photo courtesy of aviationartbymarcstewart.com
Dave Walsh 17 Dec ’15
There were many notable battles between native Americans and whites during the early days of the Wyoming frontier. But this one is famous in the annals of the state’s history because it was the last.
It occurred some 13 years after statehood, on October 30th, 1903, in a remote area in what is now Niobrara County. It involved a group of 25 Lakota Sioux from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, led by Eagle Feather, and a posse of lawmen from Newcastle under the leadership of Sheriff Billy Miller. Unbeknownst to the posse, the Indians had written permission to venture into Wyoming and hunt. But that didn’t stop the fight that ensued, in the Battle of Lightning Creek.
Sheriff Miller, two deputies, and several Sioux were killed in the battle, before the hunting party fled to the east, and would surrender near Hat Creek Station. At a hearing later in Douglas, Wyoming, the Indians were acquitted, and returned to the reservation. It was the last armed conflict between Indians and whites in Wyoming.
The Battle of Lightning Creek, an historic Wonder of Wyoming. I’m Dave Walsh, proud to live in Wyoming, and proud to tell her fascinating story.