6 May 2013
Just a short ways from where I was camped south of Lemmon, SoDak was the Hugh Glass Monument. Even in this day & age, the plaque sits in the middle of nowhere, overlooking the Shadehill reservoir, which was once the Grand River.
Back in August of 1823, Glass was out hunting for the Ashley Fur Party, when he came across a mother grizzly and her cubs. The grizzly charged so quickly that Glass could not get off a shot, although he did repeatedly stab the bear with his hunting knife.
Badly mauled by the bear, Glass was left behind with two men who were to bury him once he died. The two men were Fitzgerald and a young Jim Bridger. Unfortunately for Glass, Bridger & Fitzgerald packed up all their arms & gear and set off leaving Glass alone & unarmed in Indian territory.
Hugh Glass regained consciousness and dragged himself along, traveling mostly at night to avoid hostile Indians. Eventually, it is believed he made it to the Cheyenne River, where he fashioned a raft and floated downstream to Ft Kiowa. Glass traveled 190 miles, as the crow flies, from where he was mauled by the bear to the fort.
In the end, Glass did retrieve his rifle from Fitzgerald, although he claimed he didn’t kill the man because Fitzgerald was now a member of the US Army and that would have been a capital crime.
Aricara Indians killed Glass on the ice of the Yellowstone River during the winter of 1832-33.
I can’t help but wonder when was the last sighting of a grizzly in South Dakota? Personally, I don’t think SoDak is better off with the loss of the big bruins.