Topic: Indian Wars

Early Indian Wars in Florida

Previous to the permanent establishment of the English in North America, the French and Spaniards made many attempts to get possession of various parts of the country. The coasts were carefully explored, and colonies planted, but they were soon given up as expensive, and involving too much hardship and danger. The first expedition to the coast of Florida was made in 1512, by Juan Ponce de Leon, renowned for his courage and warlike abilities. Ponce de Leon, becoming governor of Porto Rico (Puerto Rico), and hearing from the Indians that there existed a beautiful and fertile country to the...

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Sand Creek Massacre

On the night of November 28, 1864, about seven hundred and fifty men, cavalry and artillery, were marching eastward across the plains below Fort Lyon. There was a bitter, determined look on their hard-set features that betokened ill for some one. For five days they had been marching, from Bijou Basin, about one hundred and fifty miles to the northwest, as the crow flies, but some fifty miles farther by their route. When they started the snow was two to three feet deep on the ground, but, as they progressed, it had become lighter, and now the ground was clear. The night was bitter cold; Jim Beckwith, the old trapper who had been guiding them, had become so stiffened that he was unable longer to distinguish the course, and they were obliged to rely on a half-breed Indian. About one third of the men had the appearance of soldiers who had seen service; the remainder had a diversity of arms and equipments as well as of uniforms, and marched with the air of raw recruits. About half a mile in advance were three men, the half-breed guide and two officers, one of the hitter of such gigantic proportions that the others seemed pygmies beside him. Near daybreak the half-breed turned to the white men and said: “Wolf he howl. Injun dog he hear wolf, he howl too. Injun he...

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Desire to Punish the Cheyenne Indians

It is equally certain that the desire of punishing these Indians was increased, with loyal people, by the belief that their hostility was produced by Southern emissaries. How far their hostility was so produced will never be definitely known, but there was reason for the belief, without doubt. Soon after the beginning of the war the insurgents had occupied Indian Territory and enrolled many Indians in Confederate regiments. The loyal Indians tried to resist, but, after two or three engagements, about seven thousand of them were driven into Kansas. From the men among them three regiments were organized, and the women and children were subsisted out of the annuities of the hostiles. In the latter part of 1862, John Ross, head chief of the Cherokees, announced officially that the Cherokee nation had treated with the Confederate States, and, as is well known, there were several regiments of Indians in the regular Confederate service, besides numbers in irregular relations, among whom were Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Osages, Seminoles, Senecas, Shawnees, Quapaws, Comanches, Wachitas, Kiowas, and Pottawattamies, and none of them regained friendly relations with the United States until the treaty of September 21, 1865. On the south of Colorado the Comanches and Kiowas were at war, with Southern sympathies. The Mescaleros had taken the warpath on the advance of the Texans. To the north it was the same. The Sioux...

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Were the Cheyenne Responsible for the Sand Creek Massacre?

But were the Cheyennes responsible for all this? Quite as much so as any of the tribes. They began stealing stock early in the spring, and, on April 13, a herdsman for Irving, Jackmann, & Co. reported that the Cheyennes and Arapahoes had run off sixty head of oxen and a dozen mules and horses from their camp, thirty miles south of Denver. Lieutenant Clark Dunn was sent after them with a small party of soldiers. He overtook them as they were crossing the Platte, during a heavy snowstorm. A parley was commenced, but was interrupted by part of the Indians running off the stock, and the soldiers attempting to disarm the others. A fight ensued, in which the soldiers, who were greatly outnumbered, were defeated, with a loss of four men, the Indians still holding the cattle. After this fight, there was not a word nor an act from any member of the Southern Cheyennes indicative of peace, until the 1st of September, when the Indian agent at Fort Lyon received the following: Cheyenne Village Aug 22, 1864 “Major Collet, We received a letter from Bent, wishing us to make peace. We held a council in regard to it. All come to the conclusion to make peace with you, providing you make peace with the Kiowas, Comanches, Arapahoes, Apaches, and Sioux. We are going to send a messenger...

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Yakima Malcontents of 1856

One thing, of course, is to be remembered – there were all degrees of offending, from the active hostile to the almost neutral, just as there are in every Indian war. The worst of them all were Kamiaken, his brothers Skloom and Shawawai, Owhi and his son Qualchian, the Yakima malcontents of 1856, who had been roaming among the tribes, exciting discontent and committing depredations where they could Kamiaken was the most influential of them all. He was a man of unusual stature and remarkable strength. No man in the tribe could bend his bow. He was rated the best orator from the Cascades to the Rockies, and appears to have been inspired by a patriotic hope of throwing off the supremacy of the whites. In later years, when his plans were miscarried and his hopes of a great combination of the Indians against the common foe dashed to the ground, he refused to return to his own country, and, apparently brokenhearted, passed the rest of his days east of the Columbia. The Pelouses were next in culpability. They were a tribe of about five hundred, living along the north side of the Snake River. They were in three bands: Que-lap-tip, with forty lodges, camped usually at the mouth of the Pelouse; So-ie, with twelve lodges, was located thirty miles below on the Snake; Til-co-ax (Tel-ga-wax, Til-ca-icks), with thirty...

