Near Cheyenne in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
The Battle of the Washita
Black Kettle, Peace Leader of the Southern Cheyennes, had sought military assurance that he would not be attacked here. There were in his camp, however, young men who had taken part in war parties raiding in Kansas.
Custerís command left Camp Supply on November 23. His scouts located the Cheyenne village on the night of November 26. After a forced march through a bitterly cold blizzard and deep snow, Custer deployed his command to surround the village, and at dawn, with the Regimental band playing “Gary Owen,” swept in to attack the sleeping Cheyennes.
The number of Indians killed in the fighting is a point of controversy. Custer claimed 103 warriors. In the report to the Secretary of the Interior (1869-70). Cheyennes set the total at 13
Captain Louis Hamilton, grandson of Alexander Hamilton, was one of two officers killed. Major Joel Elliott and a squad of troopers in pursuit of fleeing Cheyennes were trapped on Sergeant Major Creek beyond a mile from the village and killed to the last man.
The Cheyenne Lodges and winter supplies of food and buffalo robes were burned, while 875 of their horses were slaughtered. At nightfall, the cavalry returned toward Camp Supply with 53 women and children captives.
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 35° 37.058′ N, 99° 42.007′ W. Marker is near Cheyenne, Oklahoma, in Roger Mills County. Marker is on Alternate State Highway 47, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cheyenne OK 73628, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Battle of the Washita (approx. 1.6 miles away); California Road (approx. 12Ĺ miles away).
More about this marker. On the left side of the marker is an engraving of Peace Chief Black Kettle. On the right is engraved a
Directions to the site: From I-40 take exit 20 (Sayre) and travel north on US-283 to Cheyenne. In Cheyenne take US-283 north until it intersects with Hwy 47. At the US-283 and Hwy 47 intersection travel west through Cheyenne and continue west half a mile and turn north on Hwy 47A. Continuing on Hwy 47A will take you to the new visitor center. By taking 47A a little farther you will find the historic site, featuring the park overlook and interpretive walking trail.
Regarding The Battle of the Washita. The Washita Battlefield National Historic Site protects and interprets the setting along the Washita River where Lt. Col. George A. Custer led the 7th U.S. Cavalry on a surprise dawn attack against the Southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle on November 27, 1868. The attack was an important event in the tragic clash of cultures of the Indian Wars era.
Also see . . . Washita Battlefield National Historic Site. (Submitted on September 18, 2008.)
Categories. • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2008, by Gary D. Carter of King George, Virginia. This page has been viewed 5,077 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 18, 2008. 3. submitted on September 18, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 14, 2008, by Gary D. Carter of King George, Virginia. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Readable pictures and inscription from the "A Clash of Cultures" historical marker adjacent to this marker. • Can you help?