Battle of Grand Pass, Wyoming


Indian Attack by Charles Marion Russell

Indian Attack by Charles Marion Russell

The Battle of Grand Pass, Wyoming took place on July 7, 1863, between troops from Fort H.W. Halleck and a band of Ute Indians.

After the raid on Pass Creek in February 1863, the Ute continued to raid the mail line west of Fort H.W. Halleck stealing some 173 horses and 34 mules from Ben Holladay’s Overland Stage Company. Once again, troops from Fort H.W. Halleck were sent to search for the Indians and on the early morning of July 7th, they came upon them in a pass in the Medicine Bow Mountains about 25 miles south of the fort. When Lieutenants Henry Brandley and Hugh W. Williams, along with their troops, rode towards the Ute, the warriors opened fire on them from the timber and underbrush. Undaunted, the soldiers dismounted and charged up the slope.

The Ute, well-armed with Hawkins rifles, would likely have killed a great many more soldiers; but, according to Captain Asaph Allen, commander at Fort Halleck, “in firing down the steep hill-side they invariably fired too high. It was a perfect hail-storm of lead over the heads of the troops”. The fight continued for two hours until the soldiers reached the top of the pass and the Ute fled. One soldier was killed and six wounded. The Ute left 20 dead on the field and were said to have carried off another 40 dead and wounded. Afterward, the area was left in comparative peace. The battle site is near Ryan Park, Wyoming.


Ute Warriors

Ute Warriors

By Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated February 2020.

Also See:

Indian War Campaigns and Battles

Ute Tribe – Roaming the Rockies

Wyoming – The Cowboy State

Wyoming Indian Battles