Thursday, February 28, 2013


In 1854, along the banks of the North Platte River, east of Ft. Laramie, WY, a small detachment of soldiers entered an encampment of 4000 Sioux to arrest a man accused of taking a migrant's cow, although such matters by treaty were to be handled by the US Indian Agent. The Sioux refused as the cow had wandered into the village; they had not stolen the cow as they were accused. The situation escalated quickly to the point of one of the soldiers shot Chief Conquering Bear in the back and killed him. The Lakotas returned fire and killed a total of 29 soldiers, Lt. John Grattan, and a civilian interpreter. The massacre, as it was called by the American press, was the beginning of the bloody Plains Indian Wars.

The soldiers were buried in a mass grave near where they fell. My new pit is on the site of the fight. I call it the Grattan Pit. Many ducks and geese have met the same fate as Lt. Grattan. 

I am happy to report that none of my combatants were shot in the back. However, there are reports of ghosts near the marker. Rightly so.

limit geese
limit mallards and geese

the casualties of the skirmish

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