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Topic: Indian Wars

Departure for Oregon

At this time I was in San Francisco, preparing to join my company at San Bernardino in Southern California, when I received orders from General Clarke to remain in the city, as my company would shortly be up, on its way to Oregon. Sunday morning, June 12th, it arrived in the steamer Senator and being transferred to the Pacific I at once reported for duty and went on board. Monday was a busy day. The soldiers, after their sea voyage, were naturally restless to visit the city, yet for fear of desertion they had to be watched and confined to the steamer. Military stores of all kinds were to be taken on board, provisions, ammunition, cannon, and a lot of mules. The embarkation of the latter was by no means easy. It required the most forcible arguments to induce them to march up the plank, and one so successfully evaded it, as to drop himself into the water, to the infinite delight of the countless idlers around. Swimming out beyond the wharf into the bay, he seemed to have no settled plan for the future, and so commenced going round in a circle, an amusement which he continued until he was lassoed and dragged again on the wharf. The officers found themselves fully occupied in attempting to keep order in this scene of confusion. At three in the afternoon...

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The Winter of 1855-1856

It will be recalled that Governor Stevens of Washington Territory had been marooned to the northeast by the war. Fort Bennett received him late in the day on December 20, 1855. He had exhibited a rare insight into Indian character in his masterly conduct of treaty negotiations. Governor Stevens had left Walla Walla in June, 1855, with an escort of Nez Perce and had spent some time in establishing a spirit of cooperation with the Kootenai, Pend d’Oreilles, and Flathead tribes before visiting the Blackfeet. In October, having concluded a treaty with the latter tribe, he prepared to return...

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Colonel Wright Arrives with his Regulars

On December 21, 1855, the volunteers in the Walla Walla Valley were faced with a new snow-fall followed by a temperature of 20 degrees below zero. Their equipment and clothing did not con-form to the needs of the weather. Shoes were worn out and many of the men improvised moccasins from rawhide. Blankets and jackets had worn thin. Camp was moved from Fort Bennett to a location several miles north of present-day Walla Walla. There was plenty of beef and ample supplies of potatoes in the new camp and these provisions were supplemented by recovered caches of Indian food...

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The Yakima War, 1855-56

Governor Stevens sent James Doty to notify the tribes of a series of councils to be held in May, 1855, the first of which was to be attended by the Yakima, Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Nez Perce. Kamiakin, chief of the Yakima, selected as the council ground a place in the Walla Walla Valley not far from Waiilatpu. Governor Stevens and Superintendent Palmer were escorted there by Lt. Archibald Gracie and 47 dragoons. The presents for the chiefs were stored at Ft. Walla Walla. Comfortable arrangements were made at the council grounds and on May 24th the first of...

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Battle of Seattle

Governor Stevens soon learned that, as an adjunct to the Yakima War, there had been serious outbreaks in the Puget Sound country and that there was every prospect of more to follow soon. Often designated as “The Battles of Puget Sound” or “The Battle of Seattle” they were really a part of the Yakima War and are detailed here not alone for their intrinsic historical interest but also to show the wide-spread disaffection of the Western Washington tribes. Kamiakin, principal chief of the Yakima, was adept in his use of emissaries to incite and to threaten reprisals on any...

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Affairs Other than Major Rains’ Expedition

Kamiakin was a man of mixed talents and many outstanding characteristics and easily the outstanding Indian personality in the entire Columbia Basin. He was tall, muscular, and very dark, with a bearing that was regal. He had condemned the Cayuses for the Whitman massacre but was true to his race and wanted only the peaceful possession of the country for his people. On the other hand, foreseeing the inroads of the white people and the ultimate consequences, he decided that the only way through which the Indians could continue to hold their lands was by the extermination of the...

