Military Wiki
Battle of Powder River
Part of the Powder River Expedition, Sioux Wars
DateAugust 16, 1865
LocationJohnson County, Wyoming
Result United States Victory
Dakota Territory
United States United States Cheyenne
Commanders and leaders
United States Frank North Yellow Woman
45 soldiers, and Pawnee scouts 27 men and women
Casualties and losses
4 horses killed or missing 27 killed, 18 horses and 17 mules captured

The Battle of Powder River, part of the Powder River Expedition, was fought on August 16, 1865, by United States soldiers, and scouts, against the Cheyenne. The battle occurred near the Powder River, in Dakota Territory, in present day Johnson County, Wyoming, United States.[1]

The battle[]

In August, 1865, Captain Frank North, leading a group of about 45 of his Pawnee Scouts was keeping up a vigilant search for "Hostile Indians" in Dakota Territory. For two days, they trailed a band of Cheyenne, who were heading north. The trail showed that the Cheyenne had about 40 horses and mules, along with one travoi. At 2:00 a.m. on August 16, the Captain and his Scouts caught up with the group, on the Powder River, about 50 miles north of Fort Connor. The Cheyenne had made their camp for the night, and were asleep. North decided to wait until dawn to attack. In the morning, Captain Frank North's group closed on the camp. Spotting the scouts, the Cheyenne thought the approaching Indians were not the Pawnee Scouts, but friendly Cheyenne, and made no hostile moves. However, the Pawnee suddenly charged in on the Cheyenne, surprising them and killing all 27, including Yellow Woman, who was the stepmother of George Bent. In the battle, North's scouts lost 4 horses, but captured 18 horses and 17 mules, many with government brands showing they had been captured in the recent Battle's of Red Buttes, and Platte Bridge Station, that had both occurred on July 26, 1865, near present-day Casper, Wyoming.[2]

Order of battle[]

United States Army, Captain Frank Joshua North, Commanding.

Native Americans, Yellow Woman


  1. Frank Joshua North, 1840-1885, Nebraska State Historical Society
  2. Sheldon's History and Stories of Nebraska - Major Frank North and the Pawnee Scouts. 
  3. Frank J. North, Pawnee scout commander and pioneer by Ruby Esther Wilson

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).