Cherokee Chief
Cherokee Chief
Native American Indian (NAI) Profile©

The Indian Wars in the area of the present-day United States began 
in 1540 when the conquistadors of Francisco Vazquez de CORONADO clashed 
with ZUNI warriors of the pueblo of Hawikuh. The wars ended three 
and one-half centuries later, in 1890, when U.S. cavalry troops almost 
wiped out Big Foot's (b. c1825- d. 1890) band of SIOUX at Wounded 
Knee. These two events and the numerous clashes in between were part 
of the continuing struggle for possession of North America. Warfare 
was but one instrument of conquest; diplomacy, trade, disease, and 
assimilation also played significant roles. Warfare, however, was 
a constant theme, one central to understanding the conquest of the 

Colonial Indian Wars
Almost continuous Indian warfare marked the colonial experience in 
North America. Spain established outposts in the area of the Rio Grande 
early in the 17th century with a major aim of converting the PUEBLO 
tribes to Christianity, a program severely retarded by the PUEBLO 
REBELLION of 1680, which drove all Spaniards from the province for 
12 years. 

Zuni (1981 est. pop., 6,999), a North American Indian pueblo in western 
New Mexico near the Arizona border, is inhabited by PUEBLO Indians 
of the Zunian linguistic family. When first contacted by Spanish explorers 
during the 16th century, the Zuni were living in seven villages that 
came to be associated with the mythical Seven Golden Cities of CIBOLA. 
After the unsuccessful Pueblo rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, 
the Zuni were consolidated within the present pueblo, which was constructed 
(c.1695) on the site of one of the original villages.

In the East, English settlers also provoked uprisings as they began 
to spread inland from the Atlantic Coast. A bloody outbreak in Virginia 
in 1622 was followed by the PEQUOT WAR in New England in 1636-37. 

Pequot War
The Pequot War (1637), the first major conflict between Indians and 
whites in New England, set a brutal precedent for subsequent Indian-white 
warfare. Following the killing of Indians by John Stone (1634) and 
the Massachusetts trader John Oldham (1636), the PEQUOTS were reluctant 
to yield the suspected killers. Puritan authorities decided to retaliate, 
a decision reinforced by PEQUOTS hostility toward the new white 
settlements in Connecticut. John ENDECOTT led an expedition that inflicted 
considerable damage on the PEQUOTS before withdrawing. Subsequently, 
Capt. John Mason led a force of New England soldiers together with 
Mohegan and Narragansett warriors against the principal PEQUOTS 
village located near the Mystic River. Arriving undetected on May 
26, 1637, Mason's troops burned the village and slaughtered its PEQUOTS 
inhabitants. During the ensuing weeks soldiers relentlessly pursued 
fleeing PEQUOTS until the tribe was largely destroyed.
(REF: Vaughan, Alden, New England Frontier: Puritans 
and Indians, 1620-1675 (1965).

In most of the English colonies sporadic fighting alternated with 
full-scale war for a century and a half. One of the most violent conflicts 
was KING PHILIP'S WAR of 1675-76 in New England.

Red King Philip's War
King Philip's War (1675-76) was the most destructive Indian war in 
New England's history.  It was named for Philip (Metacom), the son 
of MASSASOIT and sachem (chief) of the WAMPANOAG tribe of Plymouth 
Colony from 1662.  Philip deeply resented white intrusion and domination.  
After maintaining peace with the colonists for many years, he finally became 
a leader in open resistance.  Fighting first broke out at the frontier 
settlement of Swansea in June 1675, after which the conflict between 
Indians and whites spread rapidly across southern New England, involving 
the colonies of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and, to a limited 
extent, Rhode Island.  Some tribes, including the NARRAGANSETTS and 
NIPMUCKS, became active on Philip's side;  others gave valuable assistance 
to the whites.  Indian raiding parties burned many New England towns 
and killed or captured hundreds of colonists.  Eventually, colonial 
forces imposed even greater destruction upon the Indians, until finally 
all resistance was crushed.  The Red King Philip himself was trapped 
and killed in August 1676.
(REF:  Bourne, R., The Red King's Rebellion (1990); 
Church, T., The History of King Philip's War (1989);  Leach, Douglas, 
Flintlock and Tomahawk:  New England in King Philip's War (1958;  
repr.  1966);  Rich, Louise, King Philip's War, 1675-76 (1972).

In the meantime, the imperial contest between Britain and France, 
each power incited and led Indian allies against the other.  By the 
middle of the 18th century this struggle had spread beyond the Appalachian 
Mountains to the Great Lakes region and had become preeminently Indian 
warfare. Although the French enjoyed many advantages in the FRENCH 
AND INDIAN WAR of 1754-63, England finally prevailed.  

