Just before 10 P.M. on January 9, 1879, the 130 Cheyennes held in the cavalry barracks made their desperate bid for freedom. After disabling the soldier guards, they fled across this ground to the White River beyond. Under heavy fire from pursuing troops, they followed the river and climbed the high buttes several miles to the west. During this initial fighting, twenty -seven Cheyennes and five soldiers were killed. The Cheyennes were buried in a mass grave near the post sawmill.