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The Indian Wars comprised a series of smaller wars. Native Americans, diverse peoples with their own distinct tribal histories, were no more a single people than the Europeans. Living in societies organized in a variety of ways, Native Americans usually made decisions about war and peace at the local level, though they sometimes fought as part of formal alliances, such as the Iroquois Confederation, or in temporary confederacies inspired by leaders such as Tecumseh.
Frontier warfare was particularly brutal, and numerous atrocities were committed on both sides. Both white and Native noncombatants suffered greatly during the war, and villages and food supplies were frequently destroyed during military expeditions.
1614 — March, violent confrontation between hundreds of English and Powhatan men on the Pamunkey River.
1622-1644 — Jamestown Indian Assaults, Virginia
1636-1638 — Pequot War, was an armed conflict between the alliance of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies with the Narragansett and Mohegan tribe against the Pequot tribe, in southern New England.
1675-1676 Bacon’s Rebellion, War with Susquehannocks in Maryland
1702-1713 — Queen Anne’s War, French and Indian raids on New England with battles in Florida, South Carolina and Canada.
1711-1713 Tuscarora War, North Carolina between the British, Dutch and German settlers against the Tuscarora.
1715-1717 Yamasee War (also Yamassee War) a conflict between colonial South Carolina and several Indian tribes, including the Yamasee, Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Catawba, Aplachee, Apalachicola, Yuchi, Savanah River Shawnee, Congaree, Waxhaws, Pee Dee, Caper Fear, Cheraw and others. The Yamasee War was one of the most disruptive and transformational conflicts of colonial America. It was also one of the American Indian’s most serious challenges to European dominance.
1720-1760 — Chickasaw, unsuccessful campaign by French and Choctaw against the Chickasaw.
1729-1731 — War between the Natchez and the French in Louisiana
1754-1763 French and Indian War, The name refers to the two main enemies of the British: the royal French forces and the various American Indian forces. (Other names for this war: Seven Years’ War, King George’s War, Fourth Inter-colonial War, and Great War for the Empire.)
1752-1760 — Langlade’s Expedition, Spring, killed 14 members of the Miami Nation, including “Old Britain” also known as Memeskia or La Demoiselle.
1763-1675 — Pontiac’s Rebellion, Chief Pontiac’s tries to force British out of the West, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.
1774 — Lord Dunmore’s War. Governor Dunmore commanded a force to defeat the Shawnee, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, down the Ohio River.
1776-1794 — Chickamauga Wars, a series of conflicts of the Cherokee against the encroachment into their territory by American frontiersmen from the British colonies. Open warfare broke out in 1776 between the Cherokee led by Dragging Canoe and frontier settlers in East Tennessee.
1779 War with Six Nations (Iroquois) George Washington ordered the Sullivan Campaign lead by Col. Daniel Brodhead and General John Sullivan against the Iroquois Nations to not merely overrun, but destroy the British Indian alliance.
1785-1795 — Northwest Indian Wars, also known as Little Trutle’s war. Fought between the United States and a large confederation of Indians for control of the Northwest Territory. The war ended at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, much of the present day Ohio was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.
1790-1795 — War with the Northwest (Territory) Indians; Mingo, Miami, Wyandot, Delaware, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Chippewa, and Ottawa. Included are Hamar’s and St. Clair’s bloody defeats and Wayne’s victory at Fallen Timbers, which compelled peace.
1804 — Battle of Sitka, last major conflict between European and Alaska Natives.
1811 — War with the Indians in Indiana (Territory), General Harrison defeated the Confederate tribes at Tippecanoe, Indiana (Territory).
1811 — Tecumseh’s War or Tecumseh’s Rebellion. This war continued into the War of 1812, Tecumseh joined British allies in Canada. Canadians would remember Tecumseh as a defender of Canada, but his actions in the War of 1812 would cost him his life.
1812 — Florida or Seminole war, Spanish Florida invaded by Georgia Militia under General Newman, never ceased until Florida was ceded by Spain to the United States. In fact, one band of Seminole was never conquered and reside in Florida to this day.
1813 — Peoria Indian war in Illinois (Territory), between the US Army and the Potawatomi and Kickapoo Indians.
1813-1814 — Creek war, also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil war. The United States was pulled into the conflict in Pensacola, Florida at the Battle of Burnt Corn.
1813-1814 — Creek Indian war in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi (Territory). It was in this war that General Andrew Jackson first attracted attention as a commander. He defeated the Creeks in a bloody engagement at Talladega, November 9, 1813; at Emuckfau, January 22, 1814; at Enotochopco, January 24, and finally at the Horseshoe Bend of the Tallapoosa River, March 27, 1814. At this battle 750 Creeks were killed or drowned, and 201 whites were killed or wounded. In this war the brave Creeks lost 2,000 warriors. Ten years afterward the tribe still numbered 22,000.
