Carrington gathered together about 75 men under Captain Ten Eyck and sent them out on foot to search for Fetterman. Fetterman had been garrisoned at nearby Ft Phil Kearny, one of three posts along the Bozeman Trail in present-day Wyoming. The U.S. military mission was intended to protect travelers on the Bozeman Trail. It is an insult to the spirits of our ancestors. [7]:171–173, The morning of December 21, 1866, was clear and cold. Carrington reported that he had killed 10 Indians, but both Fetterman and he were sobered by the shortcomings in organization and discipline of their largely inexperienced soldiers. At the top of the ridge, in violation of orders from Carrington, he chose to follow the Indian decoys north rather than turn west to rescue the wagon train. [22], The Indians stripped and mutilated the soldiers' bodies before leaving[7]:188 in an apparent mirror of the Sand Creek Massacre of two years before. Grummond probably was killed at this point, after he had personally decapitated at least one warrior with his saber before being overwhelmed by the others. Counting Fetterman and his men, in less than six months at Fort Kearny, Carrington had lost 96 soldiers and 58 civilians. [21], The Indians had few guns and fought mostly with bows and arrows, spears, and war clubs. The group of Indians chosen to decoy the soldiers included the young Oglala Crazy Horse. [7]:160–165, His caution confirmed by this experience, Carrington intensified training for his soldiers and officers, forming them into six companies. Almost 90 soldiers were detailed to guard the wagon train. The army used a treaty right to "establish roads, military and other post". Only six of the 81 soldiers died of gunshot wounds. My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearny Massacre (Abridged, Annotated) - Ebook written by Frances Courtney Carrington. [34], United States Army The Fetterman Fight, also known as the Fetterman Massacre or the Battle of the Hundred-in-the-Hands or the Battle of a Hundred Slain, was a battle during Red Cloud's War on December 21, 1866, between a confederation of the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and a detachment of the United States Army, based at Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. [23][24] In his report to his superiors, Carrington listed what was discovered at the battlefield the next day: eyes torn out and laid on rocks, noses and ears cut off, teeth chopped out, brains taken out and placed on rocks, hands and feet cut off, and private parts severed. The area around the fort was the site of the Fetterman massacre and the Wagon Box Fight. Carrington sent Phillips and another messenger, Philip Bailey, out that evening on the best remaining horses. Because of the steepness of the hill and the ice and snow, the Indians were slowed in their attempt to come in close quarters with the cavalry. Carrington left Fort Kearny on January 23 with his wife and the other women and children, including the pregnant wife of the deceased Lieutenant Grummond. By claiming seniority as a brevet lieutenant colonel, Fetterman asked for and was given command of the relief party. He gave explicit orders not to pursue the Indians beyond Lodge Trail Ridge, 2 miles north of Fort Kearny. Kearny: Second-Lieut. A dramatic retelling of the 1866 Sioux victory where 81 soldiers were killed. Ten Eyck advanced carefully and the soldiers found the bodies of Fetterman and all of his men in the valley. By January 1, Carrington's fears of an Indian attack on the fort had subsided. Dakotas, I am for war!” Others who appeared in the segment were Richard Egan and Phyllis Avery as Colonel Henry Carrington and h… The Fetterman Massacre Called a massacre at the time, the December 1866 clash near Fort Phil Kearny was, in fact, a military triumph by the Plains Indians and the Army's greatest blunder in the West until the Battle of the Little Bighorn 10 years later. The infantry marched out first; the cavalry had to retrieve its mounts before it could follow and catch up. [6], In June 1866, Colonel Henry B. Carrington advanced from Fort Laramie into the Powder River country, now the hunting grounds of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Northern Arapaho. He had accompanied an escort who guarded a wagon train gathering firewood and construction timber for Fort Kearny. [3], The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 had this territory designated as Crow land. Portraits of Fort Phil Kearny. He had a distinguished Civil War record as a combat officer, but he had been court-martialed for drunkenness and abuse of civilians and was known as a bigamist. "[11] Many