The Battle of Blue Water

The Battle of Blue Water (HMYK8)

Location: Lewellen, NE 69147 Garden County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 20.709', W 102° 10.675'

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Nebraska Historical Marker

On September 3, 1855, the U.S. Army's 600-man Sioux Expedition, commanded by Col William S. Harney, attacked and destroyed a Lakota village located three miles north on Blue Creek. The fight became known as the Battle of Blue Water, sometimes the Battle of Ash Hollow after the nearby landmark or the Harney Massacre.

The army's attack avenged the Indian annihilation of Lt. John Grattan's command near Fort Laramie in 1854. Harney concluded the more than 250 Brules and Ogalalas camped on Blue Creek were the guilty parties. He divided his force and led his infantry towards the village. While Harney engaged in a delaying parley with Chief Little Thunder, the mounted troops had circled undetected to the north.

The infantry opened fire with its new, long-range rifles and forced the Indians to flee towards the mounted soldiers, who inflicted terrible casualties. Eighty-six Indians were killed, seventy women and children captured, and their tipis were looted and burned. This first, yet often overlooked, military campaign against the Lakota kept the Overland Trail open, but only postponed until 1863-64 a war between the two nations.

Erected in memory of Dennis Shimmin, Ash Hollow State Historical Park Superintendent, 1968-1998.Nebraska State Historical Society
HM NumberHMYK8
Series This marker is part of the Nebraska: Nebraska State Historical Society series
Marker Number403
Placed ByNebraska State Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at 7:28am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13T E 736111 N 4580916
Decimal Degrees41.34515000, -102.17791667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 20.709', W 102° 10.675'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 20' 42.54" N, 102° 10' 40.50" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)308
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 102 Unnamed Road, Lewellen NE 69147, US
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