Chief Magpie, at the reburial of unknown Indian remains at the park overlook, 1930 Photo courtesy Oklahoma Historical Society
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site
Created on November 12, 1996, the Washita
Battlefield National Historic Site recognizes the importance of the
Battle of Washita as a nationally significant element of frontier
military history and as a symbol of the struggles of the Southern
Great Plains tribes to maintain control of their traditional areas.
It also establishes a partnership among the National Park Service,
the State of Oklahoma, private landowners, and the Cheyenne and
The Battle of Washita, which took place on November
27, 1868, was one of the largest engagements between the Plains
Indians and the United States Army on the Southern Great Plains.
Lt. Colonel George A. Custer, leading the 7th United States
Calvary, attacked the sleeping Cheyenne Village of Chief Black
Kettle at dawn. Chief Magpie was a young teenager in Chief Black
Kettle's village, and was attacked by a lone trooper. Magpie shot
the trooper and took his horse, then rode off to safety. He fought
Custer again at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. Custer's
attack resulted in about 150 Indian casualties, many of them women
The park includes the attack site, uplands, riparian
area, railroad grade, and farmstead remains. The 300-acre park is
located in Roger Mills County in western Oklahoma.
Originally submitted by: Frank D. Lucas, Representative (6th District).
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