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War with the Spokan, Coeur d’Alene, and Pelouse

While the commissioners were negotiating with the Mormons, an extraordinary outbreak occurred in the eastern part of Washington Territory, which hitherto had been a scene of peace between the red man and the white. It had been the boast of the Spokanes and the Coeur d’Alenes that they had never shed the blood of a white man. In the winter and early spring of 1858, however, it was represented that there was much restlessness among the northern tribes, especially in the neighborhood of the Colville mines, and Brevet Lieutenant colonel Steptoe, who commanded at new Fort WallaWalla, determined to make an excursion in that direction. The new fort, which had been established as a military post after the last war, was on Walla Walla Creek, thirty miles east of the old fort, the latter being now used as an agency by the quartermaster’s department. In addition to looking after the northern inquietude, Colonel Steptoe also desired to investigate the recent murder of two American miners by a party of Pelouse (Paluce, Galousse) Indians, and, if possible, to bring the murderers to justice. These Indians lived just to the north of the Snake River, and were directly in his line of travel. Steptoe left Fort Walla Walla on May 6th with one hundred and fifty-seven men, dragoons and infantry, the latter acting as runners for two howitzers which were taken....

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Rogue River, Yakama and Klickitat War

Oregon was organized as a territory in 1848 by Congress, and its territorial government went into operation in the following spring, on the arrival of the governor, General Joe Lane, an Indianian who had won distinction in the Mexican War. Under the organic act, it embraced the country west of the Rocky Mountains north of parallel 42. The part of this north of parallel 46 to its intersection with the Columbia, and north of the Columbia thence westward to the ocean, was organized as Washington Territory in 1853. At the time of the organization of Oregon, the part afterwards erected into Washington Territory was still virtually in the hands of the Hudson’s Bay Company, except that a few families had settled in 1844 at Tumwater, now a suburb of Olympia, and one or two more at the latter place. Its first governor, Isaac I. Stevens (the Brigadier general Stevens of the Union army who fell at Bull Run), arrived, overland, in the fall of 1853, with a surveying party, examining the country which they traversed with regard to its availability as a railroad route. To these territories we must now return, for, while a restless peace has been maintained in Washington and Northern Oregon for several years, trouble has arisen in the South. Along the southern boundary, extending into both California and Oregon were several warlike tribes, who, though...

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Second Regiment of Washington Volunteers

The 2d regiment of Washington volunteers was officered, so far as the official correspondence shows, as follows: Company A, Capt. Edward Lander; 1st Lieut A. A. Denny. Vice H. H. Peixotto resigned; 2d Lieut D. A. Neely; H. A. Smith surgeon; Strength 33 rank and file. Non-com officers, John Henning, C. D. Biven, J. Ross, Jacob Wibbens, James Fielding, Walter Graham, David Manner, Asa Fowler. Company B, Capt. Gilmore Hays, promoted to major by election; 1st Lieut A. B. Rabbeson, elected Capt. Vice Hays; 1st Lieut Van Ogle, vice Rabbeson, and John Brady, vice Van Ogle, commanded lastly by Captain Burntrager; 2d Lieut William Martin; 2d. Lieut William Temple, vice Martin resigned. Non-com officers, Frank Ruth, D. Martin, M. Goodell, N. B. Coffey, J. L. Myres, T. Hughes, H. Horton; Strength 52 men rank and file. Company C, Capt. B. L. Henness; 1st Lieut G. C. Blankenship; 2d Lieut F. A. Goodwin; non-commissioned officers, Joseph Cushman, William J. Yeager, Henry Laws, James Phillips, William E. Klady, Thomas Hicks, S. A. Phillips, H. Johnson; Strength 67 rank and file. Company D, Capt. Achilles; 1st Lieut Powell; Strength 44 rank and file. Company E, Capt. Charles W. Riley; Strength 21 men rank and file; commanded lastly by Lieut Cole. Company F, Capt. Calvin W. Swindal; 1st Lieut J. Q. Cole; Strength 40 rank and file. Company G, J. J. II. Van...

