“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Laramie in Albany County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

Battle of Crowheart Butte

Battle of Crowheart Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 28, 2016
1. Battle of Crowheart Butte Marker
Inscription. This bronze sculpture captures the moment when Chief Washakie first raises his lance challenging Crow Chief Big Robber to a duel.
The Battle of Crowheart Butte was ignited when Crow Chief Big Robber and his braves refused to leave an area near this unique geological outcropping at the middle northern boundary of the present-day Wind River Reservation. Game had become increasingly scarce in other areas, with more tribes looking to the Wind River Valley for their winter supply of meat. Like the Shoshone, the Crow believed that this was their territory too. When the Crow moved in to hunt, Washakie allowed them to stay for several weeks. Eventually, however, Washakie sent one of his best warriors and the warrior's wife as a peace envoy with a message telling Big Robber that it was time to move east toward the Owl Creek Mountains.
The Crow chief's response was to kill the Shoshone scout as the woman watched helplessly. Big Robber then sent her home to relate the horrific scene to Chief Washakie. Although Washakie considered Big Robber to be a very strong opponent who was revered among his people for his steadfast bravery, the Shoshone chief immediately organized a war party of men he had trained personally to military precision and set out to attack the band of Crow camped on the Big Wind River near the Kinnear Ranch. A group of
Chief Washakie (statue) image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 28, 2016
2. Chief Washakie (statue)
"Battle of Two Hearts"
"I fought to keep our land, our water, and our hunting grounds - today, education is the weapon my people will need to protect them"
A gift to the University of Wyoming by the Wyoming Legislature, 2005
Sculptor: Dave McGary
Bannocks joined Washakie in his attack on the Crow. Although taken by surprise, the Crow proved to be formidable adversaries for Washakie's men, and the two sides fought for nearly an week without resolution. Finally, realizing that both chiefs were losing too many warriors, Washakie approached Big Robber with a proposition: the two chiefs would fight each other. The warriors of the losing chief would forfeit the hunting lands and go home.
Fearless and menacing, Washakie rode close to the Crow chief and taunted him: "You and I will fight. And when I beat you, I will cut out your heart. And I will eat it!" As the Shoshone and Crow warriors gathered on opposite sides to watch, the two chieftains rode back and forth taunting and yelling at each other.
As the fight raged on, it became impossible to distinguish one from the other in the distant haze of dust. Finally, Washakie emerged with Big Robber's heart on the end of his lance, determining the winner. True to his word, Washakie had indeed cut out the dead chief's heart, but his descendants say he did not eat it. Instead, he displayed it until after the Shoshone victory dance that night. Out of respect for the triumphant Washakie, the Crow gave him two young women. He later took one of them as his wife.
Erected by Wyoming Legislature.
Chief Washakie image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 28, 2016
3. Chief Washakie
41° 18.605′ N, 105° 34.544′ W. Marker is in Laramie, Wyoming, in Albany County. Marker is on Grand Avenue near 17th Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1649 Grand Avenue, Laramie WY 82070, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Appaloosa (here, next to this marker); Chief Washakie (here, next to this marker); First Ladies (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Franchise (approx. 0.9 miles away); 150 N. 2nd Street (approx. one mile away); Laramie Timeline (approx. 1.1 miles away); First Woman Jury (approx. 1.1 miles away); Laramie (approx. 1.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Laramie.
More about this marker. The Washakie statue is located in front of the Washakie Center on the University of Wyoming campus.
Categories. Native Americans
Crowheart Butte image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 30, 2016
4. Crowheart Butte
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 127 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 21, 2016.
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