Bannock Military Campaign


Bannack Indians

Bannack Indians

Bannock (1878) – The Bannock, Paiute, and other tribes of southern Idaho threatened rebellion in 1878, partly because of dissatisfaction with their land allotments. Many of them left the reservations, and Regulars of the 21st Infantry, 4th Artillery, and 1st Cavalry pursued the fugitives. Captain Evan Miles so effectively dispersed a large band near the Umatilla Agency on July 13, 1878, that most of the Indians returned to their reservations within a few months.

The Sheepeaters, mountain sheep hunters, and outcasts of other Idaho tribes raided ranches and mines in 1879. Relentless pursuit by elements of the 1st Cavalry and 2d Infantry compelled them to surrender in September of that year.

After the Bannock War of 1878, the American government restricted the movements of the Bannock in and out of the Fort Hall Reservation. Connections with other tribal groups were restricted, as well as the Bannock freedom to use local resources. Subdued from the battles and lack of resources, the Bannock worked to construct a  community within the reservation.

Other Bannock and Paiute prisoners were interned at the Malheur Reservation in Oregon. While the Paiute had been more peripherally involved, in November 1878, General Howard moved about 543 Bannock and Paiute prisoners from the Malheur Reservation to internment at Yakama Indian Reservation in southeastern Washington Territory. They suffered privation for years. In 1879 the Malheur Reservation was closed, “discontinued” through pressure from settlers.

Northern Paiute from Idaho and Nevada were eventually released and relocated from Yakama to an expanded Duck Valley Indian Reservation with their Western Shoshone brethren in 1886.


Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated December 2017.


U.S. Army Center of Military History


Also See:

Battles and Massacres of the Indian Wars

Indian War List and Timeline

Indian Wars

Three Indian Campaigns

Indian Wars of the Frontier West by Emerson Hough


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