SGMP-108 Blue water Creek/ Battle of Ash Hollow Original Battle Sketch! American Indian Wars 1855 *SOLD


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This is a genuine Sketch of the grounds and activity in regard to the battle of Blue Water Creek otherwise known as the battle of Ash Hollow. The Sketch is done with Blue and black ink and appears to have been done by ” Grand Wilson” although parts of the name are not very clear. The Highly detailed map shows terrain features, Camp locations, routes of movement, and locations of specific key events and a unit of scale at the bottom. Sketched on a thin almost translucent paper similar to tracing paper. There are some folds and tears, along with small burns. A very interesting piece indeed! This piece was acquired in an estate, other specifics about the map are not known. Here is some info about the engagement:

The Battle of Ash Hollow, also known as the Battle of Blue Water Creek, was an engagement of the First Sioux War, fought on September 2 and 3, 1855 between United States Army soldiers under Brigadier General William S. Harney and a band of the Brul? Lakota along the Platte River in present-day Garden County, Nebraska. The battle, which the American force won while killing Brul? women and children as well as warriors, was a punitive expedition for the so-called “Grattan Massacre” in August 1854 and for raids by Lakota in its wake during the year following.

The battle was the defining engagement of a short war between the United States and the Sioux over disputes concerning violations of the Treaty of Fort Laramie. In this battle, 600 soldiers attacked 250 Sioux, killing 86 people. In March 1856, without jurisdiction to do so, commanding General William Harney negotiated a peace treaty to stop further bloodshed with the Sioux and create a centralized tribal government among the Lakota by which leaders could be held accountable.

While the battle was hailed by many newspapers as a heroic victory over the Indians, critics decried it as “outright butchery”.[citation needed] Some others claimed that the battle was fought only to justify growth in the American army, which was pushed for by then Secretary of War Jefferson Davis.

The events were catalyzed by a Mormon emigrant’s losing a cow while traveling with his party on the Oregon Trail; the animal wandered into a Brul? Lakota camp. A Sioux named High Forehead killed the cow for food. The Mormon farmer reported the cow as stolen to Army officers at Fort Laramie.

The fort’s commander sent out an inexperienced officer, Lieutenant John Lawrence Grattan, said to be contemptuous of the Indians, to arrest High Forehead, although such matters related to livestock and relations with settlers were supposed to be handled by the Indian Agent. Grattan vowed to take the wanted Indian “at all hazards” and took along thirty men and artillery.[1] Grattan pressed the chief to surrender the Sioux man. One of his soldiers shot the chief Conquering Bear in the back and killed him. In the ensuing battle, the Sioux killed Grattan and twenty-nine of his men. One soldier survived the fighting but died later in the Fort Laramie hospital.[citation needed]

President Franklin Pierce vowed to avenge the Grattan Massacre, as it was called by the press. The War Department appointed Harney in command with instructions to “whip the Indians.”[citation needed] In the ensuing debate, Grattan was blamed for the fracas in which he was killed.

The expedition finally set out in August 1855. On September 1, 1855, the expedition caught up with a Sioux encampment along the Platte River in a place known as Blue Waters. Harney sent a regiment in a long night flanking maneuver to set up a blocking position against which he would drive the Sioux. The flanking maneuver was led by Lieutenant Colonel Philip St. George Cooke and Captain Henry Heth.

Harney moved up in the morning to drive the Sioux against Cooke and Heth. He first attempted to parlay with the Sioux chief, Little Thunder, but his demands to hand over the men responsible for the Grattan attack were rebuffed. The Sioux felt justified in having killed Grattan and his men as they had shot first.[citation needed] During the parlay, several Sioux braves discovered Cooke’s men.

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