By the time Sigismund Sternburg arrived at Fort C.F. Smith in late July 1867, he had been an officer on two continents, for almost a decade. Unfortunately, his final duty had almost arrived, at a remote hayfield in the Bighorn River valley. And though his life would be cut short, he had experienced a lifetime’s worth of adventures and accomplishments all before the age of thirty.
From Europe To The United States - A Soldier’s Life
During this time he led men in two different New York Infantry regiments. This included a stint at the battle of Port Hudson on the Mississippi River in Louisiana where he was part of a volunteer party that stormed a stalwart Confederate position. He also saw action during the decisive Petersburg Campaign in late 1864-early 1865.
A New Frontier
Isolated And Exposed
Throughout July, the Crow had warned the commanding officers at the fort, that the Sioux along with their Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho allies were marshalling hundreds of warriors for a major attack.
These same warnings had been heard before, but the officers had noticed that the Crow seemed highly agitated this time. Security was increased at the fort. Unfortunately this may have led the hostiles to turn their attention to the isolated and exposed haying party a couple of miles away.
Did You Know?
Of the 739 documented plant species at Bighorn Canyon, 14% are non-native. These invasive species can lead to fire hazards, degrade habitat, and cause soil erosion. More...