National Register of Historic Places

Bates Battlefield

Hot Springs County

Date Added to Register

Wednesday, November 20, 1974

Smithsonian Number


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The Bates Battle took place in Hot Springs County in north-central Wyoming in 1874. The battlefield lies in the southeast corner of the Big Horn Basin, in the dissected, mountainous terrain where the Big Horn Mountains merge into the Owl Creek Mountains. The lodges of the Arapaho Indian village which came under attack were strung along a narrow valley situated in a general north-south direction. There are more than a few accounts of the Bates Battle and no two are alike in every respect. Taken as a whole the various accounts reveal discrepancies on every substantial action relative to the battle: the motives for the fight; the incidents prior to, during and following the fight; and the results of the fight. The number of those who were attacked is disputable, as is the number of losses suffered by each side. In fact there seems to be more than one name for the conflict which has been called Bates Battle, the Battle of Young's Point, the Battle of Snake Mountain, and the Nowood Battle.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources