NATIVE AMERICAN LEGENDS
Military Campaigns of the Indian Wars
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Northwest War - 1790-1795
Tippecanoe - 1811
Creek - 1813-1814, 1836
Seminole - 1817-1818, 1835, 1842, 1855, 1858
Black Hawk - 1832
Comanche - 1867-1875
Modoc - 1872-1873
Red River War of Texas
Apache - 1873, 1885-1886
Little Big Horn - 1876-1877
Perce - 1877
Bannock - 1878
Ute - 1879-1880
Pine Ridge - 1890-1891
The Battle of the
Bighorn, painting by Charles Russell, 1903
This image is available for photographic
Treaty of Greenville, Ohio.
This image is available for photographic
Old Northwest War (January, 1790 - August, 1795) - Called the Miami
Campaign by the U.S. Military, this war erupted In the late 1780's as settlers
wished to push into the "Old Northwest," now present-day Ohio and Indiana.
Indians, chiefly the Miami and Indiana tribes, resisted this
expansion. Three separate expeditions of military forces were soon sent in to
remove this obstacle to expansion.
In the fall of 1790 a force of 320 regular army
troops, along with 1,000 Kentucky and Pennsylvania militiamen led by Brigadier
General Josiah Harmar, moved north from Fort Washington (Cincinnati), but were
badly defeated in two separate engagements on October 18th and 22nd in the
vicinity of present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana.
then commissioned Governor Arthur St. Clair of the Northwest Territory as a
Major General. St. Clair then collected a force of about 2,000 troops who
advanced north from Fort Washington in September, 1791, building a road and
forts as it progressed. However, on November 3-4, the troops were surrounded by
the Indiana tribe, who killed 637 of St. Clair's men and wounded another 263.
The defeated troops returned to Fort Washington.
reacted to these disasters by doubling the authorized strength of the Regular
Army in 1792 and appointed Anthony Wayne to succeed St. Clair. Major
General Wayne joined his troops near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in June, 1792.
Moving his men to Fort Washington in the Spring of 1793, Wayne reorganized the
soldiers and began extensive training programs.
trying unsuccessfully to negotiate peace with the Indians, the troops moved
north once again in October, building additional fortifications along the way.
In the spring of 1794, they built Fort Recovery at the site of St. Clair's
defeat. In June, the fort was attacked by the Indians, but the newly reorganized
and trained soldiers forced them to retreat. The following month, Wayne moved
forward with a force of some 3,000 men, pursued the Indians confronting them on
August 15 near Fort Miami (a British outpost.) After a stand-off of several
days, the conflict ended after a two-hour battle on August 20, 1794 that the
Indians defeated. Wayne's troops then destroyed the Indian villages. The
following year, in the Treaty of Greenville, the Indians of the region ceded
their lands in southern and eastern Ohio and the way was opened for rapid
settlement of the Northwest Territory.
Tippecanoe (September 21
- November 18, 1811) - The spread of settlements in the "Old Northwest"
created additional tension with other tribes. In 1804, Shawnee
along with his his medicine man brother, the Prophet, gained British backing and
began serious efforts to form a new Indian confederacy in the Northwest.
Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory rejected Tecumseh's
demand that settlers be kept out of the region. In the summer of 1811 Harrison,
with the approval of the War Department, undertook to break up the confederacy
before it could organize a major attack against the settlements.
September, 1811 Harrison led a well-trained force of nearly 1,000 troops up the
Wabash River. After building Fort Harrison at Terre Haute, Harrison marched with
800 men toward the main Indian village on Tippecanoe Creek. On November 6, 1811,
Harrison encamped near the village and tried to negotiate a peace settlement
with the Prophet, as Chief Tecumseh was absent. However, at dawn the next
morning, the Shawnee attacked Harrison's forces. Though the battled ended in an
indecisive victory, with both sides having about the same amount of casualties,
the U.S. forces were able to destroy the Indian village and cause them to flee.
Though this battle temporarily reduced the Indian
threat in the region, the battle did not solve the area "Indian problems" in the
Old Northwest. Instead, the Indians were to make common cause with the British
War of 1812.
Battle of Tippecanoe, chromolithograph by
Kurz & Allison, 1889.
This image available for
photographic prints and downloads
(July 27-August 9, 1814 and February, 1836 - July, 1837) - Since the
early 19th century, the Creek
of present-day Georgia and Alabama were deeply troubled by the continuing
encroachment of white settlers onto their lands. Though tribal leaders initially
counseled neutrality and peace, this would change when Shawnee Chief Tecumseh visited the southern tribes, urging a
confederation to end the encroachment on their lands and to maintain their way
of life. He won many ardent supporters among the younger warriors, who joined
with the northern Indians and the British.
The first of the
Creek campaigns constituted an
initial phase of the War of 1812, as a series of raids were launched against
white settlements. Later, the war reached crisis proportions when the Upper
Creek, along with British soldiers, sacked Fort Mims, Alabama in August, 1813,
massacring more than 500 men, women, and children.
Indians, grown to
a force of about 900 warriors, were decisively beaten at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama
in late March, 1814 by Andrew Jackson and his force of about 2,000 troops, plus
several hundred friendly Indians.
Eventually, the vast majority of Creek Indians
Indian Territory in 1832. Most of the rest of
Creek who remained the
Southeast were also moved to Indian Territory in 1836-37, after participating in
the Second Seminole War.
Continued Next Page
Battles, Campaigns and Massacres of the Indian Wars
Frontier Skirmishes between the Pioneers & the Indians
Indian War List and Timeline
Three Indian Campaigns
Indian Wars of the Frontier West
War of 1812, by William Charles.
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