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Fort Benton in Chouteau County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

Nez Perce War

 
 
Nez Perce War Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
1. Nez Perce War Marker
Inscription.  In September 1877 the Nez Perce traveled across the Judith Basin headed for Canada. In anticipation of trouble, Major Ilges (commandant at Fort Benton) organized a party of fifty volunteers, mostly Fort Benton's Irish Fenians. They loaded the mountain howitzer onto a mackinaw boat and the rest of the party set out on horseback to protect Fort Claggett and the freight at the Cow Island steamboat landing.
Arriving at Cow Island too late to prevent the Indians from crossing the river, the volunteers pursued Chief Joseph and the bands of Nez Perce up the Cow Island Trail ... and found more Indians than they had bargained for. After one volunteer was killed and another was wounded, they let discretion be the better part of valor and retreated back to the landing to wait for the U.S. Army. The military finally caught up with the Nez Perce at Snake Creek in the Bear's Paw Mts. After a battle lasting several days, Chief Joseph surrendered to General Howard and Colonel Miles.
 
Erected by Fort Benton Community Improvement Association.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists:
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Native AmericansWars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the The Nez Perce Trail series list. A significant historical date for this entry is September 23, 1877.
 
Location. 47° 49.269′ N, 110° 39.757′ W. Marker is in Fort Benton, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker is on Front Street near 18th Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Benton MT 59442, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Buffalo Robe Fur Press (within shouting distance of this marker); The Engage's Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Fort Benton (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Benton Historic District (about 400 feet away); Fort Benton and the Indian Wars (about 400 feet away); Steamboat Relics (about 400 feet away); Fort Benton – Fort MacLeod Trail (about 500 feet away); War Dogs Memorial (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benton.
 
More about this marker. This marker is in the riverside park opposite Old Fort Benton.
 
Also see . . .  Cow Island, Montana. ...As darkness fell, Nez Perce warriors fired on the entrenched
1877 Cow Island Fight, on back image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
2. 1877 Cow Island Fight, on back
Captions: (upper left) map of the Nez Perce flight and US Army line of march; (bottom left) Rifle Pits at Cow Island; (bottom center) Fort Claggett; (bottom right) Cow Island Landing; (middle right) Nez Perce Crossing the Judith Basin; (top right) John J. Donnelly, Colonel Miles, Chief Looking Glass.
soldiers from the bluffs. While the army unit was thus pinned down behind their shallow entrenchments, the Nez Perce broke into the freight storage area under cover of night and took what they wanted.
The next day, the Nez Perce moved up Cow Creek, but on September 25, 1877, they again engaged in a rear guard action in what is sometimes referred to as the Battle of Cow Creek Canyon, repulsing a pursuing army unit under command of Major Igles. On the same day, they ransacked and then burned a freight wagon train they overtook on the Cow Creek trail.
(Submitted on November 5, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
 
Nez Perce War Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2019
3. Nez Perce War Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 5, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 186 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 5, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 17, 2024