Indian Wars List and Timeline

July 26, 1865 – Battle of Red Buttes –  On the same day of the Battle of Platte Bridge Station, a wagon train was attacked by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. Custer and 21 soldiers were killed.

General Patrick Connor

General Patrick Connor

August 29, 1865 –  Battle of Tongue River –  The U.S. Cavalry under the command of General Patrick Connor attacked Chief Black Bear’s Arapaho outside present-day Ranchester, Wyoming. This attack caused the Arapaho to join forces with the Sioux and Cheyenne.

August 31, 1865 –  Sawyers Fight – In retaliation for he attack on Black Bear’s village, Arapaho Indians attacked a surveying expedition on the Bozeman Trail in Wyoming.

1866-1868 –  Red Cloud’s War –  Lakota Chief Red Cloud conducts the most successful attacks against the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars. By the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), the U.S. granted a large reservation to the Lakota, without military presence or oversight, no settlements, and no reserved road building rights. The reservation included the entire Black Hills.

December 21, 1866 – Fetterman Massacre –  Fought near Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming, Sioux and Cheyenne ambushed Captain William J. Fetterman and 80 men, killing every one of them.

1867-1875 – Comanche Campaign – Major General Philip Sheridan, in command of the Department of the Missouri, instituted winter campaigning in 1868–69 as a means of rooting out the elusive Indian tribes scattered throughout the border regions of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas.

July 2, 1867 –  Kidder Massacre – Cheyenne and Sioux Indians ambushed and killed a 2nd US Cavalry detachment of eleven men and an Indian guide near Beaver Creek in Sherman County, Kansas.

August 1, 1867 –  Hayfield Fight – Occurring near Fort C.F. Smith, Montana, Territory, the battle pitted a determined stand of 31 soldiers and civilians against more than 700 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors.

Wagon Box Fight Site

Wagon Box Fight Site

August 2, 1867 –  Wagon Box Fight –  Captain James Powell with a force of 31 men survived repeated attacks by more than 1,500 Lakota Sioux warriors under the leadership of Chiefs Red Cloud and Crazy Horse. The soldiers, who were guarding woodcutters near Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming, took refuge in a corral formed by laying 14 wagons end-to-end in an oval configuration.

August 22, 1867 – Battle of Beaver Creek – The Eighteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry was attacked by Indians in Phillips County, Kansas. Two men were killed and 12 seriously wounded.

September, 1867 – Battle of Infernal Caverns – Infernal Caverns is the site of an 1867 battle between U.S. armed forces and Paiute, Pit River, and Modoc Indians.

September 17-19, 1868 –  Battle of Beecher Island – Northern Cheyenne under war leader Roman Nose fought scouts of the U.S. 9th Cavalry Regiment in a nine-day battle.

November 27, 1868 –  Washita Massacre – Lieutenant Colonel George Custer’s 7th cavalry attacked the sleeping Cheyenne village of Black Kettle near present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma. 250 men, women and children were killed.

July 11, 1869 –  Battle of Summit Springs – Cheyenne Dog Soldiers led by Tall Bull defeated by elements of U.S. Army. Tall Bull died, reportedly killed by Buffalo Bill Cody.

January 23, 1870 –  Marias Massacre – White Americans kill 173 Piegans, mainly women, children and the elderly in Montana.

April 30, 1871 – Camp Grant Massacre – A mob of angry citizens from Tucson and their Papago Indian mercenaries clubbed, shot, raped and mutilated 144 Aravaipa Apache people, mostly women and children near Camp Grant. Their actions were taken in “retaliation” for a Gila Apache raid in which six people had been killed and some livestock stolen.

1872-1873 – Modoc War – Fighting northern California and southern Oregon, Captain Jack and followers fled from their reservation to the lava beds of Tule Lake, where they held out against soldiers for six months. Major General Edward Canby was killed during a peace conference—the only general to be killed during the Indian Wars. Captain Jack was hanged for the killing.

December 28, 1872 –  Salt River Canyon Battle – Also called the Skeleton Cave Battle, the U.S. Army won its most striking victory in the long history of Apache warfare at this site in Arizona. About 75 Indians died, and most of the rest were captured.

March 27, 1873 –  Battle of Turret Peak – Fought in south-central Arizona, it was one of the pivotal fights that broke the backs of the Apache and Yavapai in their efforts to resist white encroachment into their lands.

1874-1875 –  Red River War  – Occurring in northwestern Texas William T. Sherman led a campaign of more than 14 battles against the Arapaho, Comanche, Cheyenne and Kiowa tribes, who eventually surrendered.

Adobe Walls, Texas

Adobe Walls, Texas

June 27, 1874 –  Second Battle of Adobe Walls – A combined force of some 700 Comanche, Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Arapaho warriors, led by Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and Isa-tai, attacked the buffalo camp at Adobe Walls in the Texas Panhandle. The hunters held the site and the Indians retreated, but it soon led to the Red River War.

July 4, 1874 – Bates Battle – In a narrow valley Hot Springs County, Wyoming, an Arapaho encampment was attacked by U.S. Army forces under Captain Alfred E. Bates. Bates reported his losses were four killed and five or six wounded, and 25 Arapaho were killed and 100 wounded. Other reports indicate the Arapaho suffered as few as ten casualties.

September 28, 1874 –  Battle of Palo Duro Canyon –  Cheyenne, Comanche, and Kiowa warriors engaged elements of the U.S. 4th Cavalry Regiment led by Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas.

6 thoughts on “Indian Wars List and Timeline”

  1. Hello, I want to know if these conflicts between the Natives and the Europeans lasted until the last 5/6 decades, around ’50s or’60s. Was there any battle during these times. Please help with authentic historical account.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *