Sioux, Arapaho, and Northern Cheyenne warriors had all but closed the trail. Strikes in 1862 by Idaho prospectors in the mountains of western Montana triggered a rush to the diggings at Bannack and subsequently to Virginia City. At the southern end of the estimated 60 privately owned acres embracing the battlefield, at the point where most of the bodies were found, stands a War Department monument on a tiny tract of Federal land on the east side of the highway. No more could be spared, and not a man with him could cut a fuse or handle the piece anyway. Finding the Tyrannosaurus Hell Creek Wyoming W. T.... An American Ambulancier at Verdun World War I, At a Medicine Dance with the Navajos Isleta, Girls' Rowing Clubs of San Diego Bay ZLAC Club, Women Under Oriental Civilization Algeria India, Contortionist Boyston Marinelli Kate Weber. Men and women dressed in furs made from wolf skins taken from the hundreds of wolves which infested the outside butcher-field at night, and which were poisoned by the men for their fur. The troops were armed with newly issued breech-loading Springfield rifles—a costly surprise for the Sioux. Hostile demonstrations were met by prompt forays or pursuits, as circumstances permitted; and on one occasion the general pursued a band that ran off a herd nearly to Tongue River; but flashing mirrors betrayed Indian attempts to gain his rear, and a return was ordered, abandoning the stolen stock. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Fetterman Massacre: Fort Phil Kearny and the Battle of the Hundred Slain. If the Government erects a monument that can be destroyed by these people, it should be cared for by the United States. As Fetterman's troops disappeared down the valley, a number of Indians were observed along the Piney in front of the fort. Perhaps he hoped that he could take the Indians in reverse and exterminate them between his own troops and the guard of the wood train —which all told comprised some ninety men —when he rounded the western end of the hills. East of the fort proper was a corral of slightly less area, surrounded by a rough palisade of cottonwood logs, which enclosed the wood train, hay, and miscellaneous supplies. The third projected post was not established. This body of men was the best armed party at the post a few of those designated carrying the Spencer repeating carbines. Strong defenses were necessary. No one in the command seems to have had the least idea that any force of Indians, however great, could overcome it. These wagons were drawn by four or six mules - sometimes by oxen, known as "bull teams"— and, stores there being none, carried everything that a settler was apt to need in the new land, including the indispensable wife and children. Relief columns from the fort, which scattered the Indians, were too late to rescue Fetterman and his men. There's a lot of information about the beginnings of defending the Montana road with a string of US army forts constructed along the road with the intent of protecting travelers. The march was necessarily a slow one and the distance great — some six hundred miles — so that it was not until the twenty-eighth of June they reached Fort Reno. Carrington was replaced in January 1867. Counting Fetterman's detachment, the guards of the wood train, and Ten Eyck's detachments, the garrison of the fort was now reduced to a very small number. Carrington had done nothing to provoke war, but had simply carried out General Sherman's written instructions, sent him as late as August, to "avoid a general war, until the army could be reorganized and increased; but he defended himself and command stoutly when attacked. The warnings of Red Cloud had not prevented the fort’s establishment, but he soon put it under virtual siege. To chronicle the constant succession of petty skirmishes would be wearisome; yet they often resulted in torture and loss of life on the part of the soldiers, although the Indians in most instances suffered the more severely. By the side of one fifty shells were counted, and nearly as many by the side of the other brave frontiersman. Brown rode to the death of both a little Indian "calico" pony which he had given to the general's boys when they started from Fort Leavenworth, in November, 1865, and the body of the horse was found in the low ground at the west slope of the ridge, showing that the fight began there, before they could reach high ground. With Richard Egan, Carroll O'Connor, Robert Fuller, Michael Sarrazin. "—Roundup Magazine William Judd Fetterman arrived at Fort Phil Kearny on Nov. 3, 1866, as the Indian attacks were peaking. On every day the weather permitted, a heavily guarded train of wood-cutters was sent down to Piney Island, or to the heavier timber beyond, where a blockhouse protected the choppers. The plateau lay between two branches of the Piney. It was supposed to be a peaceable expedition. West of it was another ridge which they named Sullivant Hills. The principal chief operating during the day attempted to secure his scalp, but dismounting, with one man to hold the horses and reserving fire, I succeeded in saving the man and holding the position until joined by Fetterman twenty minutes later. Carrington personally inspected the men before they left, and rejected those who were not amply provided. The Sioux, taking advantage of the absence of Regular troops in the Civil War, quickly unleashed their fury. They narrowly escaped freezing to death. They were armed with old-fashioned Springfield, muzzle-loading muskets, save a few who had the new Spencer breech-loading