For History Buffs: Washita Battlefield National Historic Site in Oklahoma

Off OK – 47, just west of Cheyenne, Oklahoma In the cold morning twilight of November 27, 1868, Lt. Col.

Off OK – 47, just west of Cheyenne, Oklahoma

In the cold morning twilight of November 27, 1868, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer led his 7th Cavalry in a surprise attack on a sleeping Cheyenne village on the shore of the Washita River. The chief of the village was Black Kettle, an outstanding Native American statesman who just days before had gone to Fort Cobb attempting to negotiate the safety of his people. Figures vary concerning the number of Cheyennes slaughtered, but many women and children died. Black Kettle and his wife were killed while attempting to escape on their pony.

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Oklahoma
The visitors center is close to the site where Custer attacked a Cheyenne village in 1868.

In 2007 the National Park Service opened a new visitors center, which features exhibits and a short film about the battle. There is a 1 1/2-mile trail through the site, and rangers offer guided tours in the summer.

Open year-round.

www.nps.gov/waba
(580) 497-2742

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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