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Carrington gathered together about 75 men under Captain Ten Eyck and sent them out on foot to search for Fetterman. [7]:191–192, That evening, a civilian, John "Portugee" Phillips, volunteered to carry a distress message to Fort Laramie. Fetterman said, "This Indian war has become a hand-to-hand fight requiring the utmost caution." Indian accounts credit a Lakota warrior named American Horse with killing Fetterman by slashing his throat. His orders were to protect European-American emigrants traveling west along the Bozeman Trail. 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. Almost 90 soldiers were detailed to guard the wagon train. [26], Estimates of Indian casualties vary widely. [4] Tracking the dwindling herds of buffalo, the three tribes soon ignored the treaty boundaries agreed upon and invaded Crow land. He gave explicit orders not to pursue the Indians beyond Lodge Trail Ridge, 2 miles north of Fort Kearny. Visitors can also tour the nearby battlefields which are located within a five-mile radius of the visitor center and include interpretive trails. A dramatic retelling of the 1866 Sioux victory where 81 soldiers were killed. [1] A total of 81 American soldiers and civilians died in the battle. Fetterman Massacre European-American immigrants traveling along the Bozeman Trail passed through Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearny Massacre (Abridged, Annotated) - Ebook written by Frances Courtney Carrington. [7]:171–173, The morning of December 21, 1866, was clear and cold. [7]:160–165, His caution confirmed by this experience, Carrington intensified training for his soldiers and officers, forming them into six companies. According to a Cheyenne informant named White Elk, who was interviewed as he walked the battlefield 48 years after the event, the Indians had chosen 10 warriors as decoys to tempt Fetterman into the ambush: two Arapaho, two Cheyenne, and two from each of the three Lakota bands present: the Oglala, Brulé, and Miniconjou. [28] Years later, Red Cloud remembered the names of 11 Oglala who had been killed in the battle. In 1867, the army designated a new outpost in the Dakota Territory as "Fort Fetterman" in honor of the slain officer. [22], The Indians stripped and mutilated the soldiers' bodies before leaving[7]:188 in an apparent mirror of the Sand Creek Massacre of two years before. 'The health of Mrs Grummond was such that Lieutenant Wands and other friends urged him, for his family's sake, to be prudent, and avoid all rash movements and any pursuit that would draw them over Lodge Trail Ridge, and to report to Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Fetterman the orders he had received. [31], Calitri also suggests controversy about Grummond. Leading the cavalrymen was Lieutenant Horatio S. Bingham. [4] About 400 of his soldiers and most of the civilians were stationed at Fort Kearny. It is an insult to the spirits of our ancestors. Accessed via Internet Archive on August 30, 2015. He established three forts along the trail, including his headquarters at Fort Phil Kearny, near present-day Buffalo, Wyoming. Carrington prepared for an attack on the fort the evening after the Fetterman Fight, ordering all his men to stand watch, three to a porthole. Fetterman may have shot himself just before American Horse cut his throat. The Massacre at Fort Kearny drawing is obviously a record of both conjecture and fact. Capt. Carrington would blow up the magazine to ensure that no Americans remained alive to be captured by the Indians. The Indians in the valley slowly dispersed and disappeared. [20] The Indians took about 20 minutes to kill the infantry and another 20 to dispatch the cavalry. “Hear ye, Dakotas!” he exclaimed. Carrington's message to General Cooke told of the Fetterman disaster and requested immediate reinforcements and repeating Spencer carbines. Title The Indian battle and massacre near Fort Philip Kearney, Dacotah [sic] Territory, December 21, 1866 Summary Large group of Native Americans on horseback surrounding United States Army soldiers. Fetterman had been garrisoned at nearby Ft Phil Kearny, one of three posts along the Bozeman Trail in present-day Wyoming. Stands In Timber, John and Margot Liberty: Papers relating to Talks and Councils held with the Indians in Dakota and Montana Territories in the Years 1866-1869. [7]:158, During the next few months, while Fort Kearny was under construction, Carrington suffered about 50 Indian attacks, losing more