carbine, a weapon of rather short trajectory, but a great improvement on the old army musket from the rapidity of fire which it permitted. I sounded the recall on his report, but in vain. One of these lads, while at Fort Kearney before the march, became so expert with the bow and arrow in target shooting with young Pawnee Indians near the fort, that he challenged General Sherman to shoot over the flagstaff. Already several hundred large logs had been collected for winter's firewood, besides the slabs saved at the sawmill. It was a rectangle, six hundred by eight hundred feet, enclosed by a formidable stockade of heavy pine logs standing eight feet high, with a continuous banquette, and flaring loopholes at every fourth log. The guns were especially needed at the fort to protect women and children. As old James Bridger, a veteran plainsman and fur trader, a scout whose fame is scarcely less than that of Kit Carson, and the confidential companion adviser of Carrington in 1866, was wont to say to him: "Whar you don't see no Injuns thar they're sartin to be thickest.". Jose Santos Zelaya President of Nicaragua, Devil's Corkscrews Badlands of Wyoming Nebraska Rocky Mountains, American Escadrille in France World War I. Another monument, lying in an upland prairie some 1½ miles southwest of Story, marks the location of the Wagon Box Fight, one acre of which is State-owned out of an estimated 40-acre total. The tragic events associated with Fort Phil Kearny, the Fetterman Massacre, and the Wagon Box Fight form one of the most dramatic chapters in the history of the Indian Wars. Presently Sample, the general's own orderly, who had been sent with Ten Eyck, was seen galloping furiously down the opposite hill. Herds of beef cattle, the horses for the cavalry and mounted infantry, the mules for the supply wagons, could not graze, even under the walls of the fort, without protection. At both battlefield sites, visitors will find an interpretive trail that leads through the battle providing both Indian and White perspectives of the conflict. Brown and Fetterman were found lying side by side, each with a bullet wound in the left temple. For two bloody years from 1866 to 1868, the Sioux Indians, bitter and opposing the invasion of their hunting grounds by prospectors bound over the Bozeman Trail to the Montana goldfields, fought back viciously. The many rivers which traversed the territory teemed with fish the valleys which they watered were abundantly fertile for the growing of the few crops which the Indian found necessary for his support. On the 21st of December, the ground being free from snow, the air clear and cold, the lookout on Sullivant Hills signaled about eleven o'clock in the morning that the wood train had been corralled, and was again at tacked in force about a mile and a half from the fort. A year later opportunity was given the soldiers at Phil Kearney to exact a dreadful revenge from Red Cloud and his Sioux for the slaughter of their brave comrades. A company of the 2nd Cavalry reinforced Carrington’s infantry. The army woman's knowledge of the peril in the usual border warfare was not an imaginary one, either. If the Indians appear fire three guns from the twelve-pounder at minute intervals, and, later, substitute a red lantern for the white." It cannot be gainsaid that the Indians enjoyed a quasi-legal title to this land. On the 13th of July, 1866, he established his camp on the banks of the Big Piney Creek, an affluent of the Powder River, about four miles from the superb Big Horn Range, with snow-capped Cloud Peak towering nine thousand feet into the heavens, close at hand. Following the Fetterman Massacre, Carrington hired civilians John “Portugee” Phillips and Daniel Dixon to carry a message for Omaha headquarters concerning the disaster and a plea for reinforcements to the telegraph station at Horseshoe Bend, near Fort Laramie. Upon the day fixed precisely for the march, as the new arrivals needed every roof during a snow-storm which soon became a blizzard, Carrington, his wife and children, his staff and their families, including Mrs. Grummond, escorting the remains of her husband to Tennessee, and the regimental band, with its women and children, began that February "change of headquarters." Forays increased steadily until the next year when the government was forced to come to terms with the Indians. One stipulation upon which the United States insisted was the establishment of military posts to guard the trail, without which it was felt the treaty would amount to nothing. Smith on August 1st but suffered heavy casualties. They fully expected the fort to be attacked. One faction, in the Hayfield Fight, attacked a haying party near Fort C.F. People had got used to such things then; this news came like a bolt from the blue. It is a great sweep of land which comprises every variety of climate and soil. One of my men fell and his horse on him. He was a man of the most undaunted courage. The fort tour leads the visitor through the site to building locations, archaeological remains, and interpretive signs pinpointing the surrounding historic landmarks. He had the best horse in the command (one of the general's), and he covered the distance between Lodge Trail Ridge and the fort with amazing swiftness. Fire slowly, and keep men in hand. Although every preparation for a desperate defense had been made, there were not enough men to man the walls. It seems incredible to think that women should accompany such an expedition, but no grave anticipations of trouble with the Indians were felt by any persons