Battle of Pierre's Hole
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Tomahawk
N 43° 42.435 W 111° 06.638
12T E 491086 N 4839364
Quick Description: This is a quick stop,a chance to stretch your legs and learn a little of the history of Teton valley. To log this cache, please find a three digit code hidden at the site. E-mail me the cade or post a picture with you or you GPS at the site.
Location: Idaho, United States
Date Posted: 8/15/2007 11:35:02 PM
Waymark Code: WM20M8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 120

Long Description:
Pierre’s Hole is what the mountain men called the Teton valley. It was named for “Old” Pierre Tevanitagon, a French/Iroquois Mountain Man killed in a battle with Blackfoot Indians in 1827. To mountain men, a low-lying valley surrounded by mountains was called a "hole." Because mountain rivers and streams that ran through holes created good habitat for beaver and other fur-bearing animals, trappers worked in these areas.

The battle of Pierre’s hole took place after the 1832 trapper’s rendezvous. Much of the hostilities seem to have been initiated by Antoine Godin and Baptiste Dorian, trappers who had attended the rendezvous.

In either 1828 or 1830, Godin’s father was slain by Blackfoot Indians. Thereafter, Antoine would carry a vindictive hatred for all Blackfoot Indians and their allies.

While on the way to the rendezvous, Godin had found Thomas Fitzpatrick. He was emaciated and without horse or equipment, his feet bare, and his clothing in shreds. Fitzpatrick had been attacked and robbed several weeks earlier by Blackfoot Indians. Godin brought Fitzpatrick in to the rendezvous at a time when many there had already given him up for dead.

After breakup of the rendezvous, Godin joined a brigade of about 42 men led by Milton Sublette. This party also included Nathaniel Wyeth and eleven of his men. On the morning of the second day after leaving rendezvous, a large group of people with pack animals was observed approaching the camp. As the group came closer, it became apparent they were a party of about 200 Indians. This was the Gros Ventres tribe, close allies of the Blackfoot, who were moving their village. Because they were in transit with their families, this group was not seeking a fight with the mountain men. Signs were made for peace, and one of the Chiefs rode forward, as did Antoine Godin and Baptiste Dorian. Godin saw this as a chance to avenge the death of his father. Coming even with the Chief, Godin grasped the Chief’s rifle and called to Dorian to shoot him which Dorian did. The two trappers then stole the Chief’s bright red blanket and raced back to the trapper’s brigade, thus initiating the "Battle of Pierre’s Hole". Approximately 39 people were killed in this one day battle.

In 1834 Antoine Godin was employed at Fort Hall by Nathaniel Wyeth. An entry in one of the fort’s account books notes that Godin was not reliable, and should have only limited credit. Other entries in the account book show that Godin was a meat hunter for the fort from 1834 to mid 1836.

On May 22, 1836, Godin was invited to trade for furs by a half-breed named James Bird. Arriving alone in Bird’s camp, located in full view of Fort Hall, Godin sat down to smoke a pipe with Bird and his Blackfoot companions prior to trading. As the pipe came to Godin, one of the Blackfoot raised his gun and shot Godin. Although unable to save Godin, men from the fort were able to prevent his personal effects from being stolen. Godin’s blanket, rifle, saddle, camp ax, powder horn and knife were all shown as credits towards his account in the fort’s ledger on May 23, 1836.
Marker Name: Pierre's Hole Rendezvous and Battle

Marker Type: Roadside

Marker Text:
Pierre's Hole Rendezvous and Battle 1832 American fur with 90 trappers: Rocky Mountain Fur with 100 men:Free Trappers: 120 lodges of Nez Pierce: 80 lodges of Flatheads: Also Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Nathaniel Wyeth, Joe Meek, D. Sinclair, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Robert Campbell, and the Sublette brothers. On July 17th Gros Ventres Indians were sighted southeast of here and a battle ensued. Indians took refuge behind a barricade southwest of here. The Gros Ventres escaped at night leaving 26 dead. The trappers and allies lost 13 men.

County: Teton

City: Driggs

Group Responsible for Placement: Upper Snake River Valley Historical Society

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Web link(s) for additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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