The Deadliest Weapon On Display In Wyoming is Not A Gun
On display at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum is an old bugle that looks like it was run over by a truck. The only thing is that the damage that was done to it happened before trucks were invented.
The bugle was damaged by the man who was swinging it at the Indians that were attacking him.
On Dec. 21 a detachment led by Captain William Fetterman moved soldiers and wagons out to what is now Story Wyoming to cut timber. On the way, as the detachment was moving down a ridge, it was attacked by native forces in great number.
Native American decoys had suckered them into a battle against more than 1,000 Cheyenne, Lakota, and Arapaho warriors. They were overwhelmed from all sides.
Before the white man came into the area those same tribes fought bloody battles with each other over that same land. Now they're united against a common enemy.
The company bugler, a man named Metzger was responsible for directing troop movement after he was given a command.
Captain Fetterman had once said, "Give me 80 men and I can ride through the entire Sioux nation." Now Fetterman had just that many men, and here they came.
The bugler was soon sounded, out of ammo, and so he fought with the only thing he had. Using his musical instrument as a weapon he fought like a mad man.
It took quite a few braves to take him down.
At that time when Indians killed a soldier in battle, they mutilated the body to keep the soul from moving on to rest after it left the body.
So impressed were the Indians with the bugler they bestowed upon him their highest honor and covered him with a buffalo hide.
81 soldiers were killed during the fight. Nobody knows how many Indians.
The bugle was abandoned on the battlefield before being discovered by early Johnson County rancher Christian Hepp in 1887.
That battered bugle is now on display at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in Buffalo Wyoming.
At the Wyoming State Historical Society meeting last week, Metzger’s Bugle was named the most significant historical artifact in the state of Wyoming for 2016.
That bugle and so many other important artifacts are now on display at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in Buffalo Wyoming.