White Clay Creek

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring Sioux Nation Forts

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

30 December, 1890: The day after the Wounded Knee incident, several bands of Lakotas-perhaps 4,000 people of which nearly 1,000 were warriors-gathered on White Clay Creek, about 15 miles north of the Pine Ridge Agency. A group of them jumped some supply wagons, killing an enlisted man, and as they retreated back toward the village, they burned a schoolhouse at the Drexel Mission.

Col. James W. Forsyth came to investigate. Although he had nearly 400 7th Cavalry troopers, he marched them into a cul-de-sac among about 50 warriors, who pinned them down for the rest of the day. Finally, Maj. Guy V. Henry rode in with Companies D, F, I, and K of the 9th Cavalry and extricated Forsyth. Two soldiers were killed and seven were wounded.

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