men may come back, or we may never see them again, for they have gone to fight a battle." They lined up for battle at the river; on the west side the Indians with bows and arrows and war clubs, and on the east side the Whites with guns and spears. When the battle was over the Whites on the east side put up a white flag on a pole to say that they would be friends. The Indians on the west side put up a red flag on a pole to say that they would rather have the battle than be friends. Then both sides ran up red flags and each day the battle started again. The captains on the east side (White) called to the Indians, "After breakfast be ready for battle." The Indians said, "We don't care to wait for breakfast. We fight any time. We will have our battle as we usually have it." Very early in the morning the Indian chief said to his people, "We will form a circle. You must all be brave men and not fall behind. Fight with all your might and with all your hearts." The white soldiers were all in one place. The Indians fought the way that they had always fought their battles; when the white men were
surrounded, each Indian was to give the cry of a coyote or of a crow or some animal to give the signal. When they were ready they closed in on all sides upon the Whites. Before they knew it, the Indians had surrounded them. The Whites jumped up, but they forgot even to take up their guns. They fought bare handed. It was a great fight. At last the Whites asked forgiveness, they fell on their knees and begged to be friends.
While the battle was going on, in the pueblo the women were crying. They went to the church and prayed that their husbands might come home safely. My grandmother said that she went and watched the women crying and praying.
When the battle was over the Whites sent their captain home ahead of them. The Indians met him at Santa Fé and they killed him there. (His grave is in Santa Fé now, near the main road.) His people spread out all over the mountains and tried to escape. Some were killed by the Indians. When they discovered so many Whites killed on the mountains, the Cochiti Indians went up and brought their bodies down to the church to bury them. They piled them up in a great heap. My grandmother peeped through the window to see the pile of dead people, white as snow. She did not know what they could be. The people afterwards looked for the Cochiti Indians who had killed these soldiers but they could never find who they were. In a few days they began to dig the grave--a long trench to hold them all. Children went to see the bodies thrown in. The dogs ate them, and they pressed the bodies in the trench with long sticks to make them go in. All the Cochiti men came home safely. No one was killed.
192:3 Informant 1.