fort phil kearny massacre
Carrington was replaced in January 1867. The Fetterman Fight, also known as the Fetterman Massacre or the Battle of the Hundred-in-the-Hands or the Battle of a Hundred Slain, was a battle during Red Cloud's War on December 21, 1866, between a confederation of the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and a detachment of the United States Army, based at Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. 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. Captain Fetterman, as has been said, had frequently expressed his contempt for the Indians, although his fight on December 6th had slightly modified his opinions. 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. The casualties in the little command were two killed, five wounded. Ghastly and mutilated remains stripped naked, shot full of arrows—Wheatley with no less than one hundred and five in him, scalped, lay before them. The longest walls were about 1,500 feet long. In the afternoon, with a heavily armed force of eighty men, Carrington went in person to the scene of battle. At the same time the government established the sub-post between Laramie and Fort Reno, so earnestly recommended by Carrington, in October, calling it Fort Fetterman, in honor of the unfortunate officer who fell in battle on the list of December. In 1865, at Fort Sully, South Dakota, the government concluded treaties with a few Sioux chiefs. The only modern intrusion of consequence is the highway. 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. But even had there been a full knowledge of the dangers incurred, the army women would have gone with their husbands. The Indian loss was very heavy, but could not exactly be determined. Brown and Fetterman were found lying side by side, each with a bullet wound in the left temple. The situation of the wood train was critical, and the party was assembled with the greatest dispatch. No one in the command seems to have had the least idea that any force of Indians, however great, could overcome it. Fort Phil Kearny Fetterman Massacre General Henry Carrington by Cyrus Townsend Brady. The Brule Sioux, under the lead of Spotted Tail, Standing Elk and others, favored the concession, and ever after remained faithful to the whites. The site is marked by one side of a stockade, all that survives from a Works Progress Administration (WPA) reconstruction in the 1930s, and a log cabin erected by the Boy Scouts. To abandon Fort Reno, or to remove it, was not practicable. 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 . Capt. Dee Brown’s The Fetterman Massacre: Fort Phil Kearny and the … 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. 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. About five miles to its north, along U.S. 87 and about 1½ miles northeast of Story, Wyoming is the spur ridge east of Peno Creek, and the route of the Bozeman Trail, along which Fetterman and his men retreated southward. Emigrant trains were also pushed forward with their assurance that an ample force of regulars had gone up the country to ensure their safety. Smith on August 1st but suffered heavy casualties. The post was isolated, the weather frightful. 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. The force was woefully inadequate, and the number of officers had been depleted by detachment and other causes until there were but six left. Meanwhile the work of erecting the fort was continued. The railroads being in operation for short distances, the only method of transportation was in the huge Conestoga wagon, or prairie schooner which, with its canvas top raking upward fore and aft over a capacious wagon box, looked not unlike the hull of the boat from which it took its name. Required fields are marked *. The Sweet Water Country and all east of the Wind River Range, including South Pass and the region west of the great bend of the North Platte, had its prairies and fertile valleys. That summer and fall Carrington strengthened and garrisoned Fort Reno and erected Forts Phil Kearny and Fort C.F. Grummond had stayed with them, perhaps honorably sacrificing himself in a vain endeavor to cover the retreat of the rest of his command. Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated November 2019. The commanding officer's quarters was a two-story building of framed lumber, surmounted by a watch-tower. A courier was at once dispatched to Fort Laramie, but such means of communication was necessarily slow, and it was not until Christmas morning that the world was apprised of the fatal story. Red Cloud, Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses, and other chiefs who roamed the Powder and Bighorn country to the West vowed to let no travelers pass unmolested. The following order was left with the officer of the day: "Fire the usual sunset gun, running a white lamp to masthead. And, save for the actual campaigning in the field, the army wife was everywhere — sometimes there, too. 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. Few cartridge shells lay on the ground. Not a stick of timber could be cut, not an acre of grass mowed, except under heavy guard. The staff member used the model to explain the location of the fort, the timber, and the battles. There were fifty-one demonstrations in force in front of the fort, and they attacked every train that passed over the trail. 