In late February, Captain Erasmus D. Keyes and his troops captured Klickitat Chief Kanaskat, who had instigated the attack on Lieutenant William A. Slaughter and his men on December 4, 1855, at Brennan’s Prairie. While apprehending him, the chief struggled furiously and soldiers shot him in the back. When he continued to struggle, Corporal O’Shaughnessy shot him in the head.
In retaliation, about 200 warriors of various Puget Sound tribes struck the camp of Lieutenant August V. Kautz and his troops on March 1, 1856, who were encamped on the White River, not far from the site of Slaughter’s fight. Lieutenant Kautz sent for help, and Captain Keyes and his troops soon arrived. Together the two forces stormed the Indians, who had taken a defensive position on a hilltop. The warriors then fled. Two soldiers were killed in the fight and eight were wounded, including Lieutenant Kautz. The Indians suffered no casualties. This skirmish occurred near Enumclaw, Washington.
© Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated December 2020.