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Biography of Peter VanBibber

Peter and Isaac VanBibber, of Holland, came to America and settled in Botetourt Co., Va., previous to the revolution. Peter married Marguety Bounds, and they had Peter, Jr., Jesse, Jacob, James, Joseph, Matthias, Nancy, Sophronia, Ellen, and Olive. James married Jane Irvine, and settled in St. Charles County in 1803. He was Coroner at the time William Hays was killed by his son-in-law, James Davis. In 1817 he removed to Callaway County, and settled on the Auxvasse. His children were Joseph, Irvine, Frances. Lucinda, Melissa, Daniel and Minerva. Joseph was a surveyor and made the government surveys in range eight, west of the fifth principal meridian. Olive VanBibber married Nathan Boone. Isaac VanBibber, Brother of Peter, was Captain of a company in the battle of Point Pleasant, in 1774, and was killed there. He left, a widow and four children John, Peter, Isaac and Rebecca. John and Peter married and settled in Powell’s Valley, East Tennessee. Isaac was born in Greenbriar Co., Va., October 20, 1771, and was only two and a half years old when his father was killed. He was adopted and raised by Colonel Daniel Boone, and at the early age of thirteen years acted as a scout against the Indians in Virginia. In 1800 he came to Missouri with Nathan Boone, and settled first in Darst’s Bottom. During the Indian war he was Major of...

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Biography of Stephen Ham

Stephen Ham lived and died in Madison Co., Ky. He was the father of John, Jabez, and Stephen Ham, Jr. John was born in Kentucky in 1786, and came to Missouri in 1809, and settled in St. Charles County. He joined Nathan Boone’s company of rangers, and served during the Indian war. In 1816 he and Jonathan Crow built a bark tent on Auxvasse creek, now in Callaway County, and lived in it for some time, while they were engaged in hunting. They were, therefore, probably the first American settlers within the limits of Callaway County. Ham cut his name on a lone tree in the prairie, which has since borne his name. He was a Methodist preacher. He was married twice, first to a Miss Bennett, by whom he had two children. She died when the children were quite small, and their father took them to their relatives in Kentucky, performing the journey on horse-back, with one of the children before him and one behind. When he came to water courses that were deep enough to swim his horse, he would tie one of the children on the bank, swim across with the other, tie it, and go back for the one he had left. He afterward married a Miss Thomas, and they had six daughters. Mr. Ham was a daring hunter, and there were but few who...

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Biography of George Alvin Uebele

George Alvin Uebele, cashier of the Bank of Burlington, exemplifies in his business career that thoroughness and efficiency which have always characterized the institution which he represents, making it one of the strong financial centers of southeastern Wisconsin. His entire life has been spent in this section of the state, his birth having occurred at Wheatland, Kenosha County, February 25, 1874. His father, Frederick Uebele, a native of Germany, came to America in the early ’50s and settled in Wheatland, near Slades Corners. He was but eight years of age when his parents died and in 1848 the children of the family, of whom he was one of the youngest, came to Wisconsin. He was a young man of twenty-one years when, in 1861, he responded to the country’s call for aid and enlisted in the Ninth Wisconsin Light Artillery. He went to St. Louis and much of his service was in Colorado and the west, fighting the Indians. He experienced many hardships owing to the extremes of heat and cold and starvation conditions which existed. He continued to serve, however, until almost the close of the war, when he received an honorable discharge and with his regiment returned to Wisconsin. Soon afterward Mr. Uebele began farming on his own account and was very successful in the cultivation and management of his property, winning well merited prosperity through his...

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Biographical Sketch of Presley Anderson

Presley Anderson and his wife, Elizabeth Steele, settled in Montgomery Co., Ky., in 1779. Their children were John A. S., James, William, Presley, Jr., Lucy, and Eliza. John A. S., better known as Captain Jack, was a remarkable man in his day, and is well remembered by the old citizens of Montgomery and Callaway counties. We give his history elsewhere. Presley, Jr., married Euphemia Jones, of Tennessee, and settled first in Warren Co., Mo., in 1814, from whence he removed to Montgomery County in 1817, and settled near Brush creek. He brought his family to Missouri on pack-horses, and they occupied Robert Ramsey’s house, near Marthasville, soon after the murder of the family of the latter. The blood was still upon the-floor when they went into the house, and Mrs. Anderson scoured it up before they put their furniture in. During the Indian war Mr. Anderson served as a ranger in Capt. Hargrove’s company, in Illinois. He was a devout Methodist, and the preachers of that denomination held services in his house for many years. The names of his children were Presley, Jr., Joseph, James, William, John, Margaret, Lucy, Elizabeth, and Eliza. James Anderson married Eliza Journey, of St. Charles County, and settled on Brush creek, in Montgomery County. He afterward removed to St. Louis County, where he died. Eliza Anderson married John Dabney, who settled near Middletown in...

