Wyoming

Connor Battle Field, Ranchester, Wyoming

July 2016

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In the summer of 1865, the territory of Plains Indian groups was becoming progressively restricted as waves of white settlers headed west, causing increased tension on the frontier. Against this backdrop, the mission of Brig. Gen. Patrick E. Connor, commander of the Powder River Expedition, was clear: attack the Indians in retribution and force them into submission to maintain peace.

Connor was in command of 2,500 soldiers divided into three columns. One column, about 1,400 officers and men, came north up the east side of the Black Hills from the Missouri River, a second of about 600 soldiers came north up the west side of the Black Hills from Fort Laramie, and a third, including Connor himself and about 360 troops and 95 Pawnee scouts, came up the North Platte from Fort Laramie and up the Bozeman trail to the east side of the Bighorn Mountains. Where the trail intersected Powder River, they built Fort Connor.

Link to the Connor Battle Field History.

 

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