March 5, 2014

Major Indian Wars Timeline


Here is a table of the major indian wars with dates, tribes, and a brief explanation of what each indian war was about.


Conflict Dates Location Summary
17th Century
Powhatan Confederacy 1622-44 Virginia Following an initial period of peaceful relations, a 12-year conflict left many natives and colonists dead, but the remaining colonists were victorious.
Pequot War 1637 Connecticut and Rhode Island The death of a colonist eventually led to the immolation of 600-700 natives. The remainder were sold into slavery in Bermuda.
King Philip’s War 1675-78 Massachusetts and Rhode Island Philip’s attempt to drive out the settlers, beginning at Swansea, Massachusetts, led to slaughter on both sides and his own death.
Pueblo Revolt 1680-92 Arizona and New Mexico Led by Popé, Pueblo Indians threw off the Spanish yoke and lived independently for 12 years. The Spanish reconquered in 1692.
French and Indian War 1689-1763 Eastern Woodlands A contest between France and Britain for possession of North America. For various motivations, most Algonquian tribes allied with the French; the Iroquois with the British.
18th Century
Tuscarora War 1711 Northern Carolina The Tuscarora under chief Hancock attacked several settlements, killing settlers and destroying farms. In 1713, James Moore and Yamasee warriors defeated the raiders.
Yamasee War 1715-1718 Southern Carolina An Indian confederation led by the Yamasee came close to exterminating white settlement in their region.
Pontiac’s Conspiracy 1763 Ohio River Valley Warrior chief Pontiac and a large alliance drove out the British at every post except Detroit. After besieging the fort for five months, they withdrew to find food for the winter.
Lord Dunmore’s War 1774 Southern Ohio River Valley Alarmed tribes raided a wave of traders and settlers. Dunmore, governor of Virginia, sent in 3,000 soldiers and defeated 1,000 natives.
Old Northwest Warfare 1790-94 Ohio and Indiana Following two humiliating defeats at the hands of native warriors, the Americans won a decisive victory under “Mad Anthony” Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
19th Century
Battle of Tippecanoe 1811 Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers, Indiana The Prophet, brother of Shawnee chief Tecumseh, attacked Indiana Territory Gov. William Henry Harrison’s force at dawn. After hand-to-hand combat, the natives fled.
Creek War 1814 Georgia and Alabama Militiamen under Andrew Jackson broke the power of Creek raiders who had attacked Fort Mims and massacred settlers. They relinquished a vast land tract.
First Seminole War 1816-18 Florida The Seminole, defending runaway slaves and their land in Florida, fought Andrew Jackson’s force. Jackson failed to subdue them, but forced Spain to relinquish the territory.
Black Hawk War 1832 Northern Illinois and Southwestern Wisconsin The last native conflict in the area, led by Chief Black Hawk. An unsuccessful attempt by the Sauk and Fox tribes to move back to their homeland.
Second Seminole War 1835-42 Florida Everglades Under Chief Osceola, the Seminole resumed fighting for their land. They retreated into the Everglades; Osceola was captured. They were nearly eliminated.
Navajo Conflicts 1849-63 Arizona and New Mexico Persistent fighting between the Navajo and the U.S. Army led to their expulsion and incarceration on an inhospitable reservation far from their homeland.
Sioux Wars 1854-90 Wyoming, Minnesota and South Dakota Moved across the Mississippi into “Indian Country,” the Sioux under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse resisted waves of settlers and prospectors, to keep their hunting grounds.
Rogue River War 1855-56 Southwestern Oregon Attacks on Rogue River Valley Indian people were meant to start a war that would employ miners unable to work because of a drought. Indian survivors were forced out to reservations.
Third Seminole War 1855-58 Florida Everglades Under Chief Billy Bowlegs, the Seminole mounted their final stand against the U.S. Bowlegs surrendered; he and others were deported to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
Apache Attacks 1861-1900 New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Mexico Rejecting reservation life, Apaches under Geronimo, Cochise and others staged hundreds of attacks on outposts. Geronimo finally surrendered in 1886; others fought on until 1900.
Ute Wars 1865-68, 1879 Utah The Ute nation rose episodically against the whites. Mormon settlers were relentlessly overtaking Ute lands and exhausting their resources and wildlife.
Modoc War 1872-73 Northern California and Southern Oregon Captain Jack and followers fled from their hardscrabble reservation to the lava beds of Tule Lake, where they held out against soldiers for six months. He was hanged.
Red River War 1874-75 Northwestern Texas William T. Sherman led a campaign of more than 14 battles against the Arapaho, Comanche, Cheyenne and Kiowa tribes, who eventually surrendered.
Battle of the Rosebud 1876 Rosebud Creek, Southern Montana Lakota and Cheyenne under Crazy Horse turned back soldiers commanded by General George Crook, thereby cutting off reinforcements that might have aided Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Battle of the Little Bighorn 1876 Southern Montana George A. Custer and 250 soldiers under his immediate command confronted Sioux warriors on the Little Bighorn River and were wiped out in the ensuing fight.
Nez Percé War 1877 Oregon, Idaho, Montana After fighting to keep their home in Wallowa Valley, Chief Joseph led his people on a 1,700-mile retreat to Canada. They surrendered near the border to Nelson Miles’ soldiers.
The Wounded Knee Massacre 1890 South Dakota Following the killing of Sitting Bull, Big Foot took command of the final band of fighting Lakota (Sioux). They were trapped at Wounded Knee Creek and destroyed by the U.S. Army.

Tribal Timelines
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