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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

Nez Perce Fight

1877 Cow Island Fight

 
 
Nez Perce Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2020
1. Nez Perce Fight Marker
Inscription.  Across the street is a log house that was occupied by Major Guido Ilges, commander of the troops at Fort Benton during the Indian Wars of 1876-1877. Ilges took a volunteer force of eighteen men to Cow Island where they confronted the Nez Perce during their flight to reach Canada. Ilges and his men arrived just in time to see a soldier from upriver killed by the Indians. They hurriedly dug rifle pits and were pinned down by fire from the warriors of Chiefs Looking Glass and Joseph. The Indians took supplies that they had requested peaceably, and continued their retreat toward the border.
General Howard and some of his troops returned to Fort Benton after Joseph's surrender, the finale of Indian trouble in this part of Montana. Troops remained in Fort Benton until 1881, long after they were needed for protection of the river port. Chief Joseph's actual surrender rifle can be viewed at the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center here in Fort Benton.
 
Erected by Fort Benton Chamber of Commerce.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Wars, US Indian.
 
Location.
Nez Perce Fight - 1877 Cow Island Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 22, 2020
2. Nez Perce Fight - 1877 Cow Island Fight Marker
Captions: (left) Map of Nez Perce and U.S. Army lines of march; (top right row) Major Ilges, General Howard, Colonel Miles; (lower right ) Chief Joseph.
47° 48.772′ N, 110° 40.201′ W. Marker is in Fort Benton, Montana, in Chouteau County. Marker is on River Street near 10th Street, on the right when traveling north. 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. Coulson's Steamboat Offices (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Northern Railway (within shouting distance of this marker); Whoop Up Trail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Fort Campbell (about 400 feet away); Fort LaBarge (about 500 feet away); Upriver Businesses (approx. 0.2 miles away); Stage Lines (approx. 0.2 miles away); Most Progressive in Montana (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benton.
 
Regarding Nez Perce Fight. The marker is located on the river front pathway between Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center and the historic downtown business district.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 3, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 45 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 3, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Feb. 28, 2021