other officers shared Fetterman's feelings. Even if he had taken the shortest route, Ten Eyck was highly unlikely to have arrived in time to assist Fetterman. Pilot Hill, Fort Phil Kearny, WY The fort, known to the Indians as the "hated post on the Little Piney", played an important role in Red Cloud's War. The investigation noted that 12 companies of soldiers were stationed at Fort Laramie in a region at peace, while at Fort Kearny Carrington had only five companies in a region at war. On November 25, 1866, Carrington's superior, General Philip St. George Cooke, ordered him to take the offensive in response to the Indians' "murderous and insulting attacks". Title The Indian battle and massacre near Fort Philip Kearney, Dacotah [sic] Territory, December 21, 1866 Summary Large group of Native Americans on horseback surrounding United States Army soldiers. Carrington ordered a relief party composed of 49 infantrymen of the 18th Infantry and 27 mounted troopers of the 2nd Cavalry under the command of Captain James Powell. Grummond and the cavalry apparently remained in good order, leading their horses and presumably firing at the Indians all around them. Fort Phil Kearny was one the reasons for this trip. Powell remained behind. The dispatch from Colonel Henry B. Carrington at Fort Phil Kearny stated that three officers, 92 men, and two citizens had been massacred four days earlier near the fort. Just before the battle, Red Cloud called for the Lakotas' most powerful "half-man", a hermaphrodite who was believed to have special powers, to give advice from the butte overlooking the proposed ambush site. A cabin built by the Civilian Conservation Corps has been furnished to depict the period quarters of an officer's wife and a non-commissioned officer's quarters. He allegedly boasted, "Give me 80 men and I can ride through the whole Sioux nation. “When the Great Father at Washington sent us his chief soldier [General Harney] to ask for a path through our hunting grounds, a way for his iron road to the mountains and the western sea, we were told that they wished merely to pass through our country, not to tarry among us, but to seek for gold in the far west. Fetterman may have shot himself just before American Horse cut his throat. A few of the cavalry were with Fetterman, but Grummond and most of the cavalry apparently were a mile ahead of the infantry, near the flat along Peno Creek and possibly chasing other decoys. [28] Years later, Red Cloud remembered the names of 11 Oglala who had been killed in the battle. [7]:191–192, That evening, a civilian, John "Portugee" Phillips, volunteered to carry a distress message to Fort Laramie. Captains Fetterman and Brown are reputed to have committed suicide by shooting each other in the head to avoid capture, but the official army autopsy report gives a throat wound as the cause of Fetterman's death. Yet before the ashes of the council fire are cold, the Great Father is building his forts among us. [citation needed] The cavalry continued its retreat, halting to fight in a flat area on the ridge 400 yards north of where the infantry lay dead. [10] Several of Carrington's junior officers pressed him to take the offensive. Lieutenant Wands was also instructed to repeat them. Shortly after Fetterman arrived at Fort Kearny, Carrington gave the captain permission to attempt a night ambush. [7]:183, Historians do not believe that Indian casualties approached the higher estimates. They braved temperatures as low as -38°F (-39°C) during the journey to Fort Laramie. Civilians Wheatley and Fisher and several cavalrymen, "knowing it was fatal to retreat from Indians", halted and took shelter among several large rocks, where they were killed. The Lakota, the Cheyenne, and the Arapaho accepted it as such. The dispatch from Colonel Henry B. Carrington at Fort Phil Kearny stated that three officers, 92 men, and two citizens had been massacred four days earlier near the fort. According to Margret Irvin Carrington in her book Absaraka: Home of the Crows. It was out of sight, but only about 4 miles from Fort Kearny. Monnett, John H. Eyewitness to the Fetterman Fight: Indian Views. My husband is particularly interested in the Wagon Box fight which is a satellite site of the fort. “Massacre” references the 1866 Indian battle with a company of US troops under Captain William Fetterman on the Wyoming plains near Fort Phil Kearny (spelled Kearney by the author). All 81 men under the command of Captain William J. Fetterman were then killed by the Native American warriors. [30] More than 300 soldiers were still garrisoned at the fort. Their bodies were found in a small