North Dakota Indian Battles

Big Mound Bttlefield

Big Mound Battlefield

Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake (1863) – This skirmish occurred in July 1863 in Dakota Territory, between United States Army forces and Santee, Yankton, Yanktonai, and Teton Sioux. The Indians attempted to capture the pack train of the army and retired from the field when they were unsuccessful.

Battle of Big Mound (1863) – The Battle of Big Mound was a United States Army victory in July 1863 over the Santee Sioux Indians allied with some Yankton, Yanktonai, and Teton Sioux in Dakota Territory.

The Battle of Stony Lake (1863) – This was the third and last engagement of Henry Hastings Sibley’s 1863 campaign against the Santee, Yankton, Yanktonai, and Teton Sioux in Dakota Territory. Following the battle, the Indians fought delaying actions against Sibley until their women and children had successfully crossed the Missouri River. Sibley then gave up his chase of them.

Battle of Whitestone Hill (1863) – This was the culmination of the 1863 operations against the Sioux Indians in Dakota Territory. Brigadier General Alfred Sully attacked a village on September 3–5, 1863. The Indians in the village included Yanktonai, Santee, and Teton (Lakota) Sioux. Sully killed, wounded, or captured 300 to 400 Sioux, including women and children, at the cost of about 60 casualties. Sully would continue the conflict with another campaign in 1864 – Sully’s Expedition Against the Sioux in Dakota Territory.

Battle of White Stone Hill, North Dakota.

Battle of White Stone Hill, North Dakota.

Killdeer Mountain (1864) – The Battle of Killdeer Mountain, fought on July 28, 1864, in western North Dakota, was an outgrowth of the 1862 Sioux discontent in Minnesota. Leading more than 3,000 volunteers, Brigadier General Alfred Sully confronted more than 1,600 Sioux in the North Dakota badlands, representing one of the most significant pitched battles in the history of Plains warfare. Sully’s force approached the Indian encampment dismounted in a large square. The soldiers deflected the Sioux charges and drove the warriors from the field. Although casualties were few, Sully was able to destroy vast quantities of Indian stores. The North Dakota State Parks operate Killdeer Mountain Battlefield.

Battle of the Badlands – This skirmish was fought in Dakota Territory, in western North Dakota, between the United States Army led by General Alfred Sully and the Lakota, Yanktonai, and Dakota Indian tribes. The battle was fought August 7–9, 1864, between what are now Medora and Sentinel Butte, North Dakota. It extended the conflict that began in the Dakota War of 1862. Sully successfully marched through the badlands encountering only moderate resistance from the Sioux.

Compiled by Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated March 2023.

Also See:

Indian War Timeline

Indian Wars, Battles & Massacres

Military Campaigns of the Indian Wars

Winning The West: The Army In The Indian Wars