than 20 soldiers and civilians. [7]:193–194, Carrington and a detail of 80 men marched cautiously out of Fort Kearny on December 22 as the blizzard was approaching and gathered the remaining bodies of those killed. Carrington himself led another mounted detachment to circle north in an attempt to cut off the Indians' retreat. On December 19, the Indians attacked another wood train. Colonel Henry Carrington runs a severe command but finds his authority challenged by the more likeable Captain William Fetterman. The actor Robert Fuller played the role of Fetterman in the episode, "Massacre at Fort Phil Kearny", which aired on October 26, 1966, on NBC's anthology television series, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre. Lambert, Joseph. A single Indian appeared, trying to entice the soldiers into chasing him into the woods. "Indian Perspectives on the Bozeman Trail", Vaughn, p. 72–80; Grinnell, pp. He suggests that Carrington and Fetterman planned to take the offensive against the Indians attacking the wood train and that Fetterman took the Lodge Trail Ridge to gain a position to attack the Indians from the rear. Carrington spent the rest of his life attempting to repair his tarnished reputation as a soldier.[7]:217–218. John Guthrie is credited as being the artist, and indeed a Sergeant John Guthrie was a Monnett, John H. Eyewitness to the Fetterman Fight: Indian Views. Are we then to give up their sacred graves to be plowed for corn? The Lakota, the Cheyenne, and the Arapaho accepted it as such. — Roundup Magazine After the loss of her first husband Frances went on to marry Colonel Henry B. Carrington. Powell remained behind. Use the HTML below. Directed by Tonino Valerii (MY NAME IS NOBODY). On December 26, the soldiers buried the bodies of Fetterman, his officers, and his men in a common trench. Soldiers were told that in the last extremity they were to retreat to the magazine. [15]. Carrington reemphasized to his soldiers his policy of caution until reinforcements and additional horses and supplies arrived from Fort Laramie. [7]:183, Historians do not believe that Indian casualties approached the higher estimates. All three forts were located in Crow territory. The Fetterman Massacre was a significant battle during Red Cloud's War on December 21, 1866, between soldiers of the U.S. Army based at Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming, and the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians. That afternoon, wagons were sent to bring the bodies back to Fort Kearny. Ten Eyck was accused of cowardice and drunkenness and was permitted to retire from the army. Instead of turning west to where the wagon train was under attack, he advanced northward up Lodge Trail Ridge, perhaps planning to circle east toward the wagon train, perhaps drawn by the Indian decoys, who mooned him. The dead soldiers had been stripped naked and mutilated. The decoy trick had worked on December 6 and they decided to try it again, this time with a force adequate to destroy any group of soldiers sent to chase them. Fetterman's infantry took up a position among some large rocks and in hand-to-hand fighting, 49 of his men and he died. Dakotas, I am for war!” Our old chiefs thought to show their friendship and good will, when they allowed this dangerous snake in our midst. One man in his command froze to death during the journey. Fetterman soon arrived to reinforce Carrington, and the Indians retreated. The staff member used the model to explain the location of the fort… Carrington assumed that Fetterman intended to approach the Indians attacking the wood train from their rear. [25] The last trooper to die in the battle may have been Adolph Metzger, a bugler who used his instrument as a weapon until it was battered shapeless. If the Indians attacked, the 10 women and children at the fort were ordered to get into the magazine. However, the Indians saw through it and instead stampeded a herd of the cattle on the bank of the Powder River opposite Fetterman's intended trap. [citation needed] The cavalry continued its retreat, halting to fight in a flat area on the ridge 400 yards north of where the infantry lay dead. She said these orders were given twice, the second time by Carrington from the sentry walk after ordering the soldiers to halt as they left the front gate of the fort. These orders, in so many words, 'to relieve the train, and under no circumstances to cross the ridge.' Fetterman and his entire force of 80 men were killed, including Lt. George Grummond, first husband of the author. [7]:157 Carrington's first opportunity to strike back came on December 6. [10] Several of Carrington's junior officers pressed him to take the offensive. On the bitterly cold morning of December 21, about 2,000 Natives concealed themselves along the road just north of Fort Phil Kearney. 