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

Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest

 
 
Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
1. Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest Marker
Inscription.
Though construction of Fort Phil Kearny was complete by August of 1867, the need of wood for burning and alterations continued. Colonel John E. Smith, the post commander, located wood cutting camps on Big and Little Piney Creeks five miles west of the fort. Civilian wood cutters worked at the upper and lower pineries on Big Piney and at another pinery located on Little Piney.

To protect the wood cutters from constant attack by Indians, blockhouses were built at the Big Piney Pineries and along the wood road to the fort. A company of infantry armed with the 50-70 Allin Conversion Rifle (a converted Springfield musket, which was breach-loading and fired metal cased cartridges) were assigned to protect the cutters and wood train. Their duties were rotated with other companies on a monthly basis.

          The soldiers operated out of a camp located at a corral built by the wood contractors to hold the mules at night. The corral was made of 14 wagon boxes, removed from the running gears, and placed in an oval measuring 30’ by 70’. It was located on a plateau between Big and Little Piney Creeks, at the junction of the wood roads, and visible from Pilot Knob, a lookout point near the fort. One box at the west end of the corral and another on the south side were covered to protect supplies for the soldiers and civilians. An
Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
2. Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest Marker
additional supply wagon was located ten feet to the west. The soldiers and civilians slept in tents outside the corral.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 44° 33.519′ N, 106° 53.89′ W. Marker is in Story, Wyoming, in Sheridan County. Marker can be reached from Wagon Box Road. Touch for map. Marker is located on a walking trail at the Wagon Box Fight 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. The Battle, August 2, 1867 (a few steps from this marker); To Save the Powder River Country (a few steps from this marker); Red Cloud’s Victory (a few steps from this marker); A Fight to Survive (a few steps from this marker); The Wagon Box Fight: Continuing Controversies (a few steps from this marker); Wagon Box Monument (a few steps from this marker); Wagon Box Fight (a few steps from this marker); The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Story.
 
More about this marker. A map of the Wagon Box Area is on the left side of the marker. It shows the location of Fort Phil Kearny, Block Houses, Pineries, Side Camp and the route of the Bozeman Trail
Marker at the Wagon Box Fight Historic Site image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
3. Marker at the Wagon Box Fight Historic Site
and Wood Roads. A picture of the Wood cutters at work in Pineries appears on the bottom right of the marker.
 
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 August 18, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Wars, US Indian
 
Wagon Box image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 24, 2015
4. Wagon Box
Wood contractors constructed a corral out of wagon boxes like this one to hold the mules at night.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 18, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 160 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 18, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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