Connor Battlefield
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Experience Ranchester's History
Easy to miss if you're in a hurry to drive on up into the mountains, the Connor Battlefield is an important historical site in Ranchester that is more than worth a look; the site is located in a beautiful park that provides remarkable views of the Bighorns and the Tongue River, and peaceful respite from the road. The Connor Battlefield is just one more example of the remarkable travel gems hidden around Sheridan County. From the official State Historic Site: “In summer of 1865, General Patrick E. Connor led a column of troops from Fort Laramie into the Powder River Country of northern Wyoming. The Powder River Expedition's mission was to make war on the Indians and punish them, so that they would be forced to keep the peace. On August 28th, with the column located on Prairie Dog Creek, Pawnee Scouts arrived with information of an Arapahoe village encamped on the Tongue River. Following a night march with 250 soldiers and 80 Pawnee Scouts, Connor's force attacked Black Bear's Arapahoe village while the Indians were in the act of packing to move. The Indians fought a desperate rear guard action, protecting their families and eventually forcing the soldiers to withdraw. During this action, other soldiers burned the camp and its supplies, making it a funeral pyre for their dead. Indian casualties included 64 warriors and several hundred ponies. Connor's column marched back to Fort Laramie following the establishment of Fort Connor on the Powder River near present day Kaycee.”
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