1817-1818 — First Seminole Indian war in. Georgia and Florida, November 20, 1817, to October 31, 1818, It was during this war that Jackson took possession of the Spanish territory. The Indian town of Tallahassee was burned on March 31, 1818 and the town of Miccosukee was taken the next day. More than 300 Indian homes were destroyed.
1823 — Campaign against Arickaree Indians, upper Missouri River, Dakota Territory.
1827 — Fever River expedition against the Winnebago Indians in Illinois.
1827 — Winnebago expedition, Wisconsin (Territory), also called the Le Fevre War, an armed conflict that took in the southwest region of Wisconsin, between members of the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk), local militias and the US Army.
1827 — Sauk and Fox Indian war in Illinois.
1832 — Black Hawk Indian war, in the Midwestern United States. The name Black Hawk war was for the war chief of the Sauk, fox and Kickapoo Indians, whose band fought against the United States Army and militia from Illinois to Michigan Territory (Wisconsin for possession of the lands. The Battle of Bad Axe, also known as the Bad Axe Massacre occurred August 1 and 2, 1832 between Sauk (Sac) and Fox Indians and US Army regulars and militia, near present day Victory, Wisconsin. It marked the end of the war between white settlers and the Sauk and Fox tribes under Chief Black Hawk. Black Hawk, a chief of a secondary band. He settled upon the Des Moines River, in Iowa (Territory), where he died October 3, 1838. (See Black Hawk War)
1834 — Pawnee expedition in the Indian Territory.
1835-1842 — Second Seminole Indian war or Florida War in Florida (Territory). A truce was arranged in January of 1837, but after the escape of 700 Seminoles from a holding camp, Jesup ordered more troops. By 1842 it was recommended that the rest of the Seminoles be left in peace.
1836-1838 — Cherokee disturbances and removal to the Indian Territory.
1837 — Osage Indian war in Missouri. The Osage prohibited the Kickapoo from entering onto their Missouri reservation, keeping them in ceded lands in Illinois.
1848-1855 — Cayuse Indian war in Oregon, caused in part by the influx of disease and settlers to the region. In 1847 the Whitman Massacre took place near present day Walla Walla, Washington. (See Cayuse Indian War)
1849-1855 Texas and New Mexico (Territory) Indian war. A series of armed conflicts between Anglo-Texas settlers and Plains Indians, first under the government of Mexico, the Republic of Texas and finally the United States.
1849-1855 — Apache, Navajo, and Utah war.
1849-1861 — Navajo troubles in New Mexico (Territory).
1849-1861– Continuous disturbances with Comanche, Cheyenne, Lipan and Kickapoo Indians in Texas.
1850 — Pitt River expedition, California. Made by Colonel E. A. Stevenson, Indian Agent to establish relations with the Achomawi or Pit River, Atsugewi or Hat Creek and Modoc.
1850-1851 — Mariposa War with Miwoks and Yokuts in California, was a conflict between the Indians and miners. Miners forced the Indians off their gold rich lands.
1850-1853 — Utah Indian disturbances.
1851-1852 — California Indian disturbances.
1854 — Oregon Indian war in Oregon (Territory).
1854 — Campaign against Jicarilla Apaches in New Mexico. An unauthorized attack on the Jicarilla Apache encampment near Pilar, then known as Cieneguilla after First Lieutenant John Wynn Davidson exceeded the orders of his superior Major Blake.
1855 — Yakima Indian War, often seen as a continuation of the Cayuse War which began in 1848. Together the Cayuse and Yakima Wars overall were the largest of the many Indian Wars in the newly declared Oregon and Washington Territories.
1855 — Klamath and Salmon River Indian war in Oregon (Territory). The Indians were armed with guns and ammunition from unscrupulous traders. Miners wanted the Indians destroyed, troops were necessary to stop the war.
1855 — Winna’s expedition against Snake Indians, Oregon (Territory).
1855-1856 — Rogue River Indian war in Oregon, began when a mob from the mining town of Jacksonville, in the Rogue River Valley in Southwestern Oregon, killed twenty-eight Indian people who were camped near the Table Rock Reservation. (Rogue River Indian War)
1855-1856 — Cheyenne and Arapaho troubles.
1855-1858 — Third Seminole War or Florida Indian war. Increased Army presence and Indian attacks.
1858 — Expedition against northern Indians, Washington (Territory).
1858 — Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Paloos Indian war, also known as the Coeur d’Alene war and the second phase of the Yakima war. In May 1858 a combine force of about 1,000 Coeur d’Alene, Spokanes and Palouse attacked and defeated a force of 164 US troops under Major Edward Steptoe.
