After a hiatus of three years, “Bozeman Trail Days” is back, sponsored by the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association and centered at the Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site. The main event planned is an all day guided bus tour onSaturday, August 29th, featuring the 150th Anniversary of the Connor Battle, and the sites along General Patrick Connor’s route along the historic Bozeman Trail. The tour begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 29, at Fort Phil Kearny, which is designated, along with the Fetterman and Wagon Box battles, one of the first National Historic sites in Wyoming. The site is from Exit 44, off U.S. highway I-90 between Sheridan and Buffalo, Wyoming.
The bus will travel south for drive bys, and some stops at Fort Connor/Reno, Reno Cantonment, the Hoofprints on the Past Museum in Kaycee, Crazy Woman Battle, and the Townsend Wagon Train fight area and others. On it’s return north, following close to the route of the Bozeman Trail, and back through Buffalo, it takes in the Shurly fight, the Dec. 6 fight near Fort Phil Kearny and other events of Indian Wars history. Tour guides will be retired State Park administrators at Fort Phil Kearny, Robert C. Wilson and Elmer “Sonny” Reisch. Lunch will be provided at a stop in Sheridan, and then on to the Connor Battlesite State Park near Ranchester, Wyoming, administered out of Fort Phil Kearny.
The battle was a part of the Powder River Expedition, led by General Patrick Connor, in an attack against an Arapaho village of Black Bear and Old David, considered by many historians today, as non- belligerent. It was instigated as a retaliation for Indian attacks in 1864 and 1865 because of native depredations along the South and North Platte Rivers against farms, ranches, the military, and travelers along emigrant routes. The troops killed over 60 warriors, captured over 1000 horses, destroyed about 250 lodges with all of the Indians’ winter supplies, and captured a small group of women and children. The women and children were released, but a number had also lost their lives in the conflict.
In a turn-about retaliation, the Arapaho attacked the Sawyers Expedition Train a week later, held it under siege for a week and killed 3 men. They then allied with the Sioux and Cheyenne against the Army at the Fetterman Battle the following year, and at the Rosebud and Little Bighorn Battles in 1876.
There are stops planned to visit the new Connor Battle diorama at the Ranchester City Museum, and at the site of the Sawyers’ Expedition conflict. A Bar-B-Que supper will be provided on return to the Fort, about 6:00 p.m.. Arapaho historians will speak after the supper. Tickets for the tour including gate fees at the fort and two meals, are $90 per person, with a discount for Seniors of 65 years at $75. Reservations can be guaranteed by phone with credit card by August 16, to the Fort at (307) 684-7967, or mailed with check to Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association at 528 Wagon Box Road, Banner, WY 82832. For further information contact Site Superintendent Misty Stoll by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bob Wilson at email@example.com.
Also, visitors at the Fort for Bozeman Trail Day events all day Saturday, August 29, and until noon on Sunday, August 30th, are welcome to partake of the Bar-B-Que on Saturday evening. The cost is $25 per person with children under 10 free and reservations should also be made for the dinner before August 16. Gate fees for non-tour participants will be $7 per carload or $3 per person. Bozeman Trail days events begin with a flag raising at 8 a.m. and will include tours from the Fort, entertainment, living history, and other events.
In a casual event on Sunday Aug. 2., beginning at 6:00 p.m., Bob Wilson will tell the story of the Wagon Box Fight, which occurred on Aug. 2, 1867. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair, and dress comfortably for being seated in the sun. The Wagon Box Fight Site is located on Wagon Box Road just outside the small town of Story Wyoming. The Fort Phil Kearny Interpretive Center – open every day 8 -6 interprets the fort and battlesites of the Battle of the 100 In the Hand (Fetterman Battle) and the Wagon Box Fight Site.
Fort Phil Kearny Annual Fetterman Battlefield Tour Scheduled for Sunday Dec. 21, 2014
A tour held in remembrance of the 148th Anniversary of the Fetterman Fight will be held at Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site beginning at 9:30 a.m., December 21.
The tour will be guided, in costume, by Bob Wilson of Kearny’s Frontier Regulars and will include an introduction at the Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site Interpretive Center.
The tour will continue with a trek down the ridge at the Fetterman Battlefield Site, and returning to Fort Phil Kearny for a frontier-era weapons demonstration by living historians, as well as refreshments and a question and answer period. The program will conclude by 2 p.m.
The fight occurred on December 21, 1866 between the United States 18th Infantry 2ndCavalry Regiments and members of the Lakota (Sioux), Northern Cheyenne, and Northern Arapahoe Native American Nations. At that time, the battle marked the largest defeat of U.S. Forces in the Northern-Plains Territories.
