The Battle, August 2, 1867

The Battle, August 2, 1867 (HM1N1A)

Location: Buffalo, WY 82834 Johnson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 33.523', W 106° 53.889'

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On August 2, 1867, 51 men of Company C, 27th Infantry under the command of Captain James Powell and Lieutenant John Jenness are assigned to the wood cutting detail. Fourteen of these men escort a wood train toward the fort. Another 13 are protecting wood cutters; nine at the upper pinery and four at the Little Piney Camp. While the soldiers at the at the corral prepared breakfast, the herders turned out the mules, and sentries took up positions, the battle begins.Crazy Horse and Hump lead a small number of warriors across the hills to the west in a decoy attack on the Little Piney Camp (1). Here three soldiers are killed and the remaining wood cutters are chased into the mountains (2). This attack is followed by attacks on the wood train at the upper pinery (3), and the mule herd (4).Soldiers, drivers and wood cutters from the wood train and pinery escape into the mountains, but the mule herd is captured. Powell leads an attack to rescue the herders, as outlying sentries (5) and hunters from the fort make for the safety of the corral. By nine o'clock 26 soldiers and six civilians are surrounded in the corral facing, by Powell's estimate, 800 to 1000 warriors (6).Indian spectators, including leaders, women, and children watch from the surrounding hills (7), as mounted warriors make the first attack, charging the corral from the Southwest (8). The Indians expect a volley from the soldiers who will then pause to reload, and the warriors will then overrun the corral. But the pause never occurs as the soldiers quickly reload their new rifles. Discouraged by the continuous fire the Indians withdraw. During the lull, the soldiers pass ammunition about the corral, holding it in their caps and the Indians prepare to charge on foot from behind the ridge to the north (9).The second attack is made from behind the ridge to the north by warriors on foot while mounted warriors demonstrate to the south and snipers located along the rim fire into the corral (10).During this attack all the casualties in the corral occur. But again the soldier's firepower turns the Indians back. A third attack comes from the northeast. The soldiers hear loud chanting as Indians burst from cover singing their war song and surge to within a few yard of the corral before being turned back (11). The Indians again retreat to the protection of the rim, sniping at the corral as others attempt to retrieve the dead and wounded. The final attack comes on horse back from the southeast (12). By now it is early afternoon and the fight has not gone unnoticed at the fort. Major Benjamin Smith leaves the fort with a relief column of 102 men and a mountain howitzer. As the column nears the corral, they fire on Indian spectators viewing from a high knob east of the corral (13). With the arrival of reinforcements for the soldiers, the Indians decide to withdraw and the Wagon Box Fight ends.
HM NumberHM1N1A
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 349252 N 4935683
Decimal Degrees44.55871667, -106.89815000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 33.523', W 106° 53.889'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 33' 31.38" N, 106° 53' 53.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 333 Wagon Box Rd, Buffalo WY 82834, US
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