The Remarkable Story of Robert McGee: The Boy Who Survived a Native American Scalping

The story of Robert McGee is a harrowing tale of survival and resilience in the face of extreme adversity. In 1864, 14-year-old Robert and his family set out from their home in Ohio to seek a new life on the American frontier. They joined a wagon train heading west, but tragedy struck when Robert’s parents died, leaving him an orphan.

Despite this devastating loss, Robert pressed on with the wagon train, determined to make a new life for himself. However, fate had other plans for him. One day, while the wagon train was traveling through Nebraska, it was ambushed by a group of Native American warriors. Robert was captured and taken prisoner, along with several other members of the wagon train.

The Remarkable Story of Robert McGee: The Boy Who Survived a Native American Scalping
Survivor Robert McGee was scalped as a child in 1864 by Sioux, 1890.

The Native Americans, members of the Cheyenne tribe, were known for their fierce resistance to the encroachment of white settlers onto their lands. They had been driven from their ancestral hunting grounds in Kansas and Nebraska by the U.S. government, which had forced them onto reservations in what is now Oklahoma. The Cheyenne warriors saw the wagon train as a symbol of white oppression and attacked it with a vengeance.

During the attack, Robert was scalped by the Cheyenne warriors. Scalping was a common practice among Native American tribes at the time, often used to intimidate and terrorize their enemies. The process involved cutting off the skin and hair from the top of the victim’s head, usually while they were still alive.

Robert somehow managed to survive. He was eventually rescued by a group of white settlers traveling through the area. They took him in and cared for him, nursing him back to health as best they could. Robert’s life was marked by triumph and tragedy in the following years. He became a well-known figure in the area, known for his resilience and strength of character. He married and had his own children, and he even became a successful businessman.

The Remarkable Story of Robert McGee: The Boy Who Survived a Native American Scalping
Colorized version of the original photo.                                       

However, the scars of his ordeal never truly healed. Robert was plagued by physical and emotional pain for the rest of his life. He suffered from chronic headaches and seizures, likely due to the brain damage he had sustained during the scalping. He also struggled with depression, anxiety, survivor’s guilt over the loss of his family, and the trauma he had endured.

Robert never lost his faith in humanity or his will to survive. He continued to live his life to the fullest, constantly pushing forward in the face of adversity. His story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a reminder of the enduring strength and courage of those who have faced unimaginable hardship and come out the other side.

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Written by Benjamin Grayson

Former Bouquet seller now making a go with blogging and graphic designing. I love creating & composing history articles and lists.

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