circle, huddled together for defense. The battlefield was examined briefly and the bodies of soldiers removed quickly. Fort Phil Kearny Massacre Property of the Wyoming State Museum, A-1999.9.157 . Leading the cavalrymen was Lieutenant Horatio S. Bingham. Some historians interpreted that as a tribute to his bravery in standing alone against several armed enemies. These orders, in so many words, 'to relieve the train, and under no circumstances to cross the ridge.' A dramatic retelling of the 1866 Sioux victory where 81 soldiers were killed. Lieutenant Grummond's wife, in her memoirs, confirmed Carrington's statement. Francis Grummond wrote that everyone present could hear the orders. University of New Mexico Press (July 16, 2010). The mutilated bodies of Bingham and a sergeant were found several hours later. Fetterman and his entire force of 80 men were killed, including Lt. George Grummond, first husband of the author. Massacre at Fort Phil Kearny (1966). She said these orders were given twice, the second time by Carrington from the sentry walk after ordering the soldiers to halt as they left the front gate of the fort. Are we then to give up their sacred graves to be plowed for corn? [4] About 400 of his soldiers and most of the civilians were stationed at Fort Kearny. The warriors, possibly numbering more than 1,000, congregated about 10 miles north of Fort Kearny, reconnoitered, and decided the best place to lay the trap was along the Bozeman Trail north of Lodge Trail Ridge. They experienced great success; in less than half an hour, they had defeated nearly 100 men under Captain Fetterman, who had been cleverly drawn out of the fort by a ruse. He saw no Indians during his ride. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. The decoy trick had worked on December 6 and they decided to try it again, this time with a force adequate to destroy any group of soldiers sent to chase them. On December 26, the soldiers buried the bodies of Fetterman, his officers, and his men in a common trench. Capt. Original TV Movie Still. He doubled the number of guards for the wood trains and kept the 50 serviceable horses the fort still possessed – having lost many in Indian raids – saddled and ready to sally from dawn to dark. Rather, they struck at the rear and flanks of an opponent, using mounted mobility to probe for weaknesses and attempt to cause disorganization and panic, backing off if they encountered a stout defense, and closing in for the kill when they could do so with little risk of heavy casualties.[29]. White, Richard: "The Winning of the West: The Expansion of the Western Sioux in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries". Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site includes a visitor's center with exhibits, videos, a bookstore, and self-guided tours of the fort grounds and outlying sites. Carrington sent Captain Powell, his most cautious officer, out of the fort to relieve the wood train with a cavalry company and mounted infantry. Visitors can also tour the nearby battlefields which are located within a five-mile radius of the visitor center and include interpretive trails. The Indians in the valley slowly dispersed and disappeared. case, Fort Phil Kearny. The U.S. military mission was intended to protect travelers on the Bozeman Trail. One man in his command froze to death during the journey. Universal Studios - 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA. [7]:147–150, Although he had no experience fighting Indians, Fetterman criticized Carrington's defensive posture and expressed contempt about the Indian foes. When he returned to Red Cloud the fourth time, he declared that in his vision he had 100 blue-coat soldiers in each hand — too many to hold. “Fetterman Massacre,” Annals of Wyoming 9 (October 1932): 714-718. Today, the stockade of Fort Phil Kearny has been reconstructed. [32], Also, in the case of Captain Tenodor Ten Eyck, who was sent by Carrington to support or rescue Fetterman when the sounds of battle were heard at Fort Kearny, the captain was accused[33] of having been slow to march to the aid of Fetterman, taking a longer route to reach him. Indian accounts credit a Lakota warrior named American Horse with killing Fetterman by slashing his throat. [1] A total of 81 American soldiers and civilians died in the battle. — Roundup Magazine After the loss of her first husband Frances went on to marry Colonel Henry B. Carrington. [7]:157 Carrington's first opportunity to strike back came on December 6. Sheltered by the smooth Sullivant Hills that slide into Lodge Trail Ridge, this innocuous fold of land was the scene of … His