In the continuing colonial rivalry, attention soon focused on the 
Forks of the Ohio River, a strategically crucial area claimed by both 
the British and the French but effectively occupied by neither.  In 
1754 the OHIO COMPANY of Virginia, a group of land speculators, began 
building a fort at the Forks only to have the workers ejected by a 
strong French expedition, which then proceeded to construct FORT DUQUESNE 
on the site. Virginia militia commanded by young George WASHINGTON 
proved no match for the French and Indians from Fort Duquesne.  Defeated 
at Fort Necessity (July 1754), they were forced to withdraw east 
of the mountains.

The British government in London, realizing that the colonies by themselves 
were unable to prevent the French advance into the Ohio Valley, sent 
a force of regulars under Gen.  Edward BRADDOCK to uphold the British 
territorial claims.  In July 1755, to the consternation of all the 
English colonies, Braddock's army was disastrously defeated as it 
approached Fort Duquesne.

Again the British looked to the Iroquois League for assistance, 
working through William JOHNSON, the superintendent of Indian affairs 
in the north.  As usual, the Iroquois responded but without much 
enthusiasm. Other tribes, impressed with French power, either shifted 
allegiance to the French or took shelter in an uneasy neutrality.  In 
1755 the British forcibly deported virtually the entire French peasant 
population of Nova Scotia (Acadia) to increase the security of that 
province.  But it was not until May 1756, nearly two years after the 
outbreak of hostilities on the Virginia frontier, that Britain declared 
war on France.  For the time being Spain remained uncommitted in the 
conflict, which was part of the larger SEVEN YEARS' WAR.

Under the effective generalship of the marquis de MONTCALM, New France 
enjoyed victory after victory.  In 1756, Montcalm forced the surrender 
of the British fort at Oswego on Lake Ontario, thereby breaking the 
British fingerhold on the Great Lakes.  A year later he destroyed 
Fort William Henry at the south end of Lake George, dashing British 
hopes for an advance through the Champlain Valley to Crown Point.  The 
northern frontier seemed to be collapsing in upon the British colonies.

England's hold on the Great Lakes region was almost broken in 1763 
with the outbreak of PONTIAC'S REBELLION. The PONTIAC's and alliance 
of the OTTAWA and other tribes stormed Detroit.  The garrison held, 
however, and the so-called conspiracy of PONTIAC collapsed.  In 
that same year England forbade all white settlement beyond the Appalachians.

Pontiac's Rebellion
In 1763, following the British defeat of French forces at Quebec in 
1760, a group of American Indians -- suspecting, correctly, that British 
expansionism posed a greater threat to their survival than the presence 
of the French -- launched an uprising known as Pontiac's Rebellion.

In 1760 British commander Jeffrey AMHERST abruptly ordered an end 
to the distribution of gifts to the Indians, a French practice that 
the Indians had come to rely on. Pontiac, an OTTAWA chief born 
about 1720 near present-day Detroit, assumed leadership of a loose 
confederation of tribes and directed attacks on all British forts 
in the Great Lakes area in the spring of 1763. Eight outposts were 
overrun, and English supply lines across Lake Erie were severed, but 
assaults on Fort Detroit and Fort Pitt failed. At this point news 
arrived of the complete French capitulation and withdrawal from North 
America, and the uprising collapsed in the fall of 1763. Nevertheless, 
the rebellion induced the British to issue a proclamation in October 
1763 forbidding whites to enter Indian territory west of the Appalachian 
Mountains. Pontiac was assassinated by a Peoria Indian at Chaokia, 
Ill., on Apr. 20, 1769.
(REF: Josephy, Alvin M., The Patriot Chiefs (1961); 
Parkman, Francis, History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac (1851); Peckham, 
Howard H., Pontiac and the Indian Uprising (1947); Van Every, Dale, 
Forth to the Wilderness (1961).

The Woodlands Wars of 
the Eastern United States
In the American Revolution the British, as the French had done earlier, 
made extensive use of Indians to fight the colonists. After the war 
settlers pushed west of the mountains, and new fighting erupted.  

North of the Ohio River, in 1790 and 1791, LITTLE TURTLE led 
warriors of the MIAMI, SHAWNEE, and other tribes to victories 
over U.S.  troops.

Along the Kentucky Road, near Dripping Springs in the Cherokee 
Country (Now Kentucky) Warriors BENCH and DOUBLEHEAD and others 
were reported to have "Eat Virginia flesh" in 1793.

Along the Wilderness Road, north of Cumbererland Gap, U.S. 
circuit riders were ambushed and killed, 1793

LITTLE TURTLE and warriors of the MIAMI, SHAWNEE, and other 
tribes, were crushed by Gen.  "Mad Anthony" WAYNE in the Battle 
of FALLEN TIMBERS in 1794.  

