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The Wagon Box Fight, August 2,1867 

The following year. Crazy Horse led raids near Fort Reno. The Cheyenne and the hostile Lakota gathered to plan another offensive against the forts along the Bozeman Trail. The Cheyenne went north to attack Fort C.F. Smith; Crazy Horse and 500 Lakota headed for Fort Phil Kearny. They planned to use the same strategy as before and tried to capture another group of wood cutters some five miles from the fort. But this time they were prevented by a force of 30 soldiers commanded by Capt. James Powell. Powell and his men had barricaded themselves behind a circle of 14 overturned wagons. Their covering fire allowed the wood cutters to escape back to the fort. The Indians now directed their efforts toward the soldiers and circled the protective wagons. The Indians made very little headway, so Crazy Horse and his uncle and mentor, "Hump" formed a party to advance on foot. Powell and his men had just recently been issued the new Springfield breech-loading rifles and could deliver deadly cross fire from their protected positions. Shortly, reinforcements from the fort arrived on the scene. Crazy Horse and his warriors were forced to withdraw. The Army estimated that Indian losses were "about 60 dead, 120 wounded". Seven soldiers were killed. Other accounts differ as to Indian casualties.

"Lands of Crazy Horse / Sioux", (Adapted) from THE PATRIOT CHIEFS by Alvin Josephy, copyright 1958,1961, 1989 by Alvin M. Josephy, jr. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

 

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