In March 1856, about 100 men under Major Gilmore Hays approached the White River from the south to build a blockhouse and ferry. As the lead company of about 11 men came to the White River crossing at Connell’s Prairie on March 10, 1856, they encountered a force of about 150 Nisqually, Klickitat, and Yakama warriors. Within no time, the warriors attacked and when Major Hays and the rest of the men arrived, the warriors spread out to flank the volunteers.
Though outnumbered, only four volunteers were wounded; but the Indians suffered about 30 casualties. The results discouraged the Puget Sound bands, and this was the last comparatively large-scale battle west of the Cascades.
The battle site is just east of present-day Bonney Lake, Washington.
© Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated December 2020.