Marker Monday: The Pebble Creek Fight

Our Historical Markers across Nebraska highlight moments and places in our state’s past. Today we’re focusing on a skirmish between a group of Lakota Sioux and white settlers that led to the establishment of Fort Hartsuff in the North Loup Valley.


Rural Nebraska 91, Burwell, Garfield County, Nebraska

Marker Text

In 1872-73 white settlers were moving into the North Loup Valley. Their presence sparked occasional conflicts with Lakota Sioux wandering down from the north to hunt or raid the Pawnee Reservation near Genoa. On January 18, 1874, Sioux passing through this area with stolen Pawnee horses purportedly took food, furs, and a cow from the homes of settlers and trappers, including the Colby and McClimans families.

Early the next morning about a dozen men led by Charles (“Buckskin Charley”) White went in pursuit, determined to recover the property or fight the Indians. The men found the Lakota camped on Pebble Creek. During a parley, the Indians refused to surrender anything of value and prepared to resist the whites, who fled to the shelter of the stream bank. In the half-hour fight that followed, Marion Littlefield was shot and killed. Indian casualties were estimated as three dead and several wounded.

The settlers feared further confrontations and petitioned Congress for military protection. After receiving an appropriation, the army established Fort Hartsuff in the North Loup Valley on September 5, 1874.

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

World War II Casualties

World War II Casualties

Flowers in the Attic

Flowers in the Attic

Reviving “Lucy” the Milliner’s Doll

Reviving “Lucy” the Milliner’s Doll

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.