Story in Sheridan County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
The Aftermath: Two Versions of Victory
By the end of the fight the Indians, through the heroics of fellow warriors, managed to remove all but one or two of their dead and wounded from the battlefield. These were taken to a spring near the present day Fish Hatchery for cleansing and treatment. Estimates vary greatly as to the number of Indian casualties. Traditional Indian oral history places the number as low as six and as high as 100. Captain Powell estimated the dead at 60 and wounded at 120. As the Indians withdrew from the field, so did the soldiers. Following their rescue by Major Smith’s column the surgeon treated the wounded and gave each survivor a drink of whiskey to settle their nerves. The military casualties consisted of three dead in the corral, four dead at the side camp, and two wounded in the corral. These casualties and the day long fight would cause the military to rethink their position at the pineries.
Although the military felt they had won the fight, which gave a great boost to the morale of soldiers on the western plains, they knew the existing corral had its weaknesses. Immediately following the flight Lieutenant Alexander Wishart created a new position south and west of the Wagon Box Fight corral. The new corral was placed further out in the open, giving a better field of fire, and was constructed in a stronger defensive position. A trench
To the Indians the Wagon Box fight was also a victory. They had succeeded in destroying the side camp, burned several wagons, captured a large mule herd and killed or wounded several of the enemy. Their goal of harassing the forts had been fulfilled. One lesson learned was that the soldiers had new weapons, and that if the Indians expected to win they would need modern guns. In November 1867, Lieutenant Shurley’s command was attacked on Big Goose Creek and after a day long fight, the Indians were driven off. It is believed that the Indian objective was to capture a mountain howitzer and weapons. This ongoing fighting kept the Bozeman Trail closed to all but military traffic, and the maintenance of the forts became a great expense for the military. Through continuous skirmishing and the husbanding of his resources, Red Cloud was winning his war. The war continued into the summer of 1868 with raids at all three forts along the Bozeman Trail and at the new Fort Fetterman located on the North Platte River. In 1868 treaty negotiators were again ready to discuss the Bozeman Trail. The results of the negotiations would make “Red Cloud’s War” one of the few, though temporary, victories
Location. 44° 33.524′ N, 106° 53.903′ 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. Valor in Attack (here, next to this marker); Wagon Box Fight (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); A Fight to Survive (a few steps from this marker); The Battle, August 2, 1867 (a few steps from this marker); Red Cloud’s Victory (a few steps from this marker); Wood Cutting: A Hazardous Harvest (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Story.
More about this marker. A portrait of Captain Alexander Wishart appears at the top left of the marker. The bottom of the marker contains pictures of the Wishart Corral and Indians tending to the wounded.
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
Also see . . . The Wagon Box Fight, 1867. Account of the battle from the Wyoming State Historical Society. (Submitted on August 19, 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 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 197 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 19, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.