Trout Creek Battle

In the spring of 1872, the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe Joined Forces to Exterminate the Shoshone. The Shoshone were taken by surprise and were cut-off from their usual retreat to the mountains. The agency employees and families took refuge in the stone Blockhouse that still stands at Wind River. Washakie ordered the camp moved across Trout Creek and had the teepees erected in one large circle. He also ordered that trenches should be dug inside the teepees deep enough for protection as they fired between the ground and the bottom of the teepee. The allied tribes met withering fire from an enemy they could not see. After several charges with severe losses, confusion reigned. Washakie mounted his warriors and drove the allied tribes out of the Wind River Valley. This battle pointed out the need for a company of cavalry to reinforce the company infantry then stationed at Camp Brown (later named Fort Washakie).

Again, the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe allied against the Shoshone in June 1874. After crossing the Big Horn Mountains and building camp near Dinwoody Lake, they disagreed as to whether it would be a war raid or a horse-stealing raid. Captain Bates with soldiers and 125 Shoshone marched against the Arapahoe camp about thirty-miles east of Thermopolis. On July 4, 1874, the Arapahoe camp was attacked and over one hundred killed.

On March 18th 1878, an excited Shoshone sub-chief called the Wind River Agency Indian Agent, James I. Patten, from his noon lunch. Arapahoes were coming and the Shoshones were preparing for battle. In the advance group were Chief Black Coal and ten of his men under military escort. These advance men along with 938 other Arapahoe (including only 198 warriors) were to be temporarily palace on the Wind River Reservation. Chief Washakie suggested that since they were to be there but a short time they should be placed on the eastern edge of the reservation so as not to molest Shoshone hunting in the mountains. It soon became apparent that the Government had no intention of moving the Arapahoe again, and a permanent agreement attached the Arapahoe to the Wind River Reservation. The Shoshone lands occupied by the Arapahoe were the basis for a Shoshone claim, which finally ordered, paid in 1939 by the United States Supreme Court.