November Issue - Shades Of The Departed Magazine

Page 21

1867 WHEELING, DEALING AND NEGOTIATING WITH CONFEDERATES, INDIANS AND RUSSIANS. DYNAMITE, HAIRDOS, AND GALLSTONES. BY SHERI FENLEY On March 2, 1867, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867. It was hoped that by enacting this legislation it would force the re‐engineering of Southern society and redistribute the wealth in that region. The Act divided the Confederate states into Dive military districts each governed by a Union general. Tennessee, which had ratiDied the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and was readmitted to the Union was not included in

Meanwhile, out west, one tribe of Indians in particular was resisting the push of the White Man to vacate their lands. The "Wagon Box Fight" took place on August 2, 1867 about Dive miles west of Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. A handful of soldiers and civilians who were on a wood cutting detail, were attacked by Lakota Sioux Chief Red Cloud and his tribe of 2000 warriors. Twenty‐six soldiers and six civilians took cover inside an oval of wagon boxes that was being used as a stock corral. Armed with new rapid‐Dire breech loading riDles the soldiers and civilians commanded by Captain James Powell held the Indians off until reinforcements arrive with a howitzer. Only three of the thirty‐two men died during the battle while hundreds of the Indians were killed. ~ 21 ~