Description - Connor Battlefield, located near Ranchester, features 20 camping and picnic sites nestled in an oxbow of the Tongue River in the shade of large Cottonwoods.
In the summer of 1865, General Patrick E. Connor led a column of troops from Fort Laramie into the Powder River Country of northern Wyoming. The Powder River Expedition's mission was to make war on the Indians and punish them, so that they would be forced to keep the peace. On August 28th, with the column located on Prairie Dog Creek, Pawnee Scouts arrived with information of an Arapahoe village encamped on the Tongue River. Following a night march with 250 soldiers and 80 Pawnee Scouts, Connor's force attacked Black Bear's Arapahoe village while the Indians were in the act of packing to move. The soldiers over- ran the camp and
pushed the Indians 10 miles up Wolf Creek. The Indians fought a desperate rear guard action, protecting their families and eventually forcing the soldiers to withdraw. During this action, other soldiers burned the camp and its supplies, making it a funeral pyre for their dead. Indian casualties included 64 warriors and several hundred ponies. As the soldiers withdrew ,the
Indians advanced, recapturing several of their ponies, and continued harassing the column for several days. Connor column marched back to Fort Laramie following the establishment of Fort Connor on the Powder River near present day Kaycee.
- The visitor is encouraged to enjoy the peaceful surrounding of this campground/picnic area. It provides a base for short visits to surrounding historic sites and the Big Horn Mountains. Fishing is excellent as Tongue river abounds in Trout and Whitefish.
Recreation - Recreational activities in the state historic site include fishing, picnicking and camping.
Climate - As throughout the Rocky Mountains, the climate varies drastically depending on elevation. Summers generally offer warm clear days with cool nights. Afternoon thunderstorms are often a possibility in the summer. In the winter, sunshine, with plenty of snow in the higher elevations, are ideal for winter activities. Harsh weather - including wind, cold, and snow - is possible throughout the winter and even throughout the year, in the highest elevations.
Connor Battlefield State Park and Historic Site is located just south of U.S. Highway 14 in Ranchester, Wyoming. The site consists of 20 camping and picnic sites nestled in an oxbow of the Tongue River in the shade of large Cottonwoods.
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