Crazy Woman Creek

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The following is from the book, Encyclopedia of Indian Wars, by Gregory F. Michno.

20 July 1866, Buffalo, Wyoming: A small 18th U.S. Infantry detachment of 29 soldiers under Lt. George Templeton was heading north to Fort Phil Kearny as escort for the wives of Lt. Alexander Wands and Sgt. F.M. Fessenden, a servant, and several children. After passing Fort Reno (formerly Fort Connor), the party went down Dry Creek to its junction with Crazy Woman Creek. Scouting ahead, Templeton and Lt. Napoleon H. Daniels were jumped by over 50 warriors, probably Lakotas, perhaps with some Cheyennes. Daniels was killed. The Indians chased Templeton back to the train with an arrow in his back and a wound on his face. He ordered the train corralled and organized the defense. Several men were wounded and a few mules were shot down.

At sunset, two men volunteered to ride back to Fort Reno for help. Just then, another train of 34 wagons and 47 men, under Capt. Thomas B. Burrowes, approached from the northwest. Burrowes was unaware that anything was wrong until he saw Templeton's corralled train, then came across the body of Pvt. Terrence Callery, one of his own men who had gone out to hunt. Burrowes's train forted up with Templeton's.

The next morning the soldiers found the body of Lt. Daniels stripped, scalped, and pierced with 22 arrows. Responding to the call for help, Lt. Thaddeus S. Kirtland and 13 men rode in on 21 July, but the Indians had gone by then. The entire party went back to Fort Reno the next day.

Two men were killed in the siege and six were wounded. Indian casualties are unknown.


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