Story in Sheridan County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Valor in Attack
The Indian leaders had hoped the soldiers would pursue a small decoy party of warriors led by Hump into an ambush, but the soldiers refused to follow, and the last pickets retreated safely into the corral after wounding the Ogalala warrior Paints Yellow. The side camp was taken and some soldiers killed, but now the only option for quick success was to launch massed attacks at the corral, and hope to overrun the soldiers’ improvised wagon box fortress.
Soon, mounted warriors circled around the corral. Using their horses as shields, they quickly rode in close to fire arrows or guns, and then zigzagged away from the soldiers’ rifles. During the first attack from the south, Hairy Hand, a Miniconjou, rode straight at the corral to count coup. Hit by a soldier’s bullet, he laid out in the open until a young warrior named White Bull ran in and dragged him to safety. Struck in the leg, the Sans Arc warrior Crazy Horse fell from his horse, and was carried off by his comrades. The mounted charge failed, and the war leaders Crazy Horse of the Ogalalas and Hump of the Miniconjous organized the warriors for an assault on foot.
As the foot charge moved toward the corral, the Ogalala Only Man rushed ahead, almost reaching the wagon boxes before the bullets killed him. The attack stalled, and some warriors concealed themselves
During a lull before the next attack, one of the bravest acts of the day took place. Jipala, a tall, impressive Miniconjou, walked toward the corral, carrying a shield, lance and bow. Singing his death song, he ran forward, jumping in the air and firing arrows at the corral. Finally, the soldiers’ bullets found him, and he laid dead before the corral. Both warriors and soldiers talked of his bravery for many years to come.
Two more Miniconjous, Muskrat Stands on His Lodge and Packs His Leg, died in foot charges. During the final attack, the Lakota Young Duck was shot dead leading the assault, and three of his people wounded attempting to recover his body.
Once more, the warriors attempted a mounted charge, but the soldiers’ guns kept up a fierce fire. The assault ended before reaching the corral, but not before Sun’s Road of the Cheyennes was killed. His death was the last of the day.
The boom of Smith’s howitzer signaled the end of fighting. As the Lakota and Cheyennes left the battlefield, they paused near local springs to care for their wounded and dead before moving north to their camps.
Location. 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. The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory (here, next to this marker); Wagon Box Fight (here, next to this marker); Wagon Box Monument (here, next to this marker); A Fight to Survive (a few steps from this marker); The Wagon Box Fight: Continuing Controversies (a few steps from this marker); The Battle, August 2, 1867 (a few steps from this marker); Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest (a few steps from this marker); Red Cloud’s Victory (a few steps from this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Story.
More about this marker. A portrait of Tribal Leader Red Cloud appears at the upper left of the marker. The background of the marker features a picture of attacking Indians.
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 (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 119 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.