Story in Sheridan County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
A Fight to Survive
Inside the corral the small body of soldiers expected defeat and the same fate as Fetterman’s command. As they took up positions of their choosing, between, behind, or inside the wagon boxes, the men prepared for the worst. Some removed their shoe laces so that the string could be used to attach their toe to the rifle trigger when the end was near. Others stockpiled ammunition and weapons. While the Allin Conversion was the most prominent weapon of the fight, Spencer carbines and an assortment of pistols were also used. Some accounts indicate that only the marksmen fired while others reloaded the rifles for them. During the fight Powell gave few orders other than an initial command of “shoot to kill.” Jenness took up a position in the covered box with four civilians. It is reportedly here that after being told to keep down, Jenness replied “I know how to fight Indians” and promptly fell dead of a head wound.
Acts of valor were quite common in the corral. A private named Max Littman stepped from the safety of the corral to give covering fire for the retreating sentries at the beginning of the fight. On two occasions Privates Sam Gibson and John Grady ventured from the corral, once to knock down tents which were obscuring the field of fire, and a second time to retrieve water for the thirsting defenders.
Location. 44° 33.527′ N, 106° 53.893′ W. Marker is in Story, Wyoming, in Sheridan County. Marker can be reached from Wagon Box Road. Click for map. Marker is located on a walking trail at the Wagon Box Fight Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Story WY 82842, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wagon Box Monument (here, next to this marker); Wagon Box Fight (here, next to this marker); The Battle, August 2, 1867 (a few steps from this marker); Valor in Attack (a few steps from this marker); The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory (a few steps from this marker); Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest (a few steps from this marker); The Wagon Box Fight: Continuing Controversies (a few steps from this marker); To Save the Powder River Country (a few steps from this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Story.
More about this marker. Portraits of Captain James Powell and Lieutenant John Jenness appear at the top of the marker.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. See all of the markers found on the Wagon Box Fight walking trail.
Also see . . . The Wagon Box Fight, 1867. Account of the battle from the Wyoming State Historical Society. (Submitted on August 18, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Native Americans • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 148 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.