fort phil kearny massacre

After their ammunition had been spent, they had been stripped, shot full of arrows, hacked to pieces, scalped, and muti­lated in a horrible manner. The command was first given to Captain Powell, with Lieutenant Grummond in charge of the cavalry. Game there was in plenty; water was clear and abundant. The shock of horror with which the terrible news was received was greater even than that attendant upon the story of the disastrous bat­tle of the Little Big Horn, ten years later. The next spring John M. Bozeman and John M. Jacobs blazed the Bozeman Trail. There may have been a little reserve on the rocks on which they hoped to rally their disorganized, panic-stricken troops, fleeing before a horde of yelling, blood-intoxicated war­riors. The following order was left with the officer of the day: "Fire the usual sunset gun, running a white lamp to masthead. Powered by. Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site 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. The officers and men were fast becoming undeceived as to the character of their expedition. The timber fields outside of the fort were naturally vulnerable with the men spreading out to cut down limber to be used for construction. Smith. They narrowly escaped freezing to death. More than one-half of the sixty-five in the party were frosted, and three amputations, with one death, were the immediate result of the foolish and cruel order. The fighting there was so fierce that the cavalry, which by a singular circum­stance was without its officers, gave way and retreated headlong across the valley toward the ridge. Nearly one-fourth of the efficient force of the fort had been wiped out. Although all the remaining officers assembled at his quarters advised him not to undertake it, lest the savages, flushed with victory, should attempt another attack, Carrington quietly excused his officers, told the adjutant to remain with him, and the bugle instantly disclosed his purpose in spite of dissenting protests. In fact, General Sherman, who visited Fort Kearney before the troops began to march, personally advised the ladies to accompany the expedition as very attractive in its ob­ject and wholly peaceful. Your email address will not be published. Description: The casualties in the little command were two killed, five wounded. A clique of his younger and more impetuous officers, who disliked him and resisted his attempts to impose discipline, were contemptuous. In 1865, at Fort Sully, South Dakota, the government concluded treaties with a few Sioux chiefs. Ten Eyck very prop­erly stood upon the defensive on the hill and refused to go down into the valley in spite of the insults and shouts of the Indians, who numbered upward of two thousand warriors, until they finally withdrew. These two civilians, Wheatley and Fisher, were both armed with the new breech-loading rapid-fire Henry rifle, with which they were anxious to experiment on the hostiles. 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. Americans remember it as the Fetterman Massacre, yet perhaps more accurately should be described as the Fetterman Miscalculation. But these are only surmises; what really happened, God alone knows. To relieve the train, Carrington sent out Fetterman, two other officers, 48 infantrymen, 28 cavalrymen, and two civilians—81 men in all. The Indians surrounding the wood train were well served by their scouts, and when they found that Fet­terman's force was advancing on the other side of the hill, they immediately withdrew from the wood train, which presently broke corral and made its way to the Piney, some seven miles northwest of the fort, unmo­lested. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. This will involve the provision of a resi­ dence and services of the keeper, the same as has just been found necessary for the monument erected at the birthplace of Washington. Eternal vigilance was the price of life. Fort Phil Kearny Fetterman Massacre General Henry Carrington by Cyrus Townsend Brady. Presently Sample, the general's own orderly, who had been sent with Ten Eyck, was seen galloping furiously down the opposite hill. The longest walls were about 1,500 feet long. Between August 1st and December 31st, they killed 154 people in the vicinity of Fort Phil Kearny, wounded 20 more, regularly attacked emigrants, and destroyed or captured more than 750 head of livestock. 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. Within half an hour, at high noon, hundreds of Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors annihilated the small force to the last man. West Point United States Military Academy Before t... Tanks, Caterpillar Tractor in World War I. Today the state historic site provides an interpretive center with exhibits, videos, bookstore, and self-guided tours of the fort and outlying sites. The alarm caused in the fort by this news was deep­ened by the sound of firing at twelve o'clock. Reinforcements finally arrived from the fort with a mountain howitzer and quickly dispersed the opposition. Carrington personally inspected the men before they left, and rejected those who were not amply provided. The Indians gave way before Fetterman's advance, hoping to lure the troops into an ambush, but at a fa­vorable spot they made a stand. Our cookies are delicious. William Judd Fetterman arrived at Fort Phil Kearny on Nov. 3, 1866, as the Indian attacks were peaking. 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. The only modern intrusion of consequence is the highway. Passing the place where the greatest slaughter had occurred, the men marched cautiously along the trail. It proved to be not a reinforcement of troops or ammunition supplies, but two ambulances with two contract surgeons and an escort of eight men, besides Bailey, the guide, and Lieutenant Grummond, who had just been appointed to the Eighteenth Infantry, and his young bride. Required fields are marked *. 307-684-7629. 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. Com - the home page of author Nicholas L. Vulich. 