Fetterman Battlefield

State Historic Site

DATES OPEN: Grounds open year round, weather permitting. Visitor center (at Fort Phil Kearny) open April 1-November 30.

HOURS:8 AM to 6 PM during the summer and noon to 4 PM during the winter

FACILITIES: Visitor center, restrooms, drinking water, museum, gift shop, picnic areas, trails, and viewing area located at Fort Phil Kearny—tours are self-guided. Note: camping is prohibited.

ADMISSION: Resident day use fee $1.00, non-resident day use fee $2.00. Guided bus tours are available for $2.00 per person. There is no fee charged for persons 17 years of age & younger at Historic Sites (includes admission to Fort Phil Kearny and the Wagon Box Fight battlefield).


LOCATION: 20 miles south of Sheridan—take Exit 44 off of Interstate 90. The Fetterman Battlefield is a satellite site of Fort Phil Kearny and is located within a five-mile radius of the Fort Phil Kearny visitor center.

Fetterman Battlefield

Fetterman Battlefield is the site of the U.S. Army’s worst defeat by Plains Indian groups next to the Battle of Little Big Horn. Sent to assist a wagon train in peril, Captain William J. Fetterman was lured by Crazy Horse and other Plains warriors over Lodge Trail Ridge only to be met by over 2,000 Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho warriors. In only thirty minutes, all 81 U.S. soldiers were killed on December 21, 1866. Today, visitors can walk in the footsteps of history and see the exact locations where battle maneuvers took place. Interpretive signs tell the story of the battle from the perspectives of both the military and Indian groups. Take an afternoon to explore the Fetterman Battlefield and the nearby Wagon Box Fight battlefield and Fort Phil Kearny where trails, tours, and museum exhibits transport visitors back to a time when cultures clashed in conflict on the western frontier..



The Fetterman Massacre (formerly Fort Phil Kearny, an American 
Saga) by Dee Brown (University of Nebraska Press, 1984).

Brave Eagle’s Account of the Fetterman Fight by Paul Goble 
(Bison Books, 1992; originally published in 1972).  This is a children’s book told from the viewpoint of the fictional 19-year-old Brave Eagle, but may be enjoyed by all ages. 

Protect Our Heritage!
Archaeologists are still piecing together the events that took place on the Fetterman Battlefield. Please do not remove or disturb artifacts or use a metal detector on the battlefield. Additionally, we ask that visitors do not disturb plant life or discharge firearms and keep pets on leashes.

To report vandalism, call:

Fort Phil Kearny Office