Battle of Beecher's Island, 1868

On the evening of September 16, 1868, scouts out of Fort Hays under Major George A. Forsyth pitched camp on the Arikaree Fork of the Republican River in the Colorado Territory. Forsyth had named Lieutenant Frederick H. Beecher, the nephew of famed New York clergyman Henry Ward Beecher, his second in command. Just as they were getting up the following morning, they were charged by several Cheyenne warriors and forced onto a sandbar in the middle of the stream. Roman Nose, the leader of the raid, was mortally wounded during the fighting and died the next morning. His death took most of the fight out of the Indians and they contented themselves with sniping the scouts' horses until all were dead before withdrawing. Lieutenant Beecher was one of four scouts killed and this engagement became known as the Battle of Beecher's Island.