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Choctaws Who Served in 1794

Choctaws who served a campaign under General Anthony Wayne in 1794 Mungoohemeter In Leflore’s district Ishlomakahacho Mushulatubbee’s district Atokoli Mushulatubbee’s district Tishlerwelblue Mushulatubbee’s district Achuckmatibi Mushulatubbee’s district Tishumiko Mushulatubbee’s district Hikatibi Mushulatubbee’s district Shikopoomma Mushulatubbee’s district Hepoe Mushulatubbee’s district Pashitunabi Mushulatubbee’s district Pashistubi Mushulatubbee’s district Hollabbee Mushulatubbee’s district Shophanchobi Mushulatubbee’s district Yakkaya Mushulatubbee’s district Jishkeatoka Mushulatubbee’s district Lanchebi Mushulatubbee’s district John Locus Mushulatubbee’s district Hanothomma Mushulatubbee’s district Japenahomma Mushulatubbee’s district Locka Mushulatubbee’s district Falasner Mushulatubbee’s district Okloha Mushulatubbee’s district Hikatibi Mushulatubbee’s district Aholhtina Mushulatubbee’s district Total number now living is 24, and only 20 are provided...

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Origin of the War with the Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and Palouse

The month of May, 1858, was a disastrous one for the army on the Pacific. On the 8th, Colonel Steptoe set out from Fort “Walla Walla, with a small command of one hundred and fifty-nine men, to make a reconnaissance of the country, to examine into affairs at Fort Colville, and to seize some marauders belonging to the Pelouze tribe, who had stolen cattle from the Fort. As this is a feeble tribe, his force was considered quite sufficient to overawe them, while the more powerful tribes through which he was to pass had always professed friendship, and there had been as yet no reason to distrust them. On the morning of the 16th, however, after passing Snake River, he found himself unexpectedly in the face of a force estimated at from one thousand to fifteen hundred Indians. They were Spokans, Pelouzes, Coeur d’Alenes, Yakimas, and warriors of the smaller tribes, all painted and in their war dress, evidently meditating an attack. The hills around were covered with them, and it being evidently impossible under such circumstances to penetrate into the country, it became necessary for his little command to return, and endeavor to make good its way back to Snake river. The train was therefore closed up, and a retrograde move begun. The moment this was done, the attack commenced, and the fight was kept up through the...

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Pacific Northwest Indian Wars

The last of the Indian wars of the Pacific Northwest was fought barely three-quarters of a century ago. People still living have childhood recollections of those perilous days. Those wars have been adequately recorded, either separately or geographically by States as well as in the general histories. However, no one has heretofore compiled the story of all of them into a single history. The period from the early 1840’s to 1879 was filled with danger and death from the warring tribes and is replete with the struggles incident to the settlement of new territory. Blame for hostilities did not always rest with the Indians. These struggles brought out the best and the worst traits in men, white and Indian alike. Their history is sometimes poignant, sometimes tragic, and occasionally humorous.

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Army Life on the Pacific

Colonel Lawrence Kip actively helped lead the campaign against the Nez Perce and other Pacific tribes in the Indian Wars of 1850’s. If somebody is interested in the Indian Wars with the Nez Perce then they would find this detailed report of day to day activities quite interesting.

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The Spokanes in Council

Headquarters Expedition against Northern Indians Camp on the Ned-whauld River, W. T. Lat. 47 Deg., 24 Min. N. September 24, 1858 Sir: I have the honor to submit a continuation of the history of my operations since the 21st, the date of my last communication (No. 18). Marching from my camp on the morning of the 22d, at the distance of three miles we emerged from the woods onto the open prairie, and after pursuing a west-southwest course for eighteen miles over a rolling country thinly studded with pines we reached this place and encamped. Before reaching here I was advised that the whole Spokane nation were at hand, with all their chiefs, headmen, and warriors, ready and willing to submit to such terms as I should dictate. Yesterday at 10 o’clock a. m. I assembled the Indians in council, and after enumerating the crimes they had committed, I made the same demands upon them which had been made upon the Coeur d’Alenes. Speeches were made by the principal chiefs. They acknowledged their crimes, and expressed great sorrow for what they had done, and thank fullness for the mercy extended to them. They stated that they were all ready to sign the treaty and comply in good faith with all its stipulations. The chiefs Garey, Polothin, and Mil-kap-si were present; the first two are Spokane, the last is a...

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