Captain William Fetterman disobeyed orders on Dec. 21, 1866. He took an 80-man detachment out of Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming, to rescue a group harvesting wood. The woodcutters were under attack by a small group of Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe. Fetterman’s detail drove them off—and then chased the Indians over a ridge, an action forbidden by Fetterman’s commanding officer. It was a trap. Fetterman’s group ran into a huge Indian force of between 1500 and 2000 warriors. All 81 soldiers were killed within a few minutes in what became known as the Fetterman Massacre.
Should Have Done What He Was Told Captain Fetterman went his own way—and found disaster.
by Mark Boardman | May 13, 2020 | True West Blog