Wagon Box Fight

Wagon Box Fight (HM1M69)

Location: Buffalo, WY 82834 Johnson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 33.499', W 106° 53.899'

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      In August 1867, a war party of hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, led by Ogallala chief Red Cloud, left their camp on the Big Horn River, hoping to destroy military posts along the Bozeman trail. Some of the warriors rode toward Fort C. F. Smith, while others approached Fort Phil Kearny.       Soldiers under the command of Captain James W. Powell, Company C, 27th Infantry, had been assigned to guard civilian woodcutters on Piney Island, approximately six miles west of Fort Phil Kearny. The firm of Proctor and Gilmore, which supplied Fort Phil Kearny with timber and fuel, hauled wood from Piney Island to the fort on the chassis of wagons from which the wagon boxes had been removed. The woodcutters had used the wagon boxes, made of one-inch thick pine, to build a corral for the protection of their livestock and for the storage of their supplies.       On the morning of August 2, 1867, Red Cloud's warriors launched a two-pronged assault on the wagon box corral and on a woodcutters' camp a short distance away. Vastly outnumbered, Captain Powell's force of 32 men took cover in the wagon box corral and prepared to defend their position. Armed with new breech-loading Springfield-Allin and Spencer rifles, Captain Powell and his men repelled repeated charges by the war party. After hours of intense fighting, a relief force under the command of Major Benjamin Smith arrived on the scene. The Indians abandoned the field after Major Smith's troops fired on them with howitzers. The battle left three soldiers and three civilians dead and two wounded. Indian losses are uncertain, but were estimated by Captain Powell at about sixty dead and 120 wounded. The army abandoned its Bozeman Trail forts in the summer of 1868, and they were subsequently burned to the ground by Red Cloud and his warriors.
HM NumberHM1M69
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, July 24th, 2015 at 10:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 349238 N 4935639
Decimal Degrees44.55831667, -106.89831667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 33.499', W 106° 53.899'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 33' 29.94" N, 106° 53' 53.94" 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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