New this year, Kearny’s Frontier Regulars will give a public presentation, with an introduction by Fort Phil Kearny Superintendent, Misty Stoll in the Inner Circle at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library on Dec. 20 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The presentation will cover the skirmish between Native Americans and soldiers from Fort Phil Kearny on Dec. 6, 1866 that preceded the Fetterman Massacre on Dec. 21. All ages are welcome to the event and there will be costumed representations of frontier soldiers.
In conjunction with this presentation, Sheridan Fulmer Library will host the Wyoming State Museum’s traveling exhibit ‘Frontier Army Posts’ in the Inner Circle during the month of December.
The exhibit discusses the history of U.S. Army forts built in Wyoming during the 19th century. Thirty 16-inch by 20-inch panels of maps, text and historic photographs examine the sixty-plus years that the Army built posts in the West.
Visitors are reminded to dress appropriately for the weather and expect wind at the battlefield. Site fees have been waived for all visitors for the anniversary tour.
READ THIS: Full Moon Fort Letter from the Super
Fort Phil Kearny hosts “Full Moon Fort” with Lantern Tours
Guided Lantern Tours at Fort Phil Kearny will illuminate the darker side of the Fort and the contested “Bloody Bozeman” as part of a special event on the evening of October 11, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors can expect to hear fun facts and “grisly” details related to the daily lives of Natives and Soldiers near the “hated Fort on Buffalo Creek.”
Visitors bringing young people are encouraged to attend earlier tours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Later tours, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. are aimed at an audience aged 14 to adult. The later tour discusses issues such as disease, burials and reinterrment of soldiers in more detail and may not be appropriate for younger participants.
“We don’t have to make anything up to create good narratives. Fort Phil Kearny was an incredibly dramatic – and terrifying- place to be in 1866 and 1867,” Site Superintendent Misty Stoll said.
The tours will take place on the Saturday night following the October full moon. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly for the 30 minute tours. The Fort Phil Kearny Interpretive Center and Gift Shop will be open during the duration of the event.
A fee of $5 per car load will apply. Proceeds will benefit Fort Phil Kearny programming and interpretation. In cases of dangerously cold or wet conditions, the event will be canceled. For announcements and more information visit Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site on Facebook and at FortPhilKearny.com.
Fort Phil Kearny State History Site is open Wednesday through Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 528 Wagon Box Rd in Banner, Wyoming off Exit 44 from Interstate 90. For more information call (307) 684-7629 or email the Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See here for poster: Wagon Box Weekend 2014
On the evening of August 2, 2014, Fort Phil Kearny will be commemorating the 147th anniversary of the Wagon Box Fight. At 6:00 p.m., at the Wagon Box Fight Site, Lakota Oral Historian Terry Richards and Living Historian R.C. Wilson will narrated the details of the dramatic standoff. For more information call (307) 684-7629. Visitors are encouraged to visit the Fort Phil Kearny Interpretive Center and explore the exhibits there as they travel to the fight site. Interpretive Center Staff will introdue visitors to the Fort story, and what made it one of the most dramatic places in America for a short 2 years. Kearny’s Frontier Regulars will be on hard to fire the cannon following the talk. Visitors are encouraged to wear hats and bugspray. Chairs will be provided, but visitors are encouraged to brings chairs if they have them!
Fort Phil Kearny to Celebrate Bozeman Trail 150th with “Beyond the Bozeman Trail” Event
This year marks 150 years since the Bozeman Trail was first used for a cattle drive, an event that changed the landscape and way-of-life for those who called it home prior to euro expansion westward. Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site will offer guided tours of newly-documented stone circles near Pilot Hill and along Buffalo Creek (Little Piney Creek). Tours will be led by professionals in archeology and ethnobotany on June 21, 2014. Admission to the fort grounds is free that day, guided tours cost $10/person for adult 18 and up. Those wishing to participate in both the Pilot Hill Stone Circles and Buffalo Creek tours will pay $15 for both. This is the first time that the public has been offered access to this part of the fort property.
“The Fort Phil Kearny narrative is about so much more than the fort,” says Misty Stoll, Superintendent. “Recognizing, first and foremost, that this place was already home for so many is the appropriate way to start a conversation on what the site meant in 1866 when the military arrived.” Earlier this season, the Sheridan/Johnson County Archaeological Society conducted an archaeological survey of stone circles located on Fort Phil Kearny State Historic land. Fifty-one features were identified, many of them resembling “tipi rings” others showing additional patterns, some extending outward to a considerable distance. Reddened “fire rock” was observed at many of the rings, evidence of hearths used to heat the dwellings, and for cooking. Not far from the rings is a documented buffalo jump, though it is not known if there is an association of the rings with the buffalo jump. Stoll adds that, as the site moves toward interpreting the stone features, she will continue to build a team of appropriate professionals and tribal representatives to ensure that the features are managed appropriately. Access will be by guided tour only.
