The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory

The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory (HM1N23)

Location: Buffalo, WY 82834 Johnson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 33.524', W 106° 53.903'

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By the end of the fight the Indians, through the heroics of fellow warriors, managed to remove all but one or two of their dead and wounded from the battlefield. These were taken to a spring near the present day Fish Hatchery for cleansing and treatment. Estimates vary greatly as to the number of Indian casualties. Traditional Indian oral history places the number as low as six and as high as 100. Captain Powell estimated the dead at 60 and wounded at 120. As the Indians withdrew from the field, so did the soldiers. Following their rescue by Major Smith's column the surgeon treated the wounded and gave each survivor a drink of whiskey to settle their nerves. The military casualties consisted of three dead in the corral, four dead at the side camp, and two wounded in the corral. These casualties and the day long fight would cause the military to rethink their position at the pineries.Although the military felt they had won the fight, which gave a great boost to the morale of soldiers on the western plains, they knew the existing corral had its weaknesses. Immediately following the flight Lieutenant Alexander Wishart created a new position south and west of the Wagon Box Fight corral. The new corral was placed further out in the open, giving a better field of fire, and was constructed in a stronger defensive position. A trench was dug around the exterior, and the wagon boxes were placed upon the excavated dirt, creating a formidable barrier to any attack. A new camp site was located to the south of the corral.To the Indians the Wagon Box fight was also a victory. They had succeeded in destroying the side camp, burned several wagons, captured a large mule herd and killed or wounded several of the enemy. Their goal of harassing the forts had been fulfilled. One lesson learned was that the soldiers had new weapons, and that if the Indians expected to win they would need modern guns. In November 1867, Lieutenant Shurley's command was attacked on Big Goose Creek and after a day long fight, the Indians were driven off. It is believed that the Indian objective was to capture a mountain howitzer and weapons. This ongoing fighting kept the Bozeman Trail closed to all but military traffic, and the maintenance of the forts became a great expense for the military. Through continuous skirmishing and the husbanding of his resources, Red Cloud was winning his war. The war continued into the summer of 1868 with raids at all three forts along the Bozeman Trail and at the new Fort Fetterman located on the North Platte River. In 1868 treaty negotiators were again ready to discuss the Bozeman Trail. The results of the negotiations would make "Red Cloud's War" one of the few, though temporary, victories by American Indians against the western expansion of the United States.
HM NumberHM1N23
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 at 1:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 349233 N 4935685
Decimal Degrees44.55873333, -106.89838333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 33.524', W 106° 53.903'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 33' 31.44" N, 106° 53' 54.18" 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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