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Southern Battalion of Washington

The southern battalion consisted of the Washington Mounted Rifles, Capt. H. J. G. Maxon, Company D, Capt. Achilles, who was succeeded by Lieut Powell, and two Oregon companies, one Company, K, under Francis M. P. Goff, of Marion County, and another, Company J, under Bluford Miller of Polk County. Oregon Statesman, March 11 and May 20, 1856. For convenience of reference, they are named here: Company A, organized and commanded by Lieut-Col Edward Lander Walla Walla County, organized out of friendly Chehalis and Cowlitz Indians by Sidney S. Ford, Capt. Clarke County Rangers, organized by Capt. William Kelly Company E, Capt. C. W. Riley, succeeded by Lieut J. Q. Cole Company H, Capt. R. V. Peabody Company L, Capt. E. D. Warbass Company N, Capt. Richards, succeeded by Capt. Williams Company M, consisting of 10 white men and 43 Nez Perces, Henri M. Chase, Capt. a company of Squaxon scouts under Lieut. Gosnell a company of Cowlitz Indians under Pierre Charles. Lieut-Col Lander was retained on the governor’s staff, and Jared S. Hurd, E. C. Fitzhugh, and H. R. Crosbie aids, with the rank of Lieut-Col, in addition to the appointments made in Dec., of Craig and Doty. Edward Gibson was appointed extra aid. B. F. Shaw was elected Lieut-Col of the 2d regiment in April. W. W. Miller still held the office of quartermaster and commissary-general at Olympia....

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Washington Blockhouses or Stockades erected during Indian War

There were 22 block-houses or stockades erected by the settlers during the war, as follows 1Rept of W. W. De Lacy, Capt. Eng. W. T. V., in Wash. Mess. Gov., 1857, 55. : at Davis’ Skookum Chuck Henness, near Mound prairie on Tenalcut prairie, at Nathan Eaton’s #1 on Chambers’ prairie #2 on Chambers’ prairie at Bush’s Goodell’s Ruddell’s Rutledge’s #1 at Tumwater #2 at Tumwater one at Dofflemeyer’s one on Whidbey Island one at Port Gamble one on the Cowlitz (Fort Arkansas) one on Mime prairie, one at Port Ludlow, one at Meigs’ Mill, #1 at the Cascades #2 at the Cascades one at Boisford prairie. Others were subsequently erected by the volunteers and troops, to the number of 35 by the former and 4 by the latter, or 62 in all. One at Cowlitz landing French settlement near Cowlitz farm Chehalis River below the Skookum Chuck Tenalcut plain (Fort Miller) Yelm prairie (Fort Stevens) Lowe’s, on Chambers’ prairie #1 at Olympia #2 at Olympia one at Packwood’s ferry (Fort Raglan) #1 at Montgomery’s crossing of the Puyallup (Fort White) #2 at Montgomery’s crossing of the Puyallup (Fort White) #1 at Connell’s prairie #2 at Connell’s prairie #1 at crossing of White River #2 at crossing of White River South prairie (Fort McAllister) on the Dwamish (Fort Lander) Lone Tree point on the Snohomish (Fort Ebey) on the...

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Mounted Volunteer Companies engaged in the Indian War

Mounted Volunteer Companies engaged in the Indian War, Mason’s administration. See: Washington Indian Wars, 1855-1856 for context of this list. Volunteer Companies Companies A, Capt. William Strong, and B, Capt. Gilmore Hays, were mustered into the regular service and furnished their own horses Company B, Capt. Isaac Hays Company F, Capt. B. S. Henness Company K, Capt. John R. Jackson Cowlitz Rangers, Capt. H. W. Peers Lewis River Rangers, Capt. William Bratton, in the service of the territory, furnished their own horses Stevens Guards. Capt. Higgins, were furnished horses by Gov. Spokane Invincibles, Capt. Yantis, horses partly furnished by Gov. and partly by volunteers Puget Sound Rangers, Capt. Charles Eaton, furnished their own horses Nez Perce Volunteers, Capt. Spotted Eagle, furnished their own horses and equipments. Inf. companies: Company C, George B. Goody Company D, Capt. W. H. Wallace (part of them mounted) Company G, Capt. W. A. S. McCorckle Company M, Capt. C. C. Hewitt Company I, Capt. I. N. Ebey Company J, Capt. A. A. Plummer Nisqually Ferry guards, Serg. Packwood Adj.-Gen. Rept, in Wash. Mess. Gov., 1857. See also Roder’s Bellingham Bay, MS.; Ebey’s Journal, MS.; Morris’ Wash. Ter., MS.; Ballou’s Adr.,515.; Hanford’s Ind. War, MS.; Yesler’s Wash. Ter., MS.; Parker’s Puget Sound, MS.,...