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. As they approached the main gate, accompanied by the mounted men who had been sent out to meet them, they were halted to give passage to an army wagon from the opposite direction. Last of the Indian Chiefs Geronimo Red Cloud Spott... Thomas Nast American Illustrator and Cartoonist, Prince Albert of Monaco as an Oceanographer, Philadelphia Zoological Park Fairmount Park. 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. The huge Big Horn Mountains severed that immense domain. 307-684-7629. On the end of the ridge, nearest the fort, in a space about six feet square, enclosed by some huge rocks, making a sort of a rough shelter, he found the bodies of the forty-nine men whom he had brought back. 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.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. 2 SITE OF THE FORT PHIL KEARNY MASSACRE. Repeated requests and appeals, both by letter and telegram, for reinforcements and supplies, and especially for modern and serviceable weapons, had met with little consideration. Pickets were left on two commanding ridges, as signal observers, as the command moved forward. He had been horribly tortured with a stake before he died, and the savages put on his clothing and danced on the prairie just out of range, in front of the party, which was too small to do more than stand on the defensive. A reconstructed stockade wall at Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming by Carol Highsmith. General Carrington was a graduate of Yale College. After four years of active campaigning they could not settle down to the humdrum life of village and country again. The land was desirable naturally and attracted the attention of the settlers. Experience has shown that in spite of treaties, purchases and other peaceful means of obtaining it, there is always bound to be a contest about that land. General Sherman expressly stated that "Colonel Carrington's report, to his personal knowledge, was fully sustained," but by some unaccountable oversight or intent, the report was suppressed and never published, thereby doing lasting injustice to a brave and faithful soldier. The sequel will appear later. The vast expanse of territory west of the hundredth meridian, extending from the Red River to the British Columbia boundary line, was at the time practically devoid of white settlements, except at Denver and Salt Lake, until the Montana towns were reached in the northwest. All along the Yellowstone and its tributaries, in spite of the frequent "Mauvaises Terres," or "bad lands," of apparent volcanic origin, the whole country was threaded with clear streams from the Big Horn Range. Plan of Fort Kearney from Indian Fights and Fighters (1904) Pilot Hill, Fort Phil Kearny, WY. Fetterman had disobeyed orders. 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. 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 officers' and men's quarters were built of logs. In this particular expedition there were several little children, from some of whom I have gleaned details and happenings. Running north from the Oregon-California Trail along the eastern flank of the Bighorn Mountains and then westward, it linked Forts Sedgwick, Colorado, and Laramie, Wyoming, and the Oregon-California Trail with Virginia City. They paid the penalty for their lapse with their lives; and so far, at least, they made what atonement they could. The area around the fort was the site of the Fetterman massacre and the Wagon Box Fight. Indeed, that statement is true of most of the wars of the world. One faction, in the Hayfield Fight, attacked a haying party near Fort C.F. Strong defenses were necessary. Her fate when captured was terrible beyond description — one long agony of horror and shame until death put an end to it. He had killed three Indians before he had been overborne. The general and his remaining officers then repaired to the observatory tower, field glasses in hand, and in apprehension of what fearful catastrophe they scarcely allowed themselves to imagine. Banner, Wyoming 82832 The cavalrymen, mostly recruits, were deeply ashamed of their defection, which was partly due to the incaution of their officers in leaving them to pursue a few Indians, and they were burning with a desire to retrieve their reputation, which they bravely did with their lives some two weeks later. Most of the civilians succeeded in safely reaching the post, but four were trapped with the soldiers in an oval barricade that had been formed earlier as a defensive fortification from the overturned boxes of 14 wood-hauling wagons that had been removed from the running gears. With a natural spirit of restlessness they gathered their families, loaded their few household belongings into wagons, and in parties of varying sizes made their way westward. - See 137 traveller reviews, 110 candid photos, and great deals for Sheridan, WY, at Tripadvisor. Sergeant Bowers had been fearfully wounded and scalped, although he was still alive, but died immediately. This body of men was the best armed party at the post a few of those designated carrying the Spencer repeating carbines. I order the wood train in, which will give fifty men to spare.". The massacre itself fills only one chapter out of 11, but it is remarkably detailed and by no means is this a criticism. Powered by. 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