On the June 21 event, Stone Circle tours will launch at 8:30 and 11:00. Buffalo Creek tours will launch at 11:00 and 1:00. Both will depart from the Fort Phil Kearny Interpretive Center. Kris Korfanta will lead the Buffalo Creek Tours, and will inform visitors on the importance and origin of plant life found along the Little Piney (Buffalo) Creek. Lakota oral historian, Terry Richards has shared that the Buffalo Creek drainage was called the “Picnic Basket” because of its restorative offerings. “Almost every day I try to remind visitors that at Fort Phil Kearny, the landscape is the artifact,” says Stoll, “’Beyond the Bozeman’ is about exploring that artifact.” Also part of the day will be costumed interpretation in the fort area and an appearance and book signing by the co-authors of Birds and Birding in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains Region.
Fort Phil Kearny State History Site is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is located at 528 Wagon Box Rd. in Banner, Wyoming. For more information call (307) 684-7629 or email the Superintendent at email@example.com.
Fort Phil Kearny Annual Fetterman Battlefield Tour To Include Lakota Drum Presentation, COAT DRIVE, and Book Signing
On Saturday, December 21, 2013, Fort Phil Kearny State History Site will host the 147th Anniversary Tour of the Fetterman Fight. New this year, the event will include a presentation by “Thunder Lake Singers” from Pine Ridge, South Dakota and an appearance by Shannon Smith, author of Give Me Eighty Men: Women and the Myth of the Fetterman Fight. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Fort Phil Kearny Interpretive Center, five miles off of exit 44, Interstate 90 and will include a tour of the battlefield, Native drum presentation, Native and soldier weapons demonstrations, and a book signing by Smith. Terry Richards, Oglala Lakota, and R.C. Wilson, retired Fort Phil Kearny Superintendent will lead the tour. Admission is FREE and visitors are encouraged to bring an item of warm clothing to donate.
“The tradition of visiting the battlefield on the anniversary of the fight is longstanding and I’m excited to offer some new components to the event,” says Superintendent Misty Stoll. “The Native narrative of the fort and the fight is most appropriately heard through an oral historian – and Richards knows his stuff. You can’t get this experience in books or signage.” The fight occurred on December 21, 1866 between the United States 18th Infantry 2nd Cavalry Regiments and members of the Lakota (Sioux), Northern Cheyenne, and Northern Arapahoe Native American Nations. At that time, the battle marked the largest defeat of U.S. Forces in the Northern-Plains Territories.
Smith’s Give Me Eighty Men was a best seller in the Bozeman Trail Association Gift Shop during the 2013 visiting season. Many visitors to Fort Phil Kearny were familiar with the story that pins the blame for the December 21st disaster on Captain William J. Fetterman. “This book has transformed the way we tell one of the foundational stories of Fort Phil Kearny. It’s been incredibly exciting to share this new perspective with our visitors,” says Stoll.
Following the tour, hot drinks and snacks will provided at the Interpretive Center with an opportunity for visitors to ask questions of the guides and view the museum. The complete program will take approximately four hours. Visitors are reminded to dress appropriately for the weather and expect wind at the battlefield. Terry Richards and Thunder Lake Singers are made possible by the Wyoming Humanities Council. Site fees have been waived for all visitors for the anniversary tour.
Fort Phil Kearny State History Site is located at 528 Wagon Box Rd in Banner, Wyoming. For more information call (307) 684-7629 or email the Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOURS WILL DEPART EVERY 20 MINUTES BEGINNING AT 6pm and will last about 30 min.
Full Moon Fort in Oct, 18th
Fort Phil Kearny hosts “Full Moon Fort” with Lantern Tours
Guided Lantern Tours at Fort Phil Kearny will illuminate the darker side of the Fort and the contested “Bloody Bozeman” as part of a special event on the evening of October 18, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visitors can expect to hear fun facts and “grisly” details related to the daily lives of Natives and Soldiers near the “hated Fort on Buffalo Creek.”
“We don’t have to make anything up to create good narratives. Fort Phil Kearny was an incredibly dramatic place to be in 1866 and 1867,” says Site Superintendent, Misty Stoll. The tours will take place on the night of the October full moon. Visitors are encouraged to dress warmly for the 30 minute tours. The Fort Phil Kearny Interpretive Center and Gift Shop will be open during the duration of the event.
Site fees apply for visitors over the age of 17; Wyoming Residents pay $2, Non-Residents, $4. In the cases of dangerously cold or wet conditions, the event will be canceled. For announcements and more information visit Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site on Facebook and at FortPhilKearny.com.
Fort Phil Kearny State History Site is open Wednesday through Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is located at 528 Wagon Box Rd in Banner, Wyoming off Exit 44 from Interstate 90. For more information call (307) 684-7629 or email the Superintendent at email@example.com.