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Indian Fight of the 7th, 8th, and 9th of December of 1858

Indian Fight of the 7th, 8th, and 9th of December of 1858. See: Washington Indian Wars, 1855-1856 for context of this list. Killed: Capt. Charles Bennett of Company F, the same who was connected with James Marshall in the discovery of gold in California 2d Lieut J. M. Burrows, Company H Simon S. Van Hagerman, Company I. Mortally wounded, who lived but a few hours: E. B. Kelsey, Company A Henry Crow and Casper Snook, Company H Joseph Sturdevant, Company B Jesse Flemming, Company A Dangerously wounded: Capt. Layton Privates T. J. Payne, Nathan Fry F. Crabtree, Company H J. B. Gervias, Company K. Severely wounded: Capt. A. V. Wilson, Company A Capt. L. Munson, Company I Ser.-Mag. Isaac Miller, Company H Private 0. W. Smith, Co. B Slightly wounded: Privates A. M. Addington, Company H Franklin Duval, Company A Evan., Oregon Military Organization, 90. On the 9th and 10th, wounded, A. Shepard Ira Allen John Smith Estimated Indians killed and wounded,...

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Biography of William C. Painter

WILLIAM C. PAINTER. – William C. Painter was born in St. Genevieve county, Missouri, April 18, 1830. His parents, Philip and Jean, lived on a farm; and the early years of William’s life were passed in that home. In 1850 his father started for Oregon with his family of wife and seven children, but died of cholera on the Little blue river. Two of his sons had been buried as they camped by that stream two days before; and only the mother, with her two daughters, Margaret A. and Sara J., and three sons, William C., Joseph C. and Robert M. were left to continue their sorrowful journey to the Pacific coast. Upon the family’s arrival in the Willamette valley, they took up several Donation claims in Washington county; and the one taken by William was retained by him until his removal to Washington Territory in 1862. When the Indian war of 1855 broke out, he was one of those who enlisted for that campaign as a member of Company D, First Regiment, Oregon Mounted Volunteers, continuing to follow the fortunes of his company until it was mustered out of service late in 1856. It was the opportune arrival of this command upon the scene of action that caused the Indians at the battle of Walla Walla, in December, 1855, to give up the struggle and retreat into the...

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Biography of G. W. Ozmont

G.W. OZMENT. – This gentleman is a veteran of the Indian wars, a survivor of many a bloody fight in Southern Oregon, and a pioneer of 1852. Born at Greensborough, North Carolina, in 1833, he became an orphan at the age of ten, and at fifteen went to Western Virginia with an uncle, and somewhat later was in Tennessee, working on his own account. The far West, however, was the land of his dreams; and he saved his earnings to go to Paducah, and from that point to St. Louis. Three months later he was on his way to St. Joseph by steamer. But ice in the river delayed progress at the Kansas river; and there he was glad to join the train of Mr. William McCown, who was on the way to Oregon. The journey, begun May 7, 1852, was favorable, meeting with only the usual hardships of the way until reaching the Cascade Mountains. There the train met with snow; and the teams were too much exhausted to draw the loaded wagons farther. Mr. McCown pushed on to Oregon City for help, leaving Mr. Ozment two weeks in the mountains to look after the goods. The first months of Oregon life were spent in Clackamas county erecting buildings for Mr. McCown, the winter with Mr. Case on Butte creek, and the following spring with Reverend A.F. Waller...

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Indian Battles For The Past Year and The Officers Engaged

Extract From The “General Orders.” Indian Battles For The Past Year and The Officers Engaged. General Orders NO. 22 Head Quarters of the Army, New York, Nov. 10, 1858 The following combats with hostile Indians in which the conduct of the troops, including volunteers and employees in the United States military service, is deserving of high praise for gallantry and hardships have occurred, or been brought to the notice of the General-in-Chief since the publication of General order. No. 14, of 1857, viz: XIV. September 1, 1858. The expedition under Colonel Wright, 9th infantry, composed of companies C, E, H and I, 1st dragoons; A, B, G, K and M, 3d artillery; and B and E, 9th infantry aggregate five hundred and seventy with a company of thirty Nez Percés Indians, marched from Fort Walla Walla, Oregon, on the 7th and 15th of August; crossed Snake River on the 25th and 26th; established a post at the crossing, which was left in charge of Brevet Major Wyse and his company D, 3d artillery; and, after a march of nearly a hundred miles, mostly over a forbidding country, during which they were twice attacked came upon a large body of united Spokan, Coeur d’Alene and Pelouse Indians, of which some four hundred were mounted. After securing his baggage and supplies, by leaving them under the guard of Company M, 3d...

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