In May of 1865, Col. Thomas Moonlight of the United States Army wrote to his superior about the two prisoners he held in the guard house pictured here.

He had captured “Sioux chiefs of the Ogallala tribe, along with the band.” The two chiefs were Two Face and Black Foot.

Earlier that month, he had discovered an Ogallala village along the Platte River. There, he found Two Face with a white woman prisoner and her daughter. The prisoner knew where to find Black Foot, and Col. Moonlight dispatched a patrol to bring him in, dead or alive.

Not long later, Black Foot surrendered without any resistance. Both he and Two Face, along with four other tribesmen were placed in the guard house.

Col. Moonlight related:
“Both of the chiefs openly boasted that they had killed white men, and that they would do it again, if let loose; so I concluded to tie them up by the neck with a trace-chain, suspended from a beam of wood, and leave them there without any foothold.” .

According to another report, which continued the narrative, the two chiefs were “hanged in chains about two miles north of the fort on the bluff, where their bodies were left suspended until the crows stripped their bones of flesh.

‘Trace Chain’

Camera: Ricoh KR-5 (1979)
Film: ORWO UN54; 100iso
Process: Xtol; 1+1; 7min; 21C

Fort Laramie, Wyoming


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