This narrow canyon in the Rattlesnake Hills confronted the emigrants with three difficult crossings of the Sweetwater River within two short miles. The emigrants had a choice, however. If they preferred not to make the crossings, they could choose to follow the "deep sand" alternate south of the Sweetwater. Most emigrants opted for the three crossings as pulling wagons through the deep sand was exhausting. A Pony Express Station and military outpost were also located in this area.
Buried in the Three Crossings area is Private Bennett Tribbett, a nineteen-year-old soldier assigned to Company B of the First Battalion, Sixth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. Tribbett died of appendicitis pm December 14, 1862. Private Anthony Barleon described the burial in a letter to Tribbett’s sister: "We made a coffin of such lumber that we had which of course were rough boards but we planed them off as smooth as we could. We dressed him up in his best clothes which were new and clean, laid a blanket around him, and we tucked a blanket around the coffin which made it look a little better … When the time arrived for his burial he was bore off by the arms of 6 of his former associates accompanied by an escort of six men who performed the usual military escort and ceremony. When we arrived at the grave we put the coffin in and the escort fired three rounds over his grave."
Some reproductions of a photograph of the Tribbett grave taken by William Henry Jackson in the summer of 1870 show a wooden board grave marker that indicates Tribbett was "killed by Indians." It is now believed these photos were altered, apparently to sensationalize the death. The original Tribbett grave marker is now part of the Fort Caspar Museum collection.
Six miles east of Jeffrey City off US 287. Permission must be obtained before visiting the site. Obtain permission and directions for the best route from the leaseholder. Conditions at certain times of the year make visits almost impossible.
Service Comprehensive Management Plan