Camp Puyallup, 29 February 1856
Isaac I Stevens
Commander in Chief,
Washington Territorial Volunteers.
I am able this morning to communicate the gratifying intelligence of the death of the celebrated War Chief "Te-nas-kut." He was shot this morning at the break of daylight by private Kehl of Company D, Ninth US Infantry. Two companies of US soldiers encamped on the evening of the 28th instant a half a mile east of our camp.
At the break of day an Indian was seen at a distance of one hundred yards by the sentinel approaching the camp in the most stealthy manner, occasionally beckoning to others in his rear to advance.
When he drew within forty yards, the sentinel fired - his ball taking effect in the shoulder and ranging to the hip. He was then brought into camp - he told them he was "Tenaskut" - that he wanted them to kill him - that his voice was for war and that the voice of his people was for war - that his tillicum's were men and would avenge his death.
He urged those that accompanied him to come to his relief and fight to the last. The Indian guide recognized him as "Tenaskut," also Mr. Brannan and others of the Volunteers. Of the death of "Tenaskut" there is not doubt.
Colonel Casey of the Ninth Infantry ordered that he be hanged immediately. A rope was placed about his neck, and while looking for a tree on which to suspend him, the appearance of Indians in the vicinity changed the purpose and the savage murderer "Tenaskut" was shot through the brain.
His gun was a fine rifle with fifty rounds of powder and ball. He had on his person a butcher knife and a spear. The same party have doubtless been hanging about our camp every night since our arrival, but for some reason have not approached so near our sentinels. I approve heartily the details which you have made of Sergeant Phillips and private Mise. We shall leave early tomorrow.
All well, and in fine spirits, very respectfully, etc.
GILMORE HAYS, MAJ., COMDG