|The one, true "last stand" in American history in which the American side was totally wiped out. Captain William Fetterman took a patrol of 80 men to relieve a besieged outfit of woodcutters from Fort Phil Kearney on December 21, 1866. Instructed to relieve the woodcutters and return to the fort, Fetterman instead was decoyed (by a young warrior named Crazy Horse) over Lodge Pole Ridge. By the time another relief force could be mounted, Fetterman and all 80 men were slain.
The battlefield is less then 100 miles from where Custer, less then ten years later, would also have a tragic meeting with Crazy Horse.
The battlefield has been equipped with historical markers so one can wander the area and get an idea of how the battle flowed across the rolling hills of northern Wyoming. A single monolith marks the spot where Fetterman made his” last stand"; the gate to this monolith often hangs half-open. Visitors are rare and the majority of traffic roars down the freeway far to the east.