The Fetterman Massacre 21 December 1866 Near Fort Phil Kearny
On 21 December 1866, the US Army suffered its worst defeat in the western Indian Wars up to that time. (Custer's defeat at Little Bighorn would later surpass it)
Fetterman, a Captain at Fort Phil Kearney, was given the mission to relieve a wood cutting party who had been attacked by Indians, possibly led by Crazy Horse and/or Red Cloud. In fact, the attack on the woodcutters was a diversion and Fetterman and his 81 man detail were led into an ambush. All 81 were killed.* Traditional history, gives the idea that Fetterman was out to make a name for himself and had said, "With 80 men, I could ride through the entire Sioux nation." For a deeper and somewhat contrarianview to the traditional, click here.
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*Indians massacre Fetterman and eighty soldiers,