The year 1865 was bloody on the Plains as various Indian tribes, including the Southern Cheyenne and the Southern Sioux, joined with their northern relatives to wage war on the white man. They sought revenge for the 1864 massacre at Sand Creek, when John Chivington and his Colorado volunteers nearly wiped out a village of Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho. The violence in eastern Colorado spread westward to Fort Laramie and Fort Caspar in southeastern and central Wyoming, and then moved north to the lands along the Wyoming-Montana border.
John D. McDermott is an independent historian, interpretive planner, and heritage tourism consultant. Among his seven previously published books are A Guide to the Indian Wars of the West and Frontier Crossroad: The History of Fort Caspar and the Upper Platte Crossing.