in authority at that time. After four years of active campaigning they could not settle down to the humdrum life of village and country again. This train was frequently attacked. The mounted infantry stood its ground, and under Fetter-man's intrepid leadership was making a brave fight against overwhelming odds, the number of Indians present being estimated at more than three hundred. Phillips continued on through a snowstorm to Fort Laramie on a 236-mile ride, honored in the annals of Wyoming history. Nearly one-fourth of the efficient force of the fort had been wiped out. Fort Phil Kearny was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1962. I have talked with army officers of large experience and have read what others have said, and the universal testimony is that no woman who was ever captured by the plains Indians west of the Missouri was spared. Carrington instantly despatched Captain Ten Eyck with the rest of the infantry, in all about fifty-four men, directing him to join Fetterman's command then return with them to the fort. His course was also the subject of inquiry before a purely military court, all of them his juniors in rank, which also reported favorably. General Custer's Last Fight, Battle of the Little ... Grenville M Dodge How We Built the Union Pacific R... Captain Jack John W. Crawford the Poet Scout, Sitting Bull Lakotah's Account of the Custer Massacre, Captain Jack Modoc Indian Wars of 1872 - 1873. The strong have ever sought to take from the weak. Carrington, in his official report, says: "But six men turned the point with me, one a young bugler of the Second Cavalry, who told me that Lieutenant Bingham had gone down the road around the hill to my right. Since the United States began to be there never was such a post as Fort Philip Kearney, commonly called Fort Phil Kearney From its establishment, in 1866, to its abandonment, some two years later, it was practically in a state of siege. The warehouses, four in number, eighty feet by twenty-four, were framed. The work was by no means completed as it appears on the map, but it was enclosed, and there were enough buildings ready to house the actual garrison present, although the fort was planned for a thousand men, repeatedly promised but not furnished, while all the time both cavalry and the First Battalion of the Eighteenth were held within the peaceful limits of Fort Laramie's control. The sky was overcast and lowering, with indications of a tremendous storm. 528 Wagon Box Road This meticulously documented and exciting book should stand as the definitive account. Here they found Lieutenant Grummond. Powell efficiently performed his task. In many of these, in most, in fact, one or more men were killed and a greater number wounded. As soon as this occurred, in July and August, the Sioux, unknowingly celebrating the zenith of their power on the northern Plains, jubilantly burned them to the ground. The Army reported only about three dead and two wounded, but the Indians claimed the figures were at least 60 and 120, respectively. I do not mean that it was beleaguered by the Indians in any formal, persistent investment, but it was so constantly and so closely observed by war parties, hidden in the adjacent woods and the mountain passes, that there was little safety outside its stockade for anything less than a company of infantry or a troop of cavalry; and not always, as we shall see, for those. Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site: Historic massacre of US Army troops in 1866 - See 137 traveler reviews, 110 candid photos, and great deals for Sheridan, WY, at Tripadvisor. The men went forward on the run. So, I was glad I happened onto this one. I am concerned in this article only with the Bozeman or Montana trail. Picket posts were established upon Pilot and Sullivant Hills, which overlooked approaches both from the east and the road to the mountains. Three times Indians attempted to dislodge these pickets, once at night; but case-shot exploding over them, and each time causing loss of men or ponies, ended similar visitations. Detachments were sent from the post in both directions. To take a stroll outside the stockade on a summer evening was to invite death or worse if the stroller happened to be a woman. Southwest of Sullivant Hills was a high ridge called Lodge Trail Ridge, the main branch of the Piney Creek flowing between them, so that the water supply was at the eastern or "Water Gate" of the fort. Within half an hour, at high noon, hundreds of Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors annihilated the small force to the last man. History records no greater instances of romantic devotion than those exhibited by the army wife. More than four decades later, Frances Carrington, Henry’s second wife, repeated the boast attributed to Fetterman almost verbatim in her 1910 book My Army Life: A Soldier’s Wife at Fort Phil Kearny. There were 8 foot high thick log walls that enclosed a 17 acre area. The cavalry that had abandoned him had not followed me, though the distance was short; but the Indians, circling round and yelling, nearly one hundred in number, with one saddle emptied by a single shot fired by myself, did not venture to close in.". General Carrington marked out the walls of the fort, after a survey of the surrounding country as far as Tongue River, set up his sawmills, one of them of forty horse-power, capable of cutting logs thirty inches in diameter, established a logging camp on Piney Island, seven miles distant, with no intervening hills to surmount, which made transportation