Little Turtle
Little Turtle, b. c1751 d. 1812, the great MIAMI Indian chief, led 
the Indians to victory over Gen. Josiah Harmar (1790) and Gen. Arthur 
St. Clair (1791), blocking American expansion into the Lake Michigan 
region. He later led his people against Gen. Anthony Wayne at the 
Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) but was defeated by the Americans 
and deserted by his British allies. Thereafter he counseled peace 
and accommodation. While signing the Treaty of Greenville in August 
1795, he proclaimed, "I am the last to sign it, and I will be the 
last to break it," and, true to his word, he refused to aid the Shawnee 
chief TECUMSEH in later years.
(REF: Dockstader, F., Great North American Indians (1977).

The Shawnee chief, TECUMSEH, carried on, striving to forge a grand 
alliance of tribes west of the mountains.  His dream was shattered 
by the Indiana Territory Governor William Henry HARRISON at the Battle 
of TIPPECANOE in 1811. 

Tippecanoe, Battle of
In the Battle of Tippecanoe (Nov. 7, 1811), Indiana territorial governor 
William Henry HARRISON, with 1,000 U.S. regulars and militiamen, defeated 
the Shawnee Indians on the Tippecanoe River near present Lafayette, 
Ind. The Indians were led by the SHAWNEE PROPHET, brother of their 
chief, TECUMSEH. Harrison's men burned the Indians' chief village, 
the Prophet's Town, and then withdrew. Although it was indecisive, 
the battle made Harrison a national hero.

TECUMSEH, b. 1768, d. Oct. 5, 1813, was a SHAWNEE warrior chief 
who with his brother, the SHAWNEE PROPHET, attempted to stop the 
advance of white settlement in the Old Northwest. TECUMSEH believed 
that Indians must return to a state of purity; that they must forget 
intertribal rivalries and confederate; and that individual tribes 
must not sell land that all Indians held in common. In 1809 tribes 
in the Indiana Territory ceded much of their land to the United States. 
TECUMSEH protested to Gov. William Henry HARRISON, but in vain. 
In the fall of 1811 he determined to carry his message to the CHICKASAW, 
CHOCTAW, and CREEK. He went south, leaving his brother in charge 
at Prophet's Town, near Tippecanoe Creek, a utopian village where 
the Indians were to practice TECUMSEH's principles; before going, 
TECUMSEH warned his brother not to attack Harrison's nearby forces. 
The Prophet ignored the warning and attacked. The Battle of Tippecanoe 
was not decisive, but Prophet's Town was destroyed and Indian resistance 
broken. After TECUMSEH's return, he joined the British against the 
Americans in the WAR OF 1812. As a brigadier general, TECUMSEH 
led 2,000 warriors. He fought at Frenchtown, Raisin River, Fort Meigs, 
and Fort Stephenson. TECUMSEH last battle was the Battle of the 
Thames (War of 1812) at Chatham, Ontario, where, clothed in Indian 
deerskin garments, he was killed leading his warriors iw which the 
Indians once again aided the British.
(REF: Drake, Benjamin, Life of TECUMSEH and of 
His Brother the Prophet (1841; repr. 1969); Eckert, Allan W., The 
Frontiersmen (1967); Icenhower, Joseph B., TECUMSEH and the Indian 
Confederation (1975); Tucker, Glenn, TECUMSEH: Vision of Glory (1956; 
repr. 1973).

War of 1812
The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain 
from June 1812 to the spring of 1815, although the peace treaty ending 
the war was signed in Europe in December 1814.  The main land fighting 
of the war occurred along the Canadian border, in the Chesapeake Bay 
region, and along the Gulf of Mexico;  extensive action also took 
place at sea.
See: SFA-War of 1812

War of 1812 Background
From the end of the American Revolution in 1783, the United States 
had been irritated by the failure of the British to withdraw from 
American territory along the Great Lakes;  their backing of the Indians 
on America's frontiers;  and their unwillingness to sign commercial 
agreements favorable to the United States.  American resentment grew 
during the French Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802) and the Napoleonic 
Wars (1803-15), in which Britain and France were the main combatants.  In 
time, France came to dominate much of the continent of Europe, while 
Britain remained supreme on the seas.  The two powers also fought 
each other commercially: Britain attempted to blockade the continent 
of Europe, and France tried to prevent the sale of British goods in 
French possessions. During the 1790s, French and British maritime 
policies produced several crises with the United States, but after 
1803 the difficulties became much more serious.  The British Orders 
in Council of 1807 tried to channel all neutral trade to continental 
Europe through Great Britain, and France's Berlin and Milan decrees 
of 1806 and 1807 declared Britain in a state of blockade and condemned 
neutral shipping that obeyed British regulations.  The United States 
believed its rights on the seas as a neutral were being violated by 
both nations, but British maritime policies were resented more because 
Britain dominated the seas. Also, the British claimed the right to 
take from American merchant ships any British sailors who were serving 
on them.  Frequently, they also took Americans.  This practice of 
impressment became a major grievance.

