last indian wars

Demonstration in Texas
The French had
installed Maximilian as
Emperor of Mexico in
In May 1865, U.S.
sends 52,000 troops
under Philip Sheridan
to Texas to enforce
demand to leave.
The Last of the Indian Wars
Occur west of the Mississippi.
Vast area, various terrain: plains, desert
Sparked by white expansion.
U.S. seeks to restrict indigenous peoples
to reservations.
Before mid-nineteenth century…
Tribes east of the Mississippi relegated to
reservations or moved west.
“Great American Desert”
Area between the Mississippi and the
mountains not seen as desirable by whites.
Believed Indians could live there undisturbed,
used to justify removal of eastern tribes.
These attitudes change in years before the
Civil War.
Conflicts erupt during the Civil War
1862–64: Great Sioux Uprising, begins in MN.
Most infamous incident:
Battle or Massacre of Sand Creek (CO), Nov. 29, 1864
Purpose of Army on the frontier
Convince native groups to abide by
treaties, move to reservations.
Protect trails, roads, railroads and white
Campaign against recalcitrant, violent
Warfare on the western frontier
Indians employ ambush, hit-and-run
tactics, avoid pitched battles.
Native groups nomadic.
Horses provide mobility.
Army will resort to attacks on camps for
“decisive” results
Will also employ friendly Indians as scouts
Conflict along the Bozeman Trail
Sioux led by Red Cloud resist white encroachment, 186668.
Warriors ambush and kill all 81 men under Capt. William
Fetterman near Ft. Phil Kearny, Dec. 21, 1866.
Indian communities targets
To force tribes of the southern Plains to
enter reservations, General Philip Sheridan
planned a campaign against native winter
camps at the end of 1868.
Sent multiple columns from different
Main engagement of the campaign featured
Lt. Col George A. Custer’s 7th Cavalry
Washita River, Nov. 29, 1868
Custer attacks Black Kettle’s Camp.
Red River War, 1874-75
Sparked in part by
killing of buffalo by
white hunters.
Featured numerous
including Army attack
on winter camp
Leads to subjugation
of southern Plains
Conflicts with Northwestern Tribes
Modoc War,
Nez Perce
War, 1877
Southwest: Problems with the
Hostilities last until 1886.
Featured command of General George Crook
(1871-75, 1882-86).
Fighting ends with surrender of Geronimo.
Little Big Horn, June 25, 1876
Custer’s detachment of the 7th Cavalry