Battle Canyon 

Off Highway K-95
one mile South of Lake Scott State Park
Scott County, Kansas
(620) 872-5912
 

Battle Canyon Map
 

Battle Canyon - Scott County, Kansas
Battle Canyon
Battle Canyon in the foreground with Punished Woman's Fork and Valley in the distance.

Battle Canyon in Scott County, Kansas was the site of the Battle of Punished Woman's Fork, the last encounter between Native Americans and United States Troops in the State of Kansas. The Northern Cheyenne under the leadership of Chief Dull Knife and Little Wolf were trying to return to their former home in the north after escaping from a reservation at Fort Reno, Oklahoma.

There were 92 men, 120 women and 141 children who came through Kansas, crossing the Arkansas River at Cimarron Crossing. On September 27, 1878, US troops under the command of Lt. Colonel William H. Lewis from Fort Dodge located the Northern Cheyenne families at this location.

The women, children and elderly sheltered in and near a cave at the top of the canyon and sentries were hidden in circular pits surrounded by rock barricades which are still visible today. As the troops advanced on the position from the northwest, Colonel Lewis was mortally wounded in the thigh. He died on the way to Fort Wallace, becoming the last Army officer to be killed in Kansas during the Indian wars.

The Cheyenne escaped by night, crossing the Smoky Hill River and going on to Nebraska where the party split into one party under Chief Dull Knife and one under Little Wolf.  The soldiers continued their pursuit until most Cheyenne were killed or captured.

This 30 acre site has been designated a State and National Historic Site. It is maintained by the Scott County Historical Society.

Battle of Punished Woman's Fork park
Entrance to the Battle of Punished Woman's Fork area

Battle Conyon Monument - Scott County, Kansas
Battle Canyon Monument

Cave from the Battle of Punished Woman's Fork
Cave where the noncombatants sheltered

Riffle Pit on the ridge next to Battle Canyon
riffle pit

Pack Horse Canyon
Pack Horse Canyon is the next canyon to the southwest and it held the Cheyenne pack horses and possessions.
All were left behind when they made their escape. Lt. Col Lewis was on the ridge to the right when
he was mortally wounded

Battle Canyon Map - Scott County, Kansas
Battle Canyon Map - no road names, but there are signs at each turn.

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