The United States at first attempted to change the policies of the 
European powers by economic means.  In 1807, after the British ship 
Leopard fired on the American frigate CHESAPEAKE, President Thomas 
Jefferson urged and Congress passed an EMBARGO ACT banning all American 
ships from foreign trade.  The embargo failed to change British and 
French policies but devastated New England shipping.  Later and weaker 
economic measures were also unsuccessful.

Failing in peaceful efforts and facing an economic depression, some 
Americans began to argue for a declaration of war to redeem the national 
honor.  The Congress that was elected in 1810 and met in November 
1811 included a group known as the War Hawks who demanded war against 
Great Britain.  These men were all Democratic-Republicans and mostly 
from the West and South. Among their leaders were John C.  Calhoun 
of South Carolina, Henry Clay of Kentucky, and Felix Grundy of Tennessee.  
They argued that American honor could be saved and British policies changed 
by an invasion of Canada.  The FEDERALIST PARTY, representing New 
England shippers who foresaw the ruination of their trade, opposed 
war. Napoleon's announcement in 1810 of the revocation of his decrees 
was followed by British refusals to repeal their orders, and pressures 
for war increased.  On June 18, 1812, President James MADISON signed 
a declaration of war that Congress -- with substantial opposition 
-- had passed at his request.  Unknown to Americans, Britain had finally, 
two days earlier, announced that it would revoke its orders.

Campaigns of 1812-13
U.S.  forces were not ready for war, and American hopes of conquering 
Canada collapsed in the campaigns of 1812 and 1813. The initial plan 
called for a three-pronged offensive:  from Lake Champlain to Montreal; 
across the Niagara frontier;  and into Upper Canada from Detroit.  The 
attacks were uncoordinated, however, and all failed.  In the West, 
Gen. William HULL surrendered Detroit to the British in August 1812; 
on the Niagara front, American troops lost the Battle of Queenston 
Heights in October;  and along Lake Champlain the American forces 
withdrew in late November without seriously engaging the enemy.

American frigates won a series of single-ship engagements with British 
frigates, and American privateers continually harried British shipping. 
The captains and crew of the frigates CONSTITUTION and United States 
became renowned throughout America.  Meanwhile, the British gradually 
tightened a blockade around America's coasts, ruining American trade, 
threatening American finances, and exposing the entire coastline to 
British attack.

American attempts to invade Canada in 1813 were again mostly unsuccessful. 
There was a standoff at Niagara, and an elaborate attempt to attack 
Montreal by a combined operation involving one force advancing along 
Lake Champlain and another sailing down the Saint Lawrence River from 
Lake Ontario failed at the end of the year.  The only success was 
in the West. The Americans won control of the Detroit frontier region 
when Oliver Hazard PERRY's ships destroyed the British fleet on Lake 
Erie (Sept.  10, 1813).  This victory forced the British to retreat 
eastward from the Detroit region, and on Oct.  5, 1813, they were 
overtaken and defeated at the battle of the Thames (Moraviantown) 
by an American army under the command of Gen. William Henry HARRISON.  In 
this battle the great Shawnee chief TECUMSEH, who had harassed the 
northwestern frontier since 1811, was killed while fighting on the 
British side.

Campaigns of 1814
In 1814 the United States faced complete defeat, because the British, 
having defeated Napoleon, began to transfer large numbers of ships 
and experienced troops to America.  The British planned to attack 
the United States in three main areas:  in New York along Lake Champlain 
and the Hudson River in order to sever New England from the union;  at 
New Orleans to block the Mississippi;  and in Chesapeake Bay as a 
diversionary maneuver.  The British then hoped to obtain major territorial 
concessions in a peace treaty.  The situation was particularly serious 
for the United States because the country was insolvent by the fall 
of 1814, and in New England opponents of the war were discussing separation 
from the Union. The HARTFORD CONVENTION that met in Connecticut in 
December 1814 and January 1815 stopped short of such an extreme step 
but suggested a number of constitutional amendments to restrict federal 

The British appeared near success in the late summer of 1814. American 
resistance to the diversionary attack in Chesapeake Bay was so weak 
that the British, after winning the Battle of Bladensburg (August 
24), marched into Washington, D.C., and burned most of the public 
buildings.  President Madison had to flee into the countryside.  The 
British then turned to attack Baltimore but met stiffer resistance 
and were forced to retire after the American defense of FORT MCHENRY, 
which inspired Francis Scott KEY to write the words of the "Star-Spangled 

In the north, about 10,000 British veterans advanced into the United 
States from Montreal.  Only a weak American force stood between them 
and New York City, but on Sept.  11, 1814, American Capt.  Thomas 
MACDONOUGH won the naval battle of Lake Champlain (Plattsburg Bay), 
destroying the British fleet. Fearing the possibility of a severed 
line of communications, the British army retreated into Canada.

