• Along the Washita - 1868 by Gene V. Dougherty

    Washita Battlefield

    National Historic Site Oklahoma

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Washita Battlefield NHS Slated to Host 15th Anniversary Symposium Event on November 11-12

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Date: October 21, 2011

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site is pleased to announce its 15th Anniversary Event and Symposium for November 11-12, 2011. "This is a milestone event because it marks the 15 year anniversary of the site's establishment as a National Park on November 12, 1996", says Park Superintendent Lisa Conard Frost. Located in Western Oklahoma near Cheyenne, the park interprets the site of the Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle's encampment along the Washita River, attacked by the 7th U.S. Cavalry under Lt. Col. George A. Custer on November 27, 1868.

The event titled "Lessons Learned and Lessons to Learn" will be held over a two day period with opening ceremonies beginning on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11th at 2:00pm at the Washita Battlefield NHS park overlook site, located ½ mile west of the visitor center on Highway 47A.

To pay tribute to those involved at the Washita attack, and to recognize veterans on this special day, Cheyenne Chief Gordon Yellowman will perform a Blessing Ceremony, and the Red Moon Singers and Drum Group will provide traditional music. After the posting of the colors by the Clinton High School Junior ROTC Color Guard, noted artist and Marine Corps veteran, Cheyenne Chief Harvey Pratt, will speak. Following the ceremony, the park will host an Open House and Reception for everyone in the visitor center gallery. In honor of Veterans Day, all items in the WNPA Bookstore will be discounted 15%. The film Braided Paths, which explores the unique historic, contemporary and cultural contribution of tribal communities to Oklahoma will be shown in the visitor center theatre.

On Saturday, November 12th, a symposium will be held at the Cheyenne High School Auditorium from 8:30am-4:00pm. The following speakers include, former National Park Service historian and author Jerome Greene, Southern Cheyenne Chief, W. Richard West, Jr., Sand Creek NHS historian, Craig Moore, Oklahoma Historical Society historian Dr. Mary Jane Warde, writer, Louis Kraft, and Cheyenne Chief Gordon Yellowman, who will each give their unique perspectives.

According to Chief of Interpretation, Frank Torres, "This outstanding group of distinguished authors, historians, and scholars on the subject of Washita, Sand Creek, Little Bighorn, Southern Plains Indians, and Cheyenne Culture, will cover a broad range of history as it relates to the story at Washita."

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site invites everyone to attend this special 15th anniversary event. A noon luncheon catered by Croton Creek, will be available for purchase during Saturday's symposium. The event is free to the public. For more information please visit the park or call (580) 497-2742.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Chief Magpie sitting on the banks of the Washita River.

As a teenager, Magpie survived the 1868 attack on the Washita River, and lived to fight Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer once again at the Battle of Little Big Horn.