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Story in Sheridan County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Wagon Box Fight

Wyoming

 
 
Wagon Box Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
1. Wagon Box Fight Marker
Inscription.
      In August 1867, a war party of hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, led by Ogallala chief Red Cloud, left their camp on the Big Horn River, hoping to destroy military posts along the Bozeman trail. Some of the warriors rode toward Fort C. F. Smith, while others approached Fort Phil Kearny.

      Soldiers under the command of Captain James W. Powell, Company C, 27th Infantry, had been assigned to guard civilian woodcutters on Piney Island, approximately six miles west of Fort Phil Kearny. The firm of Proctor and Gilmore, which supplied Fort Phil Kearny with timber and fuel, hauled wood from Piney Island to the fort on the chassis of wagons from which the wagon boxes had been removed. The woodcutters had used the wagon boxes, made of one-inch thick pine, to build a corral for the protection of their livestock and for the storage of their supplies.

      On the morning of August 2, 1867, Red Cloud’s warriors launched a two-pronged assault on the wagon box corral and on a woodcutters’ camp a short distance away. Vastly outnumbered, Captain Powell’s force of 32 men took cover in the wagon box corral and prepared to defend their position. Armed with new breech-loading Springfield-Allin and Spencer rifles, Captain Powell and his men repelled repeated charges by the war party. After hours of intense fighting, a
Wagon Box Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
2. Wagon Box Fight Marker
relief force under the command of Major Benjamin Smith arrived on the scene. The Indians abandoned the field after Major Smith’s troops fired on them with howitzers. The battle left three soldiers and three civilians dead and two wounded. Indian losses are uncertain, but were estimated by Captain Powell at about sixty dead and 120 wounded. The army abandoned its Bozeman Trail forts in the summer of 1868, and they were subsequently burned to the ground by Red Cloud and his warriors.
 
Location. 44° 33.499′ N, 106° 53.899′ W. Marker is in Story, Wyoming, in Sheridan County. Marker can be reached from Wagon Box Road. Touch for map. Marker is located in Wagon Box Fight State 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. Red Cloud’s Victory (within shouting distance of this marker); To Save the Powder River Country (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wagon Box Fight: Continuing Controversies (within shouting distance of this marker); Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle, August 2, 1867 (within shouting distance of
Wagon Box Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
3. Wagon Box Fight Marker
this marker); The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory (within shouting distance of this marker); Valor in Attack (within shouting distance of this marker); A Fight to Survive (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Story.
 
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 the Wyoming State Historical Society. (Submitted on July 24, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Wars, US Indian
 
Wagon Box Fight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
4. Wagon Box Fight Marker
Wagon Box Fight State Historic Site image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
5. Wagon Box Fight State Historic Site
The Wagon Box Fight marker is located in Wagon Box Fight State Historic Site.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 24, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 236 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 24, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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