orders were to protect European-American emigrants traveling west along the Bozeman Trail. Bingham and Fetterman were Civil War veterans, and Fetterman had a distinguished war record. [citation needed] Yet, at some point, Grummond led his cavalry far in advance of Fetterman, chasing the Indian decoys in direct violation of his orders. Guthrie, John. BY B.F. McCUNE AND LOUIS HART [7]:198, 205, General Cooke, on receipt of Carrington's distress message, immediately ordered that he be relieved of command by Brigadier General Henry W. Wessells, who arrived safely at Fort Kearny on January 16 with two companies of cavalry and four of infantry. The Cheyenne and Arapaho took up positions on the west side of the trail and the Lakota on the east. The author was the wife of Lt. Grummond that was killed in the Fetterman massacre and she speaks at length about her arrival at the Fort, the times leading up to the massacre and what happened after. His presence here is an insult and a threat. Use the HTML below. Wood-cutting detachment rescue party from Fort Phil Kearny, Dakota Territory, December 21, 1866, Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Captain William J. Fetterman†, commanding, Captain William J. Fetterman†, 18th Infantry, commanding. [7]:209–210, Lurid newspaper stories blamed Carrington for the Fetterman disaster. She wrote My Army Life and the Fort Phil Kearney Massacre forty years after the fort was abandoned. Calitri suggests that he was reckless and possibly disobeyed orders during the December 6 fight. On dispatching Grummond and the cavalry to join Fetterman, Carrington explicitly ordered him to stay with Fetterman during the operation. A group of 10 warriors, including Crazy Horse, acted to lure a detachment of U.S. soldiers into an ambush. [16] The Lakota saw this as the good medicine that won the battle and thereafter called it the "Battle of the Hundred-in-the-Hands". George Bent, a Cheyenne-Anglo man, said 14 Indian warriors were killed. When attacked, the cavalry retreated uphill and southward, toward Fetterman and Fort Kearny. Lieutenant Bisbee, commanding the wagon train, sensibly took cover instead of pursuing the bait.[7]:150–156. On the bitterly cold morning of December 21, about 2,000 Natives concealed themselves along the road just north of Fort Phil Kearney. Carrington prepared for an attack on the fort the evening after the Fetterman Fight, ordering all his men to stand watch, three to a porthole. This FAQ is empty. The actor Robert Fuller played the role of Fetterman in the episode, "Massacre at Fort Phil Kearny", which aired on October 26, 1966, on NBC's anthology television series, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre. Western with James Coburn, Bud Spencer and Telly Savalas. It is a necessary addition to other material on Fort Phil Kearny, the Fetterman Massacre, and the Bozeman Trail." F. H. BROWN, who was massacred by the Indians near Fort Phil, Kearny, was the son of MATTHEW BROWN, Esq., of Toledo, Ohio. They dispatched the 18th Infantry of the U.S. Army to Fort Phil Kearny, led by Colonel Henry B. Carrington. The visitor's center has some displays, a film, and a model. [2] The Lakota and their allies were operating without the consent of the Crow. On November 22, Fetterman himself almost fell into an Indian ambush. University of Oklahoma Press; 1st edition (March 23, 2017). Massacre at Fort Phil Kearney Carrington had 700 soldiers and 300 civilians in his command. Previous Next (For a day tour covering all historic sites, including the Brinton Museum, consider starting your tour early in the cool of the day at Fort Phil Kearny) TO GET TO FORT PHIL KEARNY FROM LAZY R: Take I-90 headed east for approximately 36 miles to Exit 44. There is also a Fetterman Street and Fetterman Drive in Laramie, Wyoming. The half-man rode on his pony in a crazed manner four times between the warriors gathered on the butte and Lodge Trail Ridge, each time gathering more "soldiers" into his hands in a prophetic manner. December 21 marks the 145th anniversary of the Fetterman Massacre, which took place near Fort Phil Kearny, in present-day Wyoming. [15]. Carrington spent the rest of his life attempting to repair his tarnished reputation as a soldier.[7]:217–218. Fort Phil Kearny/ Bozeman Trail Association. Carrington reemphasized to his soldiers his policy of caution until reinforcements and additional horses and supplies arrived from Fort Laramie. Fort Kearny was built along the Bozeman Trail, although the establishment of a fort here was never agreed to by Red Cloud at the 1866 council at Fort Laramie. 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