A remarkable battle in the early days in Wyoming was fought August 2, 1867 about five miles west of Fort Phil Kearny. Here an estimated 300 to 1,000 Sioux Indians under Chief Red Cloud, attacked a handful of soldiers and civilians. Expecting an easy victory, the Sioux instead suffered a defeat.
Fort Kearny learned of the fight from its observation station on Pilot Hill and about 11:30 a.m. 103 soldiers under the command of Major Benjamin Smith sallied out of the fort to relieve the soldiers in the wagon boxes. Smith took with him 10 wagons driven by armed civilians and a mountain howitzer. He proceeded carefully and when he neared the wagon box corral began firing his cannon at long range. The attackers were forced to withdraw, and Smith advanced without opposition to the corral, collected the soldiers there, and returned quickly to Fort Kearny. Additional civilian survivors, who had hidden in the woods during the battle, made it back to the fort that night.
Three men were killed and two wounded inside of the corral, while Indian casualties were estimated at from five to sixty or more killed and five to one-hundred-and-twenty more wounded.