Peace Treaty and the 
Battle of New Orleans
When news of the failure of the attack along Lake Champlain reached 
British peace negotiators at Ghent, in the Low Countries, they decided 
to forego territorial demands.  The United States, although originally 
hoping that Britain would recognize American neutral rights, was happy 
to end the war without major losses.  The Treaty of Ghent, signed 
by both powers on Dec.  24, 1814, supported, in essence, the conditions 
in existence at the war's onset.  The U.S.  Senate ratified the treaty 
unanimously on Feb.  17, 1815.

Because it was impossible to communicate quickly across the Atlantic, 
the British attack on New Orleans went ahead as planned, even though 
the war had officially ended, and isolated naval actions continued 
for a few months.  In January 1815, Gen.  Andrew JACKSON won a decisive 
victory at New Orleans over the attacking British forces:  the British 
suffered more than 2,000 casualties;  the Americans, fewer than 100.  The 
Indian resistance collapsed after Gen.  Andrew JACKSON smashed the 
CREEKS in 1814 at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, located (near 
Dadeville) in present-day Alabama. The accidental linking of the peace 
treaty with Jackson's victory at New Orleans convinced many Americans 
that the war had ended in triumph.  The Hartford Convention was discredited, 
and a surging nationalism swept the country in the postwar years.

(REF:  Berton, Pierre, Flames across the 
Border (1981; repr. 1988) and The Invasion of Canada (1980;  
repr.  1988); Caffrey, Kate, The Twilight's Last Gleaming:  The 
British against America 1812-1815 (1977); Coles, Harry L., The 
War of 1812 (1965);  Horsman, Reginald, The War of 1812 (1969); 
Mahon, John K., The War of 1812 (1972);  Tucker, Glenn, Poltroons 
and Patriots:  A Popular Account of the War of 1812, 2 vols. (1954).

In the three decades following the War of 1812 the U.S. government 
evolved a policy of moving eastern tribes to new homes west of the 
Mississippi River in order to clear the way for white settlement.  For 
the most part, Indian removal was accomplished by nonviolent though 
coercive measures. Notable exceptions were Florida's SEMINOLE WARS 
(1817-18, 1835-42, 1856-58) and the brief BLACK HAWK WAR (1832) 
in Illinois and present-day Wisconsin.

Seminole Wars
The Seminole Wars were fought between the United States and the 
Seminole Indians of Florida.  The first war (1817-18) resulted from 
a border clash between Georgia frontier dwellers and the Seminoles 
in Spanish Florida, who were harboring runaway slaves and outlaws.  This 
conflict was a factor in Spain's decision to cede Florida to the United 
States in 1819.  The second war (1835- 42) resulted from efforts to 
move the Seminoles to the Western  Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).  Gradually, 
most of them were captured and sent west.  Seminole resistance virtually 
ended in 1842.

(REF:  Mahon, J.K., History of the Second 
Seminole War (1986); Peters, Virginia B., The Florida Wars (1979).

Black Hawk War
The Black Hawk War (1832) was the last major Indian-white conflict 
east of the Mississippi River.  In 1804 representatives of the SAUK 
and FOX tribes signed a treaty abandoning all claims to land in Illinois.  Although 
expected to remove to Iowa, they were permitted to remain east of 
the Mississippi until their former lands were sold.  The Sauk leader, 
Black Hawk (b. 1767- d. 1838), opposed the treaty and rose to prominence 
when he fought for the British during the WAR OF 1812.

When the Indians were finally ordered into Iowa in 1828, Black Hawk 
sought in vain to create an anti-American alliance with the Winnebago, 
Potawatomi, and Kickapoo.  In 1829, 1830, and 1831, Black Hawk's 
band returned across the Mississippi for spring planting, frightening 
the whites.  When the Indians returned in 1832, a military force was 
organized to repulse them.  For 15 weeks Black Hawk was pursued 
into Wisconsin and then westward toward the Mississippi.  He received 
no substantial support from other tribes, some of which even aided 
in his pursuit.  On Aug.  3, 1832, the remnants of his band were attacked 
as they attempted to flee across the river and were virtually annihilated.  Black 
Hawk escaped but soon surrendered.  Imprisoned for a short time, 
he later settled in a Sauk village on the Des Moines River.

