Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Battle for Fort Phil Kearny: Part 4


Fort Phil Kearny (shown above in this 1867 drawing) was established in 1866 by Col. Henry B. Carrington. Named for the Civil War general killed at Chantilly, it was only in use for two years before being abandoned in 1868. Wargamer and dioramist Steve Miller has been providing an illustrated narrative of the miniature Battle for Fort Phil Kearny. Click the following links to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Here is Part 4 of the series…

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Categories: Civil War dioramas | 5 Comments

The Battle for Fort Phil Kearny: Part 3


We continue with Steve Miller’s interesting illustrated narrative of the Battle for Fort Phil Kearny. Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2.

Scene 4

In the melee that follows, Grummond’s platoon suffers over 50 per cents casualties, with Grummond and 6 others wounded and 5 killed outright.

Scene 6 Grummond's Wounded

However, before he falls back with the wounded, he and his men have bought the command 10 precious minutes by their sacrifice.


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Categories: Civil War dioramas | 4 Comments

The Battle for Fort Phil Kearny: Part 2


Steve Miller has been kind enough to send us a running narrative and images of a miniature battle for Fort Phil Kearny. In Part 1 of this series he set the stage for the action, giving a description of the fort and the unrest with the local Native Americans. Several wagon trains of wood cutters have been attacked and now the natives are eying the big fort. All has been quiet, so far.

Here is the second installment of Steve’s work:

Scene 2

Then just before noon, a large band of Sioux surge toward the QM gate.

#2S2Wagon impactingnexttoGate Continue reading

Categories: Civil War dioramas | 2 Comments

The Battle for Fort Phil Kearny: Part 1



Steve Miller has produced a fascinating illustrated story of the Battle for Fort Phil Kearny set in the Plains Indians Wars. Here is the first installment of this series.


What follows is a battle scenario that I will be creating as I go along. It may be thought of as “Alternative History” in that everything is as it was as the start of the “Deer Rutting Moon” to the Sioux, or November 1866 as we would know it. It is not a war game in the sense that it has no rules and right now I do not know how it will end; I will be making it up as it flows. I would expect it to have some seven to eight scenes or “episodes”, each of which will be accompanied by one or more photographs although it may turn out to have somewhat more. I hope you will enjoy following along.

Setting the Stage

The scene of the “battle” is Ft Phil Kearny, Dakota Territory (currently in northern Wyoming. The date is November 3, 1866. Four companies of the 18th US Infantry Regiment arrived at this site and began construction of the fort in mid-July of this year, its purpose to guard the Bozeman Trail which ran from southeast Wyoming at Fort Laramie to the gold fields in western Montana. Almost from the start, Sioux under Chief Red Cloud (who had vowed to close the Bozeman Trail) began harassment attacks on details assigned at the various “satellite” sites, the pinery (located about 5 miles west of the fort and the hayfield site, about 4 miles east of the fort. In addition, the Sioux launched frequent raids on the herds of cattle, horses and mules that grazed daily in the fields surrounding the fort. When raids succeeded in driving off livestock, a patrol of mounted infantry (since no cavalry troops had been assigned to Ft Phil Kearny to this point) would pursue, usually unsuccessfully. Until this day, however, Red Cloud had elected to avoid making any major attack on the fort itself, husbanding his strength as he gathered more bands to his banner.Now with over 2000 warriors nearby, that is about to change.

At 0900 hours that morning, the wood train had departed the fort for the pinery; the train consisted of 25 wagons, each driven by a civilian teamster, and was escorted by a platoon of roughly 20 soldiers. Already at the pinery was the weekly work party of 20 timber cutters, also escorted by a 20-man platoon. Remaining at the fort were 9 officers, 3 surgeons and the remainder of the 4 infantry companies and the regimental band, altogether about 320 men. In addition there were about 100 civilians, some of them quartermaster employees, some contractor personnel and some just en route either up or down the Bozeman Trail. Continue reading

Categories: Civil War wargaming | 2 Comments

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