Photo credit: Detroit Library
A 50-ft mound of buffalo skeletons.
A railroad siding with a continuous mound of skeletons.
Souvenir buffalo skulls and horns, sought by collectors in the East.
There were also displays concerning the Indian Wars, which were waged in what would become the Oklahoma Territory, from 1858 to 1874. In the American West, the Indian wars continued from 1849 to 1890. The two battles that were fought locally, and which were most directly responsible for leading to the Battle of Little Big Horn and the annihilation of five companies of George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry were the Sand Creek Massacre of 29 Nov. 1864, and the Battle of Washita on 27 Nov. 1868. The latter massacre was personally directed by Custer from a nearby knoll. Little Big Horn then followed 25-26 June 1876. Both of the massacres were mostly on women and children while the warriors were away. Having been promised peace by the U.S. Government, the warriors had left their families to hunt for meat for the winter. As the first shots of the Washita assault were fired, those in the Indian village immediately began waving both the American flag and a white flag. Of the 133 Indians killed by Col. John Chivington’s 700 soldiers, 103 were women and children, many being infants still strapped to back boards.