Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Montana News

JULY 6TH, 1876
The steamer Far West, piloted by Captain Grant Marsh, arrives at Fort Abraham Lincoln near Bismark, North Dakota.  The steamer carries the wounded troopers from Reno’s and Benteen’s columns of the Seventh Cavalry.  The news of Custer’s stunning defeat at the hands of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors in the hills east of the Little Big Horn River is immediately wired back east where Americans are celebrating their centennial.  The new of Custer’s total defeat stuns the nation.  

On a more personal and emotional level, many wives of Seventh Cavalry officers, including Elizabeth Custer, are waiting at the fort where they learn their husbands have been killed in battle.

JULY 8TH, 1884
A vigilance committee comprised of central Montana stockmen engage in a big shootout with horse thieves and cattle rustlers holed up at the woodyard at Bates Point, fifteen miles below the mouth of the Musselshell River.  Five outlaws are shot and killed by the stockmen while seven others escape.  Five of the escapees are later captured near Poplar by the military.  The outlaws are turned over to a posse that hangs all five at the mouth of the Musselshell River on the return trip to Fort Maginnis.  All told, fifteen thieves are hanged or shot in the July cleanup of the Missouri Breaks.  

Editor’s note:
The rigors of publishing a daily newspaper column are very taxing.  I need to ‘get a life’ with greater rewards!