easy, and began the erection of the fort. In spite of the reports that had been made and fatuously believed, that peace had obtained in that land, it was now known that war was everywhere prevalent. At first it was difficult to keep men within the limits of the camp; but stragglers who failed to return, and some who had been cut off, scalped and left for dead, but who had crawled back to die, convinced every one of the wisdom of the commanding officer's repeated orders and cautions. It was not until sometime after that a mixed commission of soldiers and civilians, which thoroughly investigated Carrington's conduct, having before them all his books and records from the inception of the expedition until its tragic close, acquitted him of all blame of any sort, and awarded him due praise for his successful conduct of the whole campaign. About two hundred of the men were veterans, the rest raw recruits. Directed by Don Taylor. Meanwhile the work of erecting the fort was continued. The only modern intrusion of consequence is the highway. Six shots in rapid succession were counted, and immediately after heavy firing was heard from over Lodge Trail Ridge, five miles away, which continued with such fierceness as to indicate a pitched battle. The Mountain District at that time had but one post in it, Fort Reno, one hundred and sixty miles from Fort Laramie. There were enfilading blockhouses on the diagonal corners, with portholes for the cannon, and quarters for officers and men, with other necessary buildings. Dee Brown’s The Fetterman Massacre: Fort Phil Kearny and the … The westward-moving tide of civilization had at last pressed back from the Missouri and the Mississippi the Sioux and their allies, the Cheyennes, the largest and most famous of the several great groups of Indians who have disputed the advance of the white man since the days of Columbus, saving perhaps the Creeks and the Iroquois. He was a high-minded Christian gentleman, a soldier of large experience and proven courage, an administrator of vigor and capacity, and, as his subsequent career has shown, a man of fine literary talents. His men had evidently fought on the road until their ammunition gave out, and then had either been ordered to retreat to the fort, or had retreated of their own motion probably the latter. Description: But even had there been a full knowledge of the dangers incurred, the army women would have gone with their husbands. Church Call at West Point United States Military A... American Emigrants from the Isle of Capri. Carrington, knowing his views, was particular and specific in his orders. Americans remember it as the Fetterman Massacre, yet perhaps more accurately should be described as the Fetterman Miscalculation. Bodies were strung along the road clear to the western end farthest from the fort. Photo by Carol Highsmith. Not a stick of timber could be cut, not an acre of grass mowed, except under heavy guard. Since the United States began to be there never was such a post as Fort Philip Kearney, commonly called Fort Phil Kearney From its establishment, in 1866, to its abandonment, some two years later, it was practically in a state of siege. Pursuant to the plan, Brigadier-General Henry B. Carrington, Colonel of the Eighteenth Regular Infantry, was ordered with the second battalion of his regiment, about to become the Twenty-seventh Regular Infantry, to establish, organize and take command of what was known as the Mountain District. The following note was sent to Captain Ten Eyck: "Forty well-armed men, with three thousand rounds, ambulances, stores, etc., left before your courier came in. Fort Phil Kearny was one the reasons for this trip. Ammunition was running low. Learn more about one of the biggest battles between Native Americans and The US Army in History. The next day was bitterly cold. To relieve the train, Carrington sent out Fetterman, two other officers, 48 infantrymen, 28 cavalrymen, and two civilians—81 men in all. In the late spring and summer of 1866, a U.S. commission met with these leaders at Fort Laramie, Wyoming. The valleys of these were luxuriant in their natural products and their promise. There they were menaced by the Indians for the first time and every endeavor was made to stampede their herds. The general had been forced to advance under fire, and meeting the fugitive cavalry, ordered them to fall in behind his own detachment. At ten o'clock at night, on the return, the white lamp at masthead told its welcome story of a garrison still intact. In the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), in return for certain Indian concessions, it bowed to Red Cloud’s demands and agreed to close the Bozeman Trail and abandon the three forts protecting it. Besides, to set at rest all doubts it was necessary to determine the fate of the balance of his command. So necessary did he think the caution that he repeated it to Lieutenant Grummond, who, with the cavalry, followed the infantry out of the gate, the infantry, having less preparation to make, getting away first. The wood trains to fetch logs to the sawmills went out heavily guarded. There were not enough men to garrison the three already in the field, much less to build a fourth. The massacre itself fills only one chapter out of 11, but it is remarkably detailed and by no means is this a criticism. There were at one time only forty rounds per man available. He was instantly relieved from command by General Cooke, upon a private telegram from Laramie, never published, before the receipt of his own official report, and was ordered to