Cheyenne Dog Soldiers and the 5th U.S. Cavalry – Shruged
Revised: 22 December 2017
Why does this Colorado battlefield sit on private land that is very difficult to access? It’s essentially the last significant battle of the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. It marked a turning point in the taming the wild west. It was so significant, that Buffalo Bill Cody (who was fighting with the 5th Cavalry in this) used the story as a narrative of his World Famous Wild West Show.
Planning a new series of battlefield virtual tours beyond the American Civil War, I had a preconception, that this would be yet another atrocity against the American Indians. We invaded their country and destroyed their way of life, but with this battle, I have to side with U.S. Cavalry. This chilling story chronicles the events that led to the fall of some of the deadliest Dog Soldiers on the Great Plains.
As with most Indian campaigns, much credit goes to the Native Americans (in this case Pawnee’s) that assisted the cavalry as scouts and warriors. Much of the blame for the escalating violence goes to Colonel John Chivington, for his murdurous raid on Sandy Creek five years prior.
The 5th Cavalry were battle tested. They had fought from Bull Run to Gettysburg to the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
“On the afternoon of July 11, 1869, it was hot and windy in northeastern Colorado Territory — typical summer weather for that part of the country. But it was not otherwise a typical day. As the hour approached 3 o’clock, the order was given by trumpet to charge the Indian village at Summit Springs (near present-day Sterling, Colorado). At the sound of ‘Charge, 244 officers and men of the 5th U.S. Cavalry, along with 50 Pawnee Indians serving as scouts, quickly descended upon the village of 84 lodges. Cheyenne Dog Soldier Chief Tall Bull and his people could not have been more surprised”… “Almost as soon as the shooting stopped, a powerful hail and thunderstorm descended upon the village. Everyone took shelter, but lightning killed one horse while a soldier sat upon it.”…read more
Virtual Reality Panorama of the Summit Springs Battlefield.
Location: 40° 25′ 58″ N, 103° 8′ 21″ W