(REF:  Black Hawk, Black Hawk:  An 
Autobiography, ed. by Donald Jackson (1833;  repr.  1964);  
Eckert, A.  W., Twilight of Empire (1988); Gurko, Miriam, Indian 
America:  The Black Hawk War (1970);  Hagan, William T., The Sac 
and Fox Indians (1958).

The Later Indian Wars in 
the Western United States
In the mid-19th century the wars spread from the eastern woodlands 
to the plains, mountains, and deserts of the Trans- Mississippi West. 
The territorial acquisitions of the 1840s brought new tribes within 
the limits of the United States and, with the discovery of gold in 
California (1848) shattered the hope for a "Permanent Indian Frontier" 
along the eastern edge of the Great Plains. For four decades, as new 
mineral strikes and other economic opportunities pulled the frontier 
of settlement westward, armed force alternated with negotiation until, 
one after another, the tribes had been brought under subjection.

At first the objective of U.S. military policy was to keep the travel 
routes open and protect the settled areas. A system of military posts 
developed in response to the threat as Indian raiders, their tribal 
ranges invaded, attacked both travelers and settlers. In the 1850s 
military forces defeated rebelling tribes in the Pacific Northwest, 
fought the first skirmishes with the SIOUX and CHEYENNE of the Great 
Plains, and contended indecisively with KIOWA and COMANCHE raiders 
along the Texas frontier and APACHE raiders in the Southwest.

The Civil War diverted white energies momentarily, but the mobilization 
of volunteer armies soon enabled the federal government to field 
greater strength than ever. The Civil War in the WESTERN INDIAN 
TERRITORY (Oklahoma) found citizens of the Five Civilized Tribes 
sharply divided on the question of support for the Confederacy. 
In the final analysis, it was geographical position that 
determined the attitude of each tribe. The CHOCTAWS, wedge 
between Texas and Arkansas, had little choice, and the larger 
tribe on the Red River tipped the balance for the CHICKASAWS, 
also, in favor of the Confederacy.

Partisan conflict dating back to the dispute over westward 
removal pushed the CHEROKEE and the CREEKS toward internal 
conflict. When JOHN ROSS  of the Cherokees took a strong stand 
for neutrality, the RIDGE-BOUDINOT faction of the tribe found 
alliance with the Confederacy more attractive. Inclination of the 
McINTOSH family toward giving the CREEKS support to the South 
stiffened the determination of OPOTHLE YAHOLA in the direction of 
loyalty to the North.

The SEMINOLE tribe, which had been united in opposition to 
Westward removal, became divided through the influence of CREEK 
partisans and the vigor of Confederate diplomacy.

Nearly all CHOCTAWS and CHICKASAWS supported the Confederacy 
until its final destruction. The CHEROKEES, CREEKS, and SEMINOLES  
after an early movement toward cooperation with the Confederacy, 
divided into hostile parties. Eventually the CREEKS enlisted 
1,575 men in the Confederate armies and 1,675 men in the Union 
forces. Union CHEROKEE soldiers numbered 2,220 and Confederate 
Cherokees about 1,400. Colonel JOHN JUMPER'S Confederate 
SEMINOLES outnumbered by Seminole recruits who fought for the 

Shortly after Jul. 12, 1861 DOUGLAS H. COOPER was appointed 
Commander of all the Indian Confederate Troops. It was agreed 
that once these fighting units were formed, they would be 
assigned to General McCULLOCH'S Army of the Frontier. Immediately  
COOPER'S appointment, he issued a call for recruits. Volunteers 
promptly filled the ranks of the First Regiment of Choctaw and 
Chickasaw Mounted Rifles. Shortly afterward, other units were 
quickly formed. The Chickasaw Infantry Regiment was led by 
Colonel WILIAM HUNTER and Colonel MARTIN SHECOE commanded 
Schecoe's Chickasaw Battalion of Mounted Volunteers The latter 
battalion was also known as the Chickasaw Battalion. Lieutenant 
Colonel LEMUAL REYNOLDS was put in charge of the First Battalion 
of Chickasaw Cavalry All of these fighting units had to furnish 
their own mounts and equipment. Their arms were comprised of 
various makes and models of shotguns, rifles and six-shooters.

Generally, the Chickasaws units were used to fight defense 
missions from Fort Washita and Fort Arbuckle. They were included 
in the Confederate force that was defeated at the Battle of Honey 
Spring. After the Union seized Fort Smith, the Chickasaw troops 
guarded the Arkan and Canadian River's defense line. Later 
Colonel THOMAS WALKER's CHOCTAW-CHICKASAW troops were credited 
with turning the tide in favor of the Confederate forces at 
Poison Springs.

