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The Battle of Beecher Island

According to Leo Fries, the nephew of Joseph Fries: After leaving the fighting of the Civil War Joseph enlisted with General Sheridan to fight indians on the western frontier. According to Leo, Joseph was badly wounded, but survived the fighting. Following is the story of the Battle of Beacher Island.
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In an indecisive but bitterly fought battle at this site, a force of about 50 frontiersmen under Maj. George A. Forsyth engaged more than 1,000 Sioux and Cheyennes, led by Roman Nose, Pawnee Killer, and other chiefs. Pursued all the way from Fort Wallace, Kans., on September 16, 1868, the Indians turned on the troops, who entrenched themselves on a small sandy island in the Arikaree River. During the 9-day siege and the repeated Indian charges that followed, volunteers worked their way through enemy lines to obtain reinforcements from Fort Wallace, 125 miles away, who drove off the Indians. Casualties were heavy on both sides. Half the soldiers were wounded, Forsyth four times. The dead included Roman Nose and Lt. Frederick W. Beecher, after whom the island came to be named. Immediately after this battle, Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan began his 1868-69 winter campaign.

The island has long since disappeared because of shifting river channels, but a large monument near the post office at the town of Beecher Island commemorates the battle.


File namebeechers Island battle.jpg
File Size44.77k
Dimensions300 x 409
Linked toJoseph FRIES

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