66–67 and Van de Logt, Mark, "New Perspectives on the Fetterman Fight", https://archive.org/details/historyofwyoming00hudsrich, List of battles won by Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Find a grave memorial of US Soldiers who died at Fort Kearny, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fetterman_Fight&oldid=994505578, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2018, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2013, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Company C: Second Lieutenant George W. Grummond†, Sergeant James Bakerâ€, This page was last edited on 16 December 2020, at 01:54. Because of the steepness of the hill and the ice and snow, the Indians were slowed in their attempt to come in close quarters with the cavalry. His presence here is an insult and a threat. The decoys led him onward, with the cavalry leaving the infantry behind. Grummond probably was killed at this point, after he had personally decapitated at least one warrior with his saber before being overwhelmed by the others. On November 25, 1866, Carrington's superior, General Philip St. George Cooke, ordered him to take the offensive in response to the Indians' "murderous and insulting attacks". On December 21, 1866, eighty men under the command of Captain William Fetterman were surrounded and killed by an estimated force of over 1000 Sioux warriors in what would known as the Fetterman Massacre. Sheltered by the smooth Sullivant Hills that slide into Lodge Trail Ridge, this innocuous fold of land was the scene of … A group of 10 warriors, including Crazy Horse, acted to lure a detachment of U.S. soldiers into an ambush. “When the Great Father at Washington sent us his chief soldier [General Harney] to ask for a path through our hunting grounds, a way for his iron road to the mountains and the western sea, we were told that they wished merely to pass through our country, not to tarry among us, but to seek for gold in the far west. White Elk said more Indians were present than at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, which would indicate an Indian force of considerably more than 1,000 men. Kearny: Second-Lieut. About 50 Indians appeared near Fort Kearny, but Carrington dispersed them with a few cannon shots. [7]:209–210, Lurid newspaper stories blamed Carrington for the Fetterman disaster. Bingham and Fetterman were Civil War veterans, and Fetterman had a distinguished war record. "Under no circumstances" was the relief party to "pursue over the ridge, that is Lodge Trail Ridge". The orders were given in front of Lieutenant Grummond's house, next the colonel's, and those who were present heard them repeated with distinctness and special urgency. Reaching the top, about 12:45 pm, his men and he saw a very large force of Indians in the Peno Creek valley below. My husband is particularly interested in the Wagon Box fight which is a satellite site of the fort. Lieutenant Grummond's wife, in her memoirs, confirmed Carrington's statement. A blizzard began on December 22, and Phillips rode through a foot of snow and below-zero temperatures. When he returned to Red Cloud the fourth time, he declared that in his vision he had 100 blue-coat soldiers in each hand — too many to hold. “Fetterman Massacre,” Annals of Wyoming 9 (October 1932): 714-718. Another officer of the 18th, Lieutenant George W. Grummond, a known critic of Carrington, led the cavalry, which had been leaderless since Bingham's death in early December. All extra ammunition and explosives were deposited in a powder magazine ringed with wagons. Ten Eyck advanced carefully and the soldiers found the bodies of Fetterman and all of his men in the valley. [21], The Indians had few guns and fought mostly with bows and arrows, spears, and war clubs. Get a sneak peek of the new version of this page. He had accompanied an escort who guarded a wagon train gathering firewood and construction timber for Fort Kearny. Depicts Richard Egan and Don Taylor in a scene from the made for TV movie "Massacre at Fort Phile Kearny". Powell returned safely, having followed orders and accomplished his mission. A dramatic retelling of the 1866 Sioux victory where 81 soldiers were killed. On December 20, Carrington turned down Fetterman and Captain Brown's proposal that they lead 50 civilian employees in a raid on the Lakota village on the Tongue River, about 50 miles distant. Captain Frederick Brown, until recently the post quartermaster and another of Carrington's critics, and two civilians, James Wheatley and Isaac Fisher, joined Fetterman, bringing the relief force up to 81 officers and men. December 21 marks the 145th anniversary of the Fetterman Massacre, which took place near Fort Phil Kearny, in present-day Wyoming. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Doyle, Susan Badger. Massacre at Fort Phil Kearney The tour marks the archaeological remains of the fort's buildings. Carrington's case was that Fetterman was arrogant, insubordinate, and inexperienced in fighting Indians and that he had given Fetterman explicit orders not to venture beyond the summit of Lodge Trail Ridge. By claiming seniority as a brevet lieutenant colonel, Fetterman asked for and was given command of the relief party. According to Margret Irvin Carrington in her book Absaraka: Home of the Crows. The snows were deep and Jim Bridger advised him that the Indians would hole up for the winter. Western with James Coburn, Bud Spencer and Telly Savalas. Lieutenant Wands was also instructed to repeat them. Rather, they struck at the rear and flanks of an opponent, using mounted mobility to probe for weaknesses and attempt to cause disorganization and panic, backing off if they encountered a stout defense, and closing in for the kill when they could do so with little risk of heavy casualties.[29]. In 1868, Fort Phil Kearny was abandoned, and in November of that year, Red Cloud signed a peace agreement with the US. Banner, WY: 1993. Carrington sent Phillips and another messenger, Philip Bailey, out that evening on the best remaining horses. He arrived at Fort Laramie late in the evening on December 25 during a full-dress Christmas ball, and staggered, exhausted, into the party to deliver his message. The visitor's center has some displays, a film, and a model. [14] On leaving the fort, however, Fetterman took the Lodge Ridge Trail northward rather than the trail northwest toward the pinery where the wagon train was. Carrington ordered a relief party composed of 49 infantrymen of the 18th Infantry and 27 mounted troopers of the 2nd Cavalry under the command of Captain James Powell. Although initially blamed for the Fetterman defeat, after many years of effort, Carrington and his author wife succeeded in deflecting blame back to Fetterman. Original TV Movie Still. Massacre at Fort Phil Kearny (1966). The half-man rode on his pony in a crazed manner four times between the warriors gathered on the butte and Lodge Trail Ridge, each time gathering more "soldiers" into his hands in a prophetic manner. George Bent, a Cheyenne-Anglo man, said 14 Indian warriors were killed. View production, box office, & company info. Less than seven days after that speech, the Sioux went to Fort Phil Kearny, the new sentinel of the Oregon Trail. Lieutenant Bisbee, commanding the wagon train, sensibly took cover instead of pursuing the bait.[7]:150–156. Title: Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site includes a visitor's center with exhibits, videos, a bookstore, and self-guided tours of the fort grounds and outlying sites. Within a short time, the signal came that the wood train was no longer under attack. The Lakota alliance emerged victorious and the remaining US forces withdrew from the area. According to Calitri, historians believe evidence conflicts as to whether Carrington gave his order. They dispatched the 18th Infantry of the U.S. Army to Fort Phil Kearny, led by Colonel Henry B. Carrington. F. H. BROWN, who was massacred by the Indians near Fort Phil, Kearny, was the son of MATTHEW BROWN, Esq., of Toledo, Ohio. Another four soldiers had been wounded after they pursued another Indian decoy into an ambush. She wrote My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearney Massacre forty years after the fort was abandoned. He says that other than Carrington's accusations, "there is no evidence indicating that Fetterman was anything but a professional officer and a perfect gentleman" with a distinguished combat record. His cavalry under Grummond took the van, moving at a walk so the infantry could keep up. [5] By 1860, these traditional enemies of the Crow had taken control of their hunting grounds west of Powder River.

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