Governor P. P. PITCHLYN officially surrendered the Choctaws to 
Colonel ASA C. MATTHEWS on Jun. 19, 1865, at Doakville. General 
STAND WATIE surrendered the Confederate Cherokee troops on June 
23, 1865. It has frequently been reported how STAND WATIE was the 
last Confederate General to lay down his sword. Very little has 
been written regarding the fact that WINCHESTER COLBERT, Governor 
of the CHICKASAW NATION, did not officially surrender the 
Confederate Chickasaw Troops until Jul. 14, 1965.

Between 1861 and 1865 U.S. volunteer forces conquered the NAVAJOS 
of the Southwest and fought with the Great Plains tribes. The 
Minnesota SIOUX outbreak of 1862 took the lives of about 800 
settlers amid scenes of savagery. 

At Sand Creek, in Colorado Territory, volunteer troops in 1864 
perpetrated barbarities on BLACK KETTLE's Cheyennes rivaling 
those of the SIOUX in Minnesota.

Sand Creek Massacre
At the Sand Creek Massacre, a Colorado militia force slaughtered 
at least 150 peaceful Cheyenne Indians who believed themselves to 
be in protective custody. Following a rush of gold miners into Colorado 
in 1861, the CHEYENNE and ARAPAHO tribes were forced into the desolate 
Sand Creek reservation in southeastern Colorado. When whites continued 
to inundate the territory, the Indians reacted by attacking the stage 
coach lines to Denver. On Nov. 29, 1864, without warning, the Colorado 
Volunteers led by Col. John Chivington attacked a peaceful band of 
Cheyenne, led by BLACK KETTLE, encamped at Sand Creek. Women and 
children were indiscriminately killed in the massacre; estimates of 
Indian deaths ranged from 150 to 500.
(REF: Hoig, Stanley, The Sand Creek Massacre (1961).

Heavy fighting continued into the postwar years, highlighted by the 
Fetterman Massacre of 1866, when a detachment from Fort Phil Kearny, 
Wyo., was ambushed on the BOZEMAN TRAIL and wiped out. A new government 
policy of "conquest by kindness" ultimately flowered in President 
Ulysses S. Grant's "Peace Policy," however.

Fetterman Massacre 
Treaties with the Indians and cavalry stations at Forts Bridger, Laramie, 
Fetterman, and elsewhere protected the early travelers, but attacks 
increased during the Civil War after the BOZEMAN TRAIL in northeastern 
Wyoming was blazed across Indian hunting grounds in 1863 by the Whites.  Two 
major Wyoming battles during the ensuing hostilities were the Fetterman 
Massacre of 1866, in which Lt. Col.  W.  J. Fetterman and 81 men 
from Fort Phil Kearny were killed by Sioux Indians under Chief Red 
Cloud, and the Wagon Box fight of 1867, in which more than 1,000 
Sioux were driven back by Capt.  James Powell.

In a series of treaties in the late 1860s representatives of many 
western tribes promised to settle their people on reservations. The 
Peace Policy did not, however, bring peace. The wars that followed 
were fought to force tribes onto reservations they had supposedly 
already accepted or to return them to reservations that they had fled 
once they discovered the harsh realities of life there.

MODOC war of 1872-73
Kintpuash (c.1837-73), also called Captain Jack, was a MODOC 
headman and leader in the Modoc War (1872-73), a series of battles 
between the Modoc and the U.S. Army. A native of northeastern California, 
Kintpuash was settled (1864) with other Modoc on the Klamath reservation 
in Oregon. He and others later returned to their California homeland, 
requesting a reservation there. In late 1872 a detachment of U.S. 
troops attempted to arrest Kintpuash and his small band and force 
them to return to the Klamath reservation. The Indians resisted; several 
soldiers and Indians were killed. Kintpuash fled with his band to 
the nearby Lava-beds, where they met other Modoc runaways.

White authorities arranged a peace conference. Kintpuash, formerly 
an advocate of peace, was asked by other leaders to prove his commitment 
to resistance by killing white negotiators if they did not meet Indian 
demands. When the whites refused to compromise, Kintpuash shot Gen. 
Edward Canby and another commissioner and fled. A large military force 
besieged the Indians in the Lava-beds. Kintpuash skillfully directed 
the Indian defense; his 50-odd warriors and their families stood off 
nearly 1,000 U.S. troops for more than 9 months. Kintpuash was finally 
captured, however, and he and three other headmen were summarily tried 
and hanged. The surviving warriors and their families were shipped 
to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

Other conflicts were those with the SIOUX and CHEYENNES of the northern 
Plains from 1876 through 1881, notably the now legendary Custer's 
Last Stand  -- the Battle of Little Bighorn, in which more than 
200 men under Gen. George A. CUSTER perished on June 25, 1876. 