1858 — Navajo expedition, New Mexico (Territory).
1858 — May 12, Antelope Hills Expedition, a campaign by the Texas Rangers and members of other allied Indian Tribes (virtually all Tonkawa) against Comanche and Kiowa villages in the Comancheria beginning in Texas and ending in a series of fights with the Comanche tribe at a place called Antelope Hills. Also called the Battle of Little Robe Creek
1858-1859 — Wichita expedition, Indian Territory.
1860 — Kiowa and Comanche expedition, Indian Territory. To remove the Kiowa and Comanche from the area of the Arkansas River.
1860 — War with Paiute Indians, also known as Pyramid Lake War, Utah Territory, (now Nevada).
1860-1861 — Navajo expedition, New Mexico (Territory), 1,000 warriors waged an attack on Fort Defiance.
1861-1864 — Massacre at Sand Creek. Colonel Chivington and 800 troops marched into the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho and massacred the majority of mostly unarmed inhabitants.
1862-1863 — Sioux Indian war in Minnesota and Dakota (Territory). The Sioux killed upwards of 1,000 settlers in Minnesota. Generals Sibley and Sully pursued them with about 5,000 men, scattering in Dakota (Territory). The operations against them were successful. Over 1,000 Indians were made prisoners and 39 of the murderers were hanged. In 1863 the Minnesota Sioux were removed to Dakota (Territory).
1863-1869 — War against the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanche Indians in Kansas, Nebraska (Territory), Colorado (Territory) and Indian Territory.
l865 — War with Northern plains Indians, known as the Powder River Expedition. Began as a punitive campaign against the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho for raiding along the Bozeman Trail. The Battle of the Tongue River was the only major engagement of the expedition.
1865-1868 — Campaign against Indians in southern Oregon, Idaho (Territory) and northern California.
1866-1868 — Red Cloud’s war, named after Red Cloud, a prominent chief of Oglala Sioux who led the war against the United States following encroachment into the area by the military. The war ended with the Treaty of Fort Laramie.
1867-1869 — Campaign against Indians in Kansas, Colorado (Territory) and Indian Territory.
1871 — Red River War. Campaign to remove the Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian tribes from the Southern Plains and enforce their relocation to reservations in Indian Territory.
1872-1873 — Modoc Indian war in Oregon and California. The conflict resulted in the encroachment of the whites upon the Indian land until their way of life was threatened with extinction. (See Land of Burnt out Fires, Modoc Indian War)
1873 — Campaign against Apache Indians in Arizona (Territory) and New Mexico (Territory).
1874 — Sioux expedition, Wyoming (Territory) and Nebraska.
1874-1875 — Campaign against Kiowa, Cheyenne and Comanche Indians in Indian Territory.
1875 — Sioux and Cheyenne left there reservations because of intrusions of whites in to their sacred lands in the Black Hills.
1876 — Little Bighorn Battle, Montana, Sioux and Cheyenne defeated General Custer and the Seventh Cavalry. (See Battle of the Little Bighorn, Montana)
1877 — A group 972 Cheyenne were escorted to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The government intended to re-unite both the Northern and Southern Cheyenne into one nation.
1877 — Nez Perce Indian war in Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The conflict began when white ranchers realized that the Wallowa Valley, as well as the Snake and Clearwater valleys, would make great open range for cattle. (See Epic of the Nez Percé, Nez Perce Indian War)
1878 — Bannock Indian war in Southeastern Idaho on the Fort Hall Reservation. The Bannock suffering from severe famine and receiving no help from the US government, joined the Northern Paiute Indians. (Bannock County, Idaho)
1879 — War with Shoshone and Bannock Indians in Idaho, also known as Sheepeater War. Last Indian war fought in the Pacific Northwest. They were known as Sheepeaters because their diet consisted of the Rocky Mountain Sheep. The campaign against them primarily took place in central Idaho. (See War with the Snake, Bannock and Paiute, Umatilla County, Oregon)
1878-1879 — Campaign against Cheyenne Indians in Dakota (Territory) and Montana (Territory). The Bozeman Trail was used to supply headquarters at Fort Fetterman. Crook camped here for three months before the Battle of the Rosebud in 1876.
1890-1891 — Pine Ridge Campaign was the result of unresolved grievances which led to the last major conflict with the Miniconjou and Hunkpapa Sioux, the Wounded Knee Massacre. In February 1890 the US Government broke a Lakota treaty by adjusting the Great Sioux Reservation of South Dakota, an area that formerly encompassed the majority of the state, into five relatively smaller reservations. Done to accommodate homesteaders from the east.
1893 — Navajo war against white settlers. Northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona. The Indians and whites in this area were never able to get along.