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 most careful watchfulness was necessary at all hours of the day and night. Some of the officers, therefore, covertly sneer­ing at the caution of the commander, were burning for an opportunity to distinguish themselves on this account, and had practically determined to make or take one at the first chance. The warnings of Red Cloud had not prevented the fort’s establishment, but he soon put it under virtual siege. Wheatley left a wife and children in the fort. No more could be spared, and not a man with him could cut a fuse or handle the piece anyway. One single incident may be taken as illus­trative of the life of the garrison. There were not enough men to garrison the three already in the field, much less to build a fourth. Carrington reluctantly acceded to his plea, which indeed he could scarcely have refused, and placed him in charge, giving him strict and positive instructions to "relieve the wood train, drive back the Indians, but on no ac­count to pursue the Indians beyond Lodge Trail Ridge," and that so soon as he had performed this duty he was to return immediately to the fort. 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. The rights of savagery have been compelled to yield to the demands of civilization, ethics to the contrary notwithstanding. It is a great sweep of land which com­prises every variety of climate and soil. The main fort enclosed a handsome parade ground, in the center of which arose the tall flagstaff planned and erected by a ship carpenter in the regiment. One of my men fell and his horse on him. There were fifty-one demonstrations in force in front of the fort, and they attacked every train that passed over the trail. 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. No better choice could have been made for the expedition. People had got used to such things then; this news came like a bolt from the blue. And it will always be so, sad though it may seem to many. Your email address will not be published. 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. The Indians were not accustomed to active operations under such conditions, and there was no sign of them about. I haven't seen a lot of material about Fort Phil Kearny or the Fetterman massacre. The first branch of the Peno was five miles from the fort, and the second twelve miles farther, where the garrison had to cut hay, but the branch nearer the fort was es­pecially associated with the events of December list, as well as with the fight of the sixth of the same month. The older chiefs of other Sioux bands, in spite of Red Cloud's defection and departure, remained in council for some days and, although sullen in manner and noisy in protests, finally accepted valuable gifts and indemnities and so far satisfied the Commission that they dispatched special messengers to notify the Dis­trict Commander that "satisfactory treaties had been made with the tribes represented at Laramie and that its route was safe." I am concerned in this article only with the Bozeman or Montana trail. Their heads were burned and filled with powder around the wounds. 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. 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! There was no certainty about the attacks, ex­cept an assurance that one was always due at any given moment. Perhaps it ill becomes us to censure the dead, but the whole unfortunate affair arose from a direct disobe­dience of orders on the part of Fetterman and his men. The general had been forced to advance under fire, and meeting the fugitive cavalry, ordered them to fall in behind his own detachment. The next day the other group, 1,500 to 2,500 Sioux and Cheyenne led by Red Cloud, set upon a detachment of 28 infantrymen guarding civilian woodcutters a few miles west of Fort Phil Kearny. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Of these men, only four be­sides the two officers had been killed by bullets. Resources. 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. Awesome Inc. theme. They had evidently been tortured to death. Nothing remains of the fort, which was located is about one mile west of U.S. 87 and 2½  miles southeast of Story. This train was frequently attacked. The doctor hastened away, but returned soon after with the information that the wood train had gone on, and that when he attempted to cross the valley of the Peno to join Fetterman's men he found it full of Indians, who were swarming about Lodge Trail Ridge, and that no sign of Fetterman was observed. 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. 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. The men had been exercised in firing recently and some of the ammunition had been ex­pended, although they still had an abundant supply for the purposes of the expedition. Car­rington at once surmised that Fetterman had disobeyed orders, either wittingly or carried away by the ardor of the pursuit, and was now heavily engaged with the In­dians on the far side of the ridge. All the dead cavalry horses' heads were turned toward the fort, by the way. Fort Phil Kearny Fetterman Massacre General Henry Carrington by Cyrus Townsend Brady. Plan of Fort Kearney from Indian Fights and Fighters (1904) Pilot Hill, Fort Phil Kearny, WY. 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. The night was one of wild anxiety. . After four years of active cam­paigning they could not settle down to the humdrum life of village and country again. 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. A portion of the command was mounted from the discarded horses of a cavalry regiment going east to be mustered out. The firing has stopped. The mercury was in the bulb. The mountains and hills were covered with pines. 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. At that time there were four great routes of transcon­tinental travel in use: southward over the famous Santa Fe Trail; westward over the Kansas trail to Denver; westward on the Oregon Trail through Nebraska and Salt Lake City to California and Oregon; northwestward on the Bozeman trail through Wyoming to Montana. 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. Without his solicitation, on May 14th, 1861, he had been appointed Colonel of the Eighteenth United States Infantry, promoted Brigadier-General November 29th, 1863, and had rendered valuable and important services during the war. After every campaign poor, wretched women of stranded and robbed emigrant trains or devastated settlements were brought into the various camps, to whom these army women ministered with loving care, and from whom they heard frightful and sickening de­tails that froze the blood; yet the army wife herself never faltered in her devotion, never failed in her willingness to follow wherever her husband was sent. 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. Originally titled, "Fort Phil Kearny: An American Saga," the book does indeed center on Colonel Henry B. Carrington who built the fort from which Captain William J. Fetterman rode to his doom. As Fetterman's troops disappeared down the valley, a number of Indians were observed along the Piney in front of the fort. In the late spring and summer of 1866, a U.S. commission met with these leaders at Fort Laramie, Wyoming. On December 21, 1866, a small war party, in a feint, made a typical attack on a wood train returning eastward from Piney Island to the fort. This seemed impossible, as he belonged to Fetterman's command. The land was desirable naturally and attracted the attention of the settlers. 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. I order the wood train in, which will give fifty men to spare.". 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. One of the officers, Lieutenant Bing­ham, was dead. 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. 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.". You must unite with Fetterman. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sergeant Bowers had been fearfully wounded and scalped, although he was still alive, but died immediately. The next day was bitterly cold. Indian tipis on the grounds of Fort Phil Kearny, in what is now Johnson County, Wyoming. His course was also the subject of inquiry before a purely military court, all of them his juniors in rank, which also reported favorably. 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. This body of men was the best armed party at the post a few of those designated carrying the Spencer repeating car­bines. 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. History records no greater instances of romantic devo­tion than those exhibited by the army wife. Had the authorities known what was to happen, a force three times as great would scarcely have been thought adequate for the purpose. 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. Now, trails lead visitors to the sites of the conflicts, and interpretive signs explain the events from the perspectives of both the military and Indian groups. In the wagons with his command were the bodies of forty-nine of Fetterman's men; the remaining thirty-two were not at that time accounted for. 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. These orders were delivered in a loud voice and were audible to many persons — women, officers, and men in the fort. They fully expected the fort to be at­tacked. Construction began on July 13, 1866, and it ultimately consisted of 42 log and frame buildings within a 600 by 800-foot stockade of heavy pine timber 11 feet high and had blockhouses at diagonal corners. The Sioux and Cheyennes had consented to the opening of the road, and though they demurred to the forts, they had not absolutely refused the treaty when the government insisted upon it. 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 expedition was not conceived or planned for war. 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. Early in 1866 Government Commissioners at Fort Laramie, Nebraska, were negotiating a treaty with the Sioux and Northern Cheyennes to secure the right of way for emigrants through that territory which, by the Harney-Sanborne treaty, had been conceded to them in 1865. Follow road markers. The Brule Sioux, under the lead of Spotted Tail, Standing Elk and others, favored the concession, and ever after remained faithful to the whites. Learn more about one of the biggest battles between Native Americans and The US Army in History. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Fetterman Massacre: Fort Phil Kearny and the Battle of the Hundred Slain. To abandon Fort Reno, or to remove it, was not prac­ticable. Red Cloud, noticing his shoulder straps, hotly denounced him as the "White Eagle" who had come to steal the road before the Indian said yes or no. 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. Dee Brown’s The Fetterman Massacre: Fort Phil Kearny and the … 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. If the Government erects a monument that can be destroyed by these people, it should be cared for by the United States. 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.". He rightly judged that the moral effect of the battle would be greatly enhanced, in the eyes of the Indians, if the bodies were not recov­ered. 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. Bodies were strung along the road clear to the western end farthest from the fort. Wood, while not immediately at hand, else the place would not have been practicable of defense without tremendous labor in clearing it, was conveniently adjacent. The dispatch from Colonel Henry B. Carrington at Fort Phil Kearny stated that three officers, 92 men, and two citizens had been massacred four days earlier near the fort. The judgment of the veteran soldiers and the fron­tiersmen, who knew that to retreat was to be annihilat­ed, had caused a few to hold their ground and fight until they were without ammunition; then with gun-stocks, swords, bayonets, whatever came to hand, they battled until they were cut down. It was supposed to be a peaceable expedition. Rarely in the history of the Indian wars of the United States have the Indians, no matter how preponderant in force, conducted a regular siege, Pontiac's investment of Detroit being almost unique in that particular. The sky was over­cast and lowering, with indications of a tremendous storm. 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