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Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
January 23, 2014 M. Timothy Nolting   

A Piegan Warrior: from a painting by Karl Bodmer.

A dozen, dozen years ago in the Moon When the Snow Drifts into the Tepees (January) of 1870 on the twenty-third day of that month it was 40 degrees below zero in northwestern Montana Territory. On that bitterly cold morning the Piegan chief, Heavy Runner and his band of Blackfeet families were in winter camp on the banks of the Marias River, about sixty miles due north of Fort Shaw.

Earlier in that month Major Eugene Baker had left...

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