Battle of Brennan’s Prairie, Washington


Lieutenant William A. Slaughter

Lieutenant William A. Slaughter

On December 4, 1855, Lieutenant William A. Slaughter and his troops of about 40 soldiers were encamped on Brennan’s Prairie, just east of present-day Auburn, Washington. Slaughter and his men had joined forces with Major Granville Haller’s troops at the Battle of Toppenish Creek on October 6-8, 1855, as well as the skirmish at the White and Puyallup Rivers in early November.

On November 3rd, Lieutenant Slaughter and his men attacked a group of the Nisqually tribe and claimed 30 Indians were killed. Later that month, on November 24th, they lost about 40  horses in an Indian night raid. On December 3rd, he was joined by Captain Gilmore Hays and a detachment of Washington Militia. The next day, the joint force set up camp where the Green and White Rivers flow about a mile apart. That night, the troops were surprised by a group of warriors from the Puyallup, Nisqually, and Klickitat tribes, led by Klickitat Chief Kanaskat. Firing upon the sleeping troops, Lieutenant Slaughter and three other soldiers were killed before the warriors withdrew into the darkness.

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated December 2020.

Also See:

Index of Tribes

Indian Conflicts of Washington

Washington – The Evergreen State

Yakima War