Fetterman, William Judd

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.
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Fetterman, William Judd

(?1833–66) soldier; born in (?)New London, Conn. He survived combat in the Civil War only to be killed, along with his entire 80-man command, in an Indian ambush near Lodge Trail Ridge, Wyo., in 1866.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.