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William Judd Fetterman

Fetterman, William Judd, 1833?–1866, American army officer. In 1861 he enlisted in the Union army from Delaware; he served throughout the Civil War and was twice brevetted for gallant conduct. After the war he remained in the army and was sent, in Nov., 1866, to Fort Phil Kearney in Wyoming. The Fetterman massacre occurred when, despite his unfamiliarity with frontier conditions and methods of indigenous fighting, he volunteered to lead a party of 80 men on supply escort duty. Fetterman ignored orders not to leave the trail and was ambushed by Native Americans under Red Cloud. He and his entire party were killed in the attack.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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