Historical Details

Hat Creek Dateline: 1876/08/01

Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 03/21/1990

Wisconsin man injured by Indians
by Ed Cook, Contributing Writer

Late July, 1876 - Herman Ganzio from Milwaukee, Wisc., was seriously wounded as he and two companions were attacked by Indians just a couple miles south of here yesterday. The three miners were coming down from Custer City when the attack occurred. Ganzio was seriously wounded in the knee, shoulder and back, then half-scalped - his hair was not completely torn away before his attackers were chased off by his companions. This small party continued on to Fort Laramie where post doctors Gray and Pettys provided medical and surgical care for Ganzio.

Aug 1, 1876 - Indian harassment continues in the area. Capt. William Collier's troops responded to an Indian attack three miles south of his camp at the mouth of Red Canyon (Edgemont, S.D.).

They engaged the Indians in a lively skirmish and repulsed the attack. The Indians fled taking two horses, one Indian was believed to be wounded or killed. This same party of Indians was alleged to have stolen other horses and mules in that area earlier in the day.

Aug 2, 1876 - Two men putting up hay on the Running Water (Niobrara) river about 14 miles south of here were attacked by Indians, one of them escaped but the other one was killed.

Aug. 22, 1876 - Lieutenant Taylor, 23rd infantry, dispatched the first sergeant and 13 men from the company at the Hat Creek outpost to relieve a besieged freight train on Indian Creek, 10 miles beyond his station. First Sgt. Thomas McClane's relief party reached the wagon train and found two horses killed, three others run off, and seven mules wounded.

No more than five or six Indians opposed 14 "well-armed" men. The soldiers concluded that these civilians had done little to defend themselves during the attack, but still dutifully escorted them to Hat Creek.

(Information sources: Fort Laramie in 1876, by Paul L. Hedren.)

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