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How To Use This Site


This blog was updated on a daily basis for about two years, with those daily entries ceasing on December 31, 2013. The blog is still active, however, and we hope that people stopping in, who find something lacking, will add to the daily entries.

The blog still receives new posts as well, but now it receives them on items of Wyoming history. That has always been a feature of the blog, but Wyoming's history is rich and there are many items that are not fully covered here, if covered at all. Over time, we hope to remedy that.

You can obtain an entire month's listings by hitting on the appropriate month below, or an individual day by hitting on that calendar date.

We hope you enjoy this site.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 29

1865  Gen. Connor lead 125 Michigan cavalrymen and 90 Pawnee in an early morning assault on an Arapaho village encamped on the Tongue River in the last battle of the Powder River expedition  The battle was at the current location of the town of Ranchester..  At the time of the assault, many of the Arapaho fighting men were away fighting the Crow Indians along the Big Horn River, although the cavalrymen and their Pawnee scouts were nonetheless outnumbered.  The fighting lasted all day, and Connor had to bring up two howitzer to repel an Arapaho counterattack designed to hold Connor's force back while the Arapaho withdrew their camp, which included the remaining older men, women, and children.  Sixty three Arapaho were killed in the battle, and eighteen women and children were taken prisoner but subsequently released.  1,000 Arapaho horses were taken and killed.

The battle is notable for several peculiar reasons.  For one thing, while Connor's forces were in the field to address Indian raiding that had gone on earlier that year, it appears that the Arapaho, which were a very small band of Indians, were not at war with the US, or at least this band was not. So the assault, while conceived of by Connor as an attack on a hostile band, was in fact an assault on a peaceful band. The assault would turn them hostile, however, and they would be allied with the Sioux and Cheyenne up through the 1870s.

1870  Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park ascended for the first time by members of the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition.   The scientific/topographic expedition was under a military escort lead by U.S. Army Cavalry officer, Lt. Gustavus Cheyney Doane, who made this report:
The view from the summit is beyond all adequate description. Looking northward from the base of the mountain the great plateau stretches away to the front and left with its innumerable groves and sparkling waters, a variegated landscape of surpassing beauty, bounded on its extreme verge by the cañons of the Yellowstone. The pure atmosphere of this lofty region causes every outline of tree, rock or lakelet to be visible with wonderful distinctness, and objects twenty miles away appear as if very near at hand. Still further to the left the snowy ranges on the headwaters of Gardiner's river stretch away to the westward, joining those on the head of the Gallatin, and forming, with the Elephant's Back, a continuous chain, bending constantly to the south, the rim of the Yellowstone Basin. On the verge of the horizon appear, like mole hills in the distance, and far below, the white summits above the Gallatin Valley. These never thaw during the summer months, though several thousand feet lower than where we now stand upon the bare granite and no snow visible near, save n the depths of shaded ravines. Beyond the plateau to the right front is the deep valley of the East Fork bearing away eastward, and still beyond, ragged volcanic peaks, heaped in inextricable confusion, as far as the limit of vision extends. On the east, close beneath our feet, yawns the immense gulf of the Grand Cañon, cutting away the bases of two mountains in forcing a passage through the range. Its yellow walls divide the landscape nearly in a straight line to the junction of Warm Spring Creek below. The ragged edges of the chasm are from two hundred to five hundred yards apart, its depth so profound that the river bed is no where visible. No sound reaches the ear from the bottom of the abyss; the sun's rays are reflected on the further wall and then lost in the darkness below. The mind struggles and then falls back upon itself despairing in the effort to grasp by a single thought the idea of its immensity. Beyond, a gentle declivity, sloping from the summit of the broken range, extends to the limit of vision, a wilderness of unbroken pine forest.
William Henry Jackson on Mount Washburn a few years later.

1899  Wyoming volunteers returned from service in the Philippines, via the Port of San Francisco.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1900  The Hole In The Wall Gang robbed a train near Tipton.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1970  The Medicine Wheel was designated a National Historic Landmark.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1971  The Casper Buffalo trap was discovered.

2004  3.8 earthquake occurred 95 miles from Gillette.  Attribution:  On This Day..

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