Indian Wars, Battles & Massacres Across America

I have no more land
I am driven away from home
Driven up the red waters
Let us all go
Let us all go die together
— Anonymous Creek Woman

From the earliest European visitors to the period of Westward Expansion, white settlers encountered American Indians. Though many of these meetings were peaceful, the cultures more often clashed, resulting in hundreds of battles and skirmishes between the Indians and pioneers encroaching upon their lands, as well as conflicts between the tribes and the U.S. Army. Though confrontations with the Indians virtually occurred since the first European explorers and settlers set foot on American soil, the “Indian War period” is primarily referred to as occurring between 1866 and 1890. These many conflicts are often overshadowed by other periods of U.S. history.

A number of the places at which these battles occurred have been designated as National Historic Sites and state parks. Others are simply designated with a historical marker.

Military Campaigns: 

Old Northwest War – 1790-1795
Tippecanoe – 1811
Creek – 1813-1814, 1836
Seminole – 1817-1819, 1835-1842, 1855-1858
Black Hawk – 1832
Comanche – 1867-1875
Modoc – 1872-1873
Apache – 1873, 1885-1886
Little Big Horn – 1876-1877
Nez Perce – 1877
Bannock – 1878
Cheyenne 1878-1879
Ute – 1879-1880
Pine Ridge – 1890-1891

Conflicts by State:

New Mexico
South Dakota


The Army in the Indian Wars

Colonial Era Indian Wars

Diminishing the Indians in California

French and Indian War (1689-1763)

Indian Troubles During the Construction of the Railroad

Indian War Photo Gallery

Indian Wars of the Frontier West by Emerson Hough

Indian Wars Timeline

John Colter’s Escape From the Blackfoot

King Philip’s War (1675-1676)

Nez Perce War (1877)

Pequot War (1636-1637)

Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-1768)

Powhatan Wars (1610-1646)

Sioux Indian Wars

Soldiering Begins in the American West

Three Indian Campaigns

French and Indian War by Jackson Walker.

French and Indian War by Jackson Walker.

When a white army battles Indians and wins, it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre.
– Chiksika, Shawnee
Attack of the Seminole on a block house in Florida, Gray & James, 1837

Attack of the Seminole on a blockhouse in Florida, Gray & James, 1837.

Sioux Warriors.

Sioux Warriors.

No loopholes now are framing
Lean faces, grim and brown; 
No more keen eyes are aiming
To bring the redskin down.

The plough team’s trappings jingle
Across the furrowed field, 
And sounds domestic mingle
Where valor hung its shield.

But every wind careering
Seems here to breathe a song— 
A song of brave frontiering— 
A saga of the strong.

— Arthur Chapman

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