The War on the Powder River
On a blizzardy morning in 1892, fifty armed men surrounded the cabin on Powder River where two cattle rustlers had spent the night. The first rustler was shot as he came down the path for a bucket of water. The second man held out until afternoon, when the vigilantes set the cabin afire. Driven out by the flames, he was shot a dozen times. It was another skirmish in the War on Powder River. The War began to smolder in 1875 and at stake was nothing less than dominion over the new state of Wyoming. Cattlemen demanded control of the range. Farmers denounced the "invasion from Texas" as more and more hired gunmen moved into the state. Threats, counter-threats, and legal maneuvers were soon accompanied by shooting and the noose.