It was 150 years ago tomorrow. A young Lieutenant in the 11th Kansas named Caspar Collins had earlier been assigned to an army outpost that was then known as Platte Bridge Station.

Shoshone, Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribal members had joined forces in the wake of the Sand Creek Massacre carried out by the notorious Col. John Chivington and his local Colorado home guard volunteers.

Indian raids had increased in the area, and on July 27th, Collins led a small detachment out to escort an army supply column back to the fort. They were surprised by Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors, and forced to retreat. In the short skirmish, Collins was killed. The fort, and later the town of Casper were named for him, albeit, with a misspelling.

This weekend, during Caspar Collins Days, visitors will experience 19th-century frontier life, especially the lives of the soldiers and American Indians who fought so bravely in support of their (opposing) beliefs in the two battles of July 1865 (Battles of Platte Bridge and Red Buttes) .

Today’s reenactment took two tries as the Indians attacked too soon and out of site of the waiting crowd at Morad Park. But the second time around, the spectators got a good look at the smoke and confusion of 150 years ago.

Attendees are invited to step back in time and interact with re-enactors portraying frontier soldiers, pioneers, mountain men, Indians, and other characters from the past. They are also invited to explore Fort Caspar Museum where they will find event-themed exhibits and have an opportunity to participate in hands-on activities--all at no charge.

And there will be more reenactments Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday.

Check out the photo gallery: