Indian Wars

By: Carson Orange

Sand Creek

Local volunteer militias formed in the West to ensure its safe settlement and development. The Native Americans were growing increasingly intolerant of being pushed on to less desirable territory.

BLACK KETTLE, the local chief, had approached a United States Army fort seeking protection for his people.

On the morning of November 29, a group called the COLORADO VOLUNTEERSsurrounded Sand Creek. In hope of defusing the situation, Black Kettle raised an American flag as a sign of friendship. The Volunteers' commander, COLONEL JOHN CHIVINGTON, ignored the gesture. "Kill and scalp all, big and little," he told his troops.

Some Cheyennes were shot while trying to escape, while others were shot pleading for mercy. Reports indicated that the troops even emptied their rifles on distant infants for sport. Later, Chivington displayed his scalp collection to the public as a badge of pride

Red Clouds War

Chief Red Cloud was a Native American war leader who became an important part of history for his role in fiercely defending his peoples land against the U.S. government.

A time when the United States was attempting to seize Indian territory, he is best known for his long standing opposition to a proposed road through Indian territory.

The two year battle with the U.S. government where Chief Red Cloud fought to protect Indian land in Montana and Wyoming became known as Red Clouds War.

Red River War

The campaign called the Red River War was the last major conflict between the U.S. Army and the southern Plains Indians.

The Red River War led to the end of an entire way of life for the Southern Plains tribes and brought about a new chapter in Texas history.

A number of factors led to the military's campaign against the Indians. Westward-bound settlers came into conflict with the nomadic tribes that claimed the buffalo plains as their homeland during the nineteenth century.

The treaty was destined for failure. Commercial buffalo hunters essentially ignored the terms of the treaty as they moved into the area promised to the Southern Plains Indians.

The promises made by the U.S. government proved largely empty. Food was inadequate and of poor quality, while reservation restrictions were all but impossible for the Indians, who were used to roaming over the plains at will, to understand or accept.

The realization that the buffalo, their main source for survival, was quickly disappearing forced them to fight. For the Indians, this brought retaliation by the U.S. Army, defeat, and confinement to the hated reservations.

Col. Nelson A. Miles was the commander of one of the army columns in the first battle of the Red River campaign.

Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. With Indian prophet Isa-tai, he led some 300 Indians in an attack on buffalo hunters in the Adobe Walls post.

Little Big Horn

The battle of Little Bighorn occurred in 1876 and is commonly referred to as “Custer’s Last Stand”. The battle took place between the U.S. Cavalry and northern tribe Indians, including the Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho.

Under the direction of Sitting Bull, had decided to wage war against the whites for their refusal to stay off of tribal lands in the Black Hills. In the spring of 1876, Sitting Bull and his tribal army had successfully battled the U.S. Cavalry twice.

One of the columns was led by Lt. General George Custer, who spotted a Sioux camp and decided to attack it.

It took less than an hour for the arrows and bullets of the Indians to wipe out General Custer and his men. Despite having won this battle, the Indians were not victorious.

Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota,was the site of two conflicts between North American Indians and representatives of the U.S. government.

An 1890 massacre left some 150 Native Americans dead, in what was the final clash between federal troops and the Sioux. In 1973,members of the American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee for 71 days to protest conditions on the reservation.

the U.S. government worried about the increasing influence at Pine Ridge of the Ghost Dance spiritual movement, which taught that Indians had been defeated and confined to reservations because they had angered the gods by abandoning their traditional customs.

On December 15, 1890, reservation police tried to arrest Sitting Bull, the famous Sioux chief, who they mistakenly believed was a Ghost Dancer, and killed him in the process, increasing the tensions at Pine Ridge.

On the morning of December 29, 1890, the army demanded the surrender of all Sioux weapons. Amid the tension, a shot rang out, possibly from a deaf brave who misunderstood his chief's orders to surrender

The local chief, BIG FOOT, was shot in cold blood as he recuperated from pneumonia in his tent. Others were cut down as they tried to run away. When the smoke cleared almost all of the 300 men, women, and children were dead.

This massacre marked the last showdown between Native Americans and the United States Army.