Little Bighorn
The Battle of the Little Bighorn, fought on June 25, 1876, was one 
of the crucial engagements in the INDIAN WARS of the American West.  Gold 
was discovered in the Black Hills of the Dakotas in 1874, and swarms 
of white prospectors rushed into the area.  The SIOUX, who had been 
granted sole use of the region by a treaty of 1868, and the CHEYENNE 
Indians opposed the white incursions.  In 1876 a large-scale campaign 
was planned to end Indian resistance, and the U.S.  Seventh Cavalry, 
commanded by Col. George A.  CUSTER, was sent to find the position 
of the Sioux chief, SITTING BULL, and the war leader, CRAZY HORSE.

On June 24, Custer discovered the Sioux camp on the Little Bighorn 
River in Montana.  Believing speed to be necessary -- and vastly 
underestimating the strength of the combined Sioux and Cheyenne forces -- 
Custer prepared for immediate attack.  He divided his force into three 
battalions, one commanded by himself and the other two by Maj.  
Marcus A.  Reno and Capt. Frederick A.  Benteen.  Reno and Benteen 
were to attack from upstream while Custer led some 265 men in a direct 
charge on the camp.  In that attack, known as Custer's Last Stand, every man 
in Custer's battalion, including Custer, was killed.  There has long 
been controversy over the role of the other two battalions, particularly 
as to whether they could have come to Custer's rescue.  Despite their 
victory, most of the Sioux had been expelled from the Black Hills 
by the end of 1876.  The site of the battle is now a National Monument.
(REF:  Graham, W.  A., The Story of the Little 
Bighorn, 2d ed. (1959;  repr.  1988);  Miller, David, Custer's Fall: 
The Indian Side of the Story (1985);  Sandoz, Mari, Battle of the 
Little Big Horn (1966).

SIOUX and CHEYENNE resistance ended with the surrender of the Sioux 
chief, SITTING BULL, in 1881. The Red River War of 1874-75 finally 
brought peace to the southern Plains and Texas as KIOWAS, COMANCHES, 
CHEYENNES, and ARAPAHOES accepted life on reservations. 

The dramatic flight (1877) of Chief JOSEPH and the NEZ PERCE from 
Idaho across more than 1,500 miles of the American Northwest, almost 
to Canada; the Bannock-Paiute uprising of 1878 in Idaho and Oregon; 
and the UTE outbreak of 1879 in western Colorado. The long and bloody 
Apache Wars of New Mexico and Arizona closed in 1886 when GERONIMO 
surrendered for the last time. 

Wounded Knee, the tragic last clash of reservation SIOUX with 
U.S. troops in 1890, marked the end of the Indian Wars -- in the very 
year that the U.S. Census recorded the disappearance of a frontier 
of settlement.

Wounded Knee
The Wounded Knee massacre (Dec. 29, 1890), at Wounded Knee Creek 
in the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation, S.Dak., was the last major clash 
between federal troops and American Indians.

Fearing that the Sioux's new GHOST DANCE religion might inspire 
an uprising, the authorities sent troops to arrest tribal leaders. 
On December 15, Chief SITTING BULL was killed during an attempted 
arrest. Then, on December 28, Chief Big Foot's followers were apprehended 
and brought to Wounded Knee. A shot rang out after they were ordered 
to disarm, and the troops opened fire, killing Chief Big Foot and 
many others. Those who survived were pursued and butchered. Among 
the 300 Sioux killed were many women and children.

On Feb. 28, 1973, members of the AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT AIM seized 
the village of Wounded Knee and challenged federal authorities to 
repeat the massacre. After 72 days, the death of two, and the wounding 
of many Indians, they surrendered, having drawn attention to Sioux 

 & Reference Notes!

        Andrist, Ralph K., The Long Death:
        The Last Days of the Plains Indian (1964);

        Brown, Dee, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1971);

        McLeod, William C., The American Indian Frontier (1928);

        Prucha, Francis Paul, The Sword of the Republic:
        The United States Army on the Frontier, 1783-1846 (1969);

        Utley, Robert M., The Last Days of the Sioux Nation (1963).
        Utley, Robert M., Frontiersmen in Blue:
        The United States Army and the Indian, 1848-65 (1967),

        Utley, Robert M.,Frontier Regulars:
        The United States Army and the Indian, 1866-91 (1973),

        Utley, Robert M., The Indian Frontier of the American West;
        1846-1890 (1984);

        Utley, Robert M., and Washburn, Wilcomb,
        The American Heritage History of the Indian Wars (1977).

        File: NA_VOL05.TXT
        Revised: Jan. 15, 1995
        By: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
            [email protected] 

End of File!

NAI - Index
SFA - Index

Would like to Exchange and Share information on SARRATT / SARRETT / SURRATT Families, contact me at:
E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Auburn, CA.

Text - Copyright © 1996-2001 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Created: Dec. 01, 1996; Aug. 10, 2001