Lead:  Perceived as a short cut to Montana gold and Oregon settlement, the Bozeman trail cut almost three months off the journey, but there was one major problem.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: The premier immigrant trail running through the upper Midwest to Washington and Oregon was the Oregon Trail or Overland Trail. Traced in the 1830s and heavily traveled through the 1850s it provided a rough and dangerous alternative to sea travel It went up the North Platte River through South Pass, the Snake River Valley and the Blue Mountains and into the Willamette Valley. Yet the Oregon Trail was by no means an easy route and during the Civil War, with the discovery of gold in western Montana, word began to circulate of a new trail, a short cut, with better water for the stock and better grades that could eliminate time and distance in the journey west. The problem was it cut across territory jealously guarded by a normally fractious and loose federation of clans Lacota, Cheyenne and Arapaho. Their repeated attacks on miners and wagon trains gave the Trail its nickname, “Bloody Bozeman.”

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