Fetterman Battlefield Eagle Missing Aug 31, 2008 8:34:02 GMT -5
Post by Diane Merkel on Aug 31, 2008 8:34:02 GMT -5
From the Casper Star-Tribune:
Fetterman battlefield bronze eagle missing
Thieves stole a bit of Wyoming history at the Fetterman Battlefield site near Story.
And park officials would like to have it back.
Fort Phil Kearny Site Superintendent Robert Wilson said unknown people stole a bronze eagle from the plaque on the monument memorializing the historic American Indian battle.
Wilson said the eagle, spread-winged and grasping two United States flags in its talons, was mounted above the inscription memorializing the fight.
The battle occurred on Dec. 21, 1866 and was waged between U.S. Army soldiers from Fort Phil Kearny and Indian warriors of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.
Wilson said the Fetterman battle was second only to the Battle of Little Big Horn among the many violent clashes during the Indian Wars of the late 1800s.
Completed in 1908, the monument commemorating the battle had stood mostly undisturbed until the recent vandalism, Wilson said in a release.
He said Sheridan County Sheriff's Office investigators believe the theft occurred within the past few weeks.
Installed on a column of native river stone, the bronze plaque with its description of the event has been a "symbol of American history for thousands of visitors" over the past century.
"It's value is priceless ... you cannot replace the historic importance if it is with a replica," the superintendent said.
"It is unimaginable that someone would destroy 100 years of history to get a souvenir or to just show that it can be done," he continued. "We hope that their conscience will lead them to do the right thing and return it."
Fort Fetterman Battlefield is part of the Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site, which is administered by the Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Department.
Wilson said anyone with information concerning the vandalism and theft is asked to call the sheriff's office at (307) 672-3455.
Contact Jeff Gearino at (307) 875-5359 or firstname.lastname@example.org