The Battle of Wolf Mountain took place on January 8, 1877, in the Montana Territory between the United States Army and a force of Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne during the Great Sioux War of 1876. Colonel Nelson Miles and his forces had encamped themselves on the Tongue River months prior. At the outset of the battle they repelled Crazy Horse and his Sioux warriors to a stalemate during an intense snowstorm. It was later considered the last major battle of the Great Sioux War. Ultimately, mounting defeats and lack of supplies/provisions lead to the eventual surrender and relocation of the tribal people to reservations.
Following the defeat of Gen.
Custer's forces at Little Bighorn by Indians of the Northern Plains the United
States government was spurred into action. They responded by sending over
2,500 men into the Powder River area to chase down the Little Bighorn Indians. In the Fall of 1876, soldiers commanded by Colonel Nelson
Miles established an encampment to the west of the Tongue River on the
eastern half of the battlefield.
Col. Miles had attempted to negotiate with the Sioux from
his outpost on several occasions, however, Crow scouts working for him attacked
a group of Sioux as they approached the camp. Miles' attempts at apologized
were no use and the Sioux began harassing the camp for over a month before
Miles sent a sizable force to subdue them. The ensuing battle would come to be
known as the Battle of Wolf Mountain.
The battle began on January 8,1877 with a surprise attack
from Crazy Horse and several hundred warriors. Miles' troops were able to repel
the attackers and mounted a counterattack from the bluffs surrounding the
encampment. The skirmish ultimately ended in a stalemate during a blinding
snowstorm. The Battle of Wolf Mountains is considered by many to be the
last major war of the Great Sioux War. As a result of the end of the war, tribal
people were removed from their lands and moved to reservations.