Imagine you’re living on the frontier in a fort with your husband who is a lieutenant in the Military. There isn’t a week that has gone by where at least one man from the fort hasn’t been killed by the Sioux and Cheyenne. It’s still fresh in your mind that just recently a handsome friendly flirty photographer you chatted with from the National Geographic Society was found scalped not far from the fort walls.
On one particular day your husband along with 80 soldiers don’t return to the fort. You wait with fear and anticipation until sometime in the evening, a party of wagons carrying wood comes through the gates. Finally they’ve returned, what a relief! Then you hear the woman next to you scream and realize that’s not wood being carried in those wagons.
It was 151 years ago today that the U.S. Army had its greatest military defeat at the hands of Red Cloud and the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations, until the Battle of the Little Bighorn years later. On this day, Mrs, Frances Grummond among many others became widows. The fort was abandoned not long after and gave Red Cloud a strategic victory, that closed the road west for almost a decade and was the only time the US government would concede to defeat at the hands of the Indians.
I spent my afternoon here today on the way up to Sheridan, Wyoming. After reading Frances Carrington’s journal (formerly Grummond) I was able to clearly visualize life here. It made for an interesting day to say the least. NP