change his regimental headquarters to the little frontier post at Fort Caspar, where two companies of his first battalion, just become the new Eighteenth, were stationed, while four companies of the same battalion, under his lieutenant-colonel, were ordered to the relief of Fort Phil Kearney. I order the wood train in, which will give fifty men to spare.". The forts endured continual harassment, and wagon trains hauling wood for fuel and construction had to ward off assaults. The general went so far as to hasten to the gate after the cavalry had left the fort, and from the sentry platform or banquette overlooking it, called out after them again, emphatically directing them "on no account to pursue the Indians across Lodge Trail Ridge.". On the eighth of December President Andrew Johnson congratulated Congress that treaties had been made at Fort Laramie, and that all was peace in the Northwest! They had the popular idea that one white man, especially if he were a soldier, was good for a dozen Indians; and although fifteen hundred lodges of Indians were known to be encamped on the Powder River, and there were probably between five and six thousand braves in the vicinity, they were- constantly suggesting expeditions of all sorts with their scanty force. Early in August Captain Kinney, with two companions, had been sent ninety miles to the northward to establish the second post on the Big Horn, which was called Fort C. F. Smith, and was very much smaller and less important than Fort Phil Kearney. Civil War Change of Base McClellan Gaines's Mill S... General George Armstrong Custer Little Big Horn Ca... Fort Phil Kearny Fetterman Massacre General Henry ... Jesse & Frank James Great Northfield Minnesota Ban... Digital History Project . In full view of the mass of Indians who occupied the parade ground he sprang from the platform under the shelter of pine boughs, struck his tepees and went on the warpath. Grummond had a wife in delicate health at the post, and he was cautioned by the officers to take care not to be led into a trap, although his experience on the 6th, when he had so narrowly escaped death, was, it would seem, the best warning he could have had. By that summer the Indians had closed the Bozeman Trail to all but heavily guarded military convoys, but the troops won two victories. Since all the horses were already in the field, it would have required men to haul it. The situation of the wood train was critical, and the party was assembled with the greatest dispatch. He had been a teacher, an engineer and scientist, a lawyer and man of affairs, a student of military matters as well as Adjutant-General of Ohio for several years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. The mountains and hills were covered with pines. It would have gone hard with them, however, had not Carrington and the first six of his detachment suddenly swept around a small hill or divide and taken the Indians in reverse. TO summarize the first six months of fighting, from the first of August to the close of the year, the Indians killed one hundred and fifty-four persons, including soldiers and citizens, wounded twenty more, and captured nearly seven hundred animals—cattle, mules, and horses. Game there was in plenty; water was clear and abundant. Their heads were burned and filled with powder around the wounds. A few days later, on a little, flower-decked, grass-covered plateau, bare of trees, which fortunately happened to be just the size to contain the fort he proposed to erect, and which sloped abruptly away in every direction, forming a natural glacis, he began building the stockade. The most careful watchfulness was necessary at all hours of the day and night. Seeing that all was lost, they had evidently stood face to face, and each had shot the other dead with his revolver. Such was the melancholy fate of Fetterman and his men. This seemed impossible, as he belonged to Fetterman's command. West Point United States Military Academy Before t... Tanks, Caterpillar Tractor in World War I. It was escorted by a guard from a wood train, and brought in the scalped, naked, dead body of one of their comrades, a strange welcome, indeed, to the young wife, who, upon leaving Laramie, had been assured of a beautiful ride through fertile valleys without danger, and sadder yet in its sequel two months later. The Fetterman Massacre: Fort Phil Kearny and the Battle of the Hundred Slain (ebook) Published October 23rd 2012 by Open Road Media ebook, 242 pages Author(s): Dee Brown. The Union Pacific road was building along the Oregon Trail, the Kansas Pacific along the Kansas trail to Denver, while the great Santa Fe system was not yet dreamed of. Carrington promptly sent out a detachment under Captain Powell with instructions to relieve the wood train, give it his support, and return with it, but not to pursue threatening Indians, for experience had shown that the Indians were constantly increasing in numbers and growing bolder with every attack. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. From it, on the 31st of October, with great ceremony and much rejoicing, the first garrison flag that ever floated over the land was unfurled. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read The Fetterman Massacre: Fort Phil Kearny and the Battle of the Hundred Slain. The total force available at the fort, including prisoners, teamsters, citizens and employees, was about three hundred and fifty — barely enough to hold the fort, should the Indians make an attack upon it. 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