Story in Sheridan County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
The Battle, August 2, 1867
On August 2, 1867, 51 men of Company C, 27th Infantry under the command of Captain James Powell and Lieutenant John Jenness are assigned to the wood cutting detail. Fourteen of these men escort a wood train toward the fort. Another 13 are protecting wood cutters; nine at the upper pinery and four at the Little Piney Camp. While the soldiers at the at the corral prepared breakfast, the herders turned out the mules, and sentries took up positions, the battle begins.
Crazy Horse and Hump lead a small number of warriors across the hills to the west in a decoy attack on the Little Piney Camp (1). Here three soldiers are killed and the remaining wood cutters are chased into the mountains (2). This attack is followed by attacks on the wood train at the upper pinery (3), and the mule herd (4).
Soldiers, drivers and wood cutters from the wood train and pinery escape into the mountains, but the mule herd is captured. Powell leads an attack to rescue the herders, as outlying sentries (5) and hunters from the fort make for the safety of the corral. By nine o’clock 26 soldiers and six civilians are surrounded in the corral facing, by Powell’s estimate, 800 to 1000 warriors (6).
Indian spectators, including leaders, women, and children watch from the surrounding hills (7), as mounted warriors make the first attack, charging
The second attack is made from behind the ridge to the north by warriors on foot while mounted warriors demonstrate to the south and snipers located along the rim fire into the corral (10).
During this attack all the casualties in the corral occur. But again the soldier’s firepower turns the Indians back. A third attack comes from the northeast. The soldiers hear loud chanting as Indians burst from cover singing their war song and surge to within a few yard of the corral before being turned back (11). The Indians again retreat to the protection of the rim, sniping at the corral as others attempt to retrieve the dead and wounded. The final attack comes on horse back from the southeast (12).
By now it is early afternoon and the fight has not gone unnoticed at the fort. Major Benjamin Smith leaves the fort with a relief column of 102 men and a mountain howitzer. As the column nears the corral, they fire on
Location. 44° 33.523′ N, 106° 53.889′ 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. Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest (a few steps from this marker); A Fight to Survive (a few steps from this marker); Wagon Box Monument (a few steps from this marker); Wagon Box Fight (a few steps from this marker); Valor in Attack (a few steps from this marker); To Save the Powder River Country (a few steps from this marker); The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory (a few steps from this marker); The Wagon Box Fight: Continuing Controversies (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Story.
More about this marker. An illustration on the marker shows the various phases of the Wagon Box Battle that are described in the text.
Related markers. Click here for 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. • Native Americans • Wars, US Indian •
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 175 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 18, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.