Battle of Big Hole – August 9-10, 1877, Nez Perce War, Nez Perce
Battle of Alkali Creek – September 1, 1865, Powder River War, Sioux
Battle of Dry Creek – September 8, 1865, Powder River War, Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho
Hayfield Fight – August 1, 1867, Red Cloud’s War, Cheyenne, and Sioux
Battle of Sixteenmile Creek – April 7, 1869, Blackfoot
Marias Massacre – January 23, 1870, Blackfoot
Battle of Bighorn River – August 11, 1873, Sioux
Battle of Powder River – March 17, 1876, Great Sioux War of 1876, Cheyenne and Sioux
Battle of the Rosebud – June 17, 1876, Great Sioux War of 1876, Cheyenne and Sioux
Battle of the Little Bighorn – June 25–26, 1876, Great Sioux War of 1876, Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho
Battle of the Cedar Creek – October 21, 1876, Great Sioux War of 1876, Sioux, Shoshone, Crow
Battle of Wolf Mountain – January 8, 1877, Great Sioux War of 1876, Cheyenne and Sioux
Battle of Little Muddy Creek – May 7, 1877, Great Sioux War of 1876, Cheyenne and Sioux
Battle of the Big Hole – August 9–10, 1877, Nez Perce War, Nez Perce, and Palouse
Battle of Canyon Creek – September 13, 1877, Nez Perce War, Nez Perce, and Crow
Battle of Bear Paw – September 30 – October 5, 1877, Nez Perce War, Nez Perce
Battle of Pumpkin Creek – February 7, 1880, Sioux
Battle of Milk River – July 17, 1879, Sioux
Battle of Poplar River – January 2, 1881, Sioux
Battle of Crow Agency – November 5, 1887, Crow
Before the state of Montana was carved into vast ranches, it was the last great hunting ground of the Northern Plains and called home to numerous Indian Tribes. With Westward Expansion, the territory was threatened by new settlers, and the Native Americans fought back.
Montana’s Indian Wars can mostly be condensed into three groups: The Blackfeet Wars of northwestern Montana, the Nez Perce’s 1,170-mile march from eastern Oregon to Canada, and the well-chronicled Great Sioux War of 1862, the battles of which were led by Chiefs Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Dull Knife, Two Moons and others against the likes of Generals George Custer, Nelson Miles, George Crook, Alfred Terry, and other cavalry leaders. These bands of Sioux and Cheyenne were the last holdouts in the northern plains against white incursion.
© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.
Indian Wars, Battles & Massacres