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1861 Feb 18
At Fort Wise, Kansas, Indian tribes ceded possessions, enough to constitute two great States of the Union, retaining only a small district for themselves on both sides of the Arkansas river, which included the country around Fort Lyon.
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1861 Apr 30
President Lincoln ordered Federal Troops to evacuate Indian Territory.
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1861 Aug 12
Texas rebels were attacked by Apaches.
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1862 Aug 8
Minnesota’s 5th Infantry fought the Sioux Indians in Redwood, Minn., and 24 soldiers were killed.
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1862 Aug 18
A Sioux Uprising began uprising in Minnesota.
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1862 Aug 22
Santee Sioux attacked Fort Ridgely.
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1862 Sep 21
300 Indians were sentenced to hang in Mankato, Minnesota.
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1862 Dec 6
President Lincoln ordered the hanging of 39 of the 303 convicted Indians who participated in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota.
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1862 Dec 26
In Minnesota 38 Santee Sioux were hanged in Mankato for their part in the Sioux Uprising. This marked the end of the US-Dakota War. In 2012 a memorial was unveiled for the 38 hanged men, the largest mass execution in US history.
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1863
The US government paid a group of Nez Perce Indians $265,000 for some 6 million acres in the area of Lewiston, Oregon.
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1863
The Treaty of Ruby Valley with the Western Shoshone Indians assured their ownership of property that later became a US nuclear test site. The treaty stated that the presence of US settlements will not negate Indian sovereignty.
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1863
Army Col. Kit Carson led the forced move of some 9,000 Navahos from Canyon de Chelly in Arizona to a reservation in New Mexico. About half the people survived what came to be known as the Long Walk.
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1864 May 15
In mid-May about daylight Major Downing succeeded in surprising the Cheyenne village of Cedar Bluffs, in a small canon about 60 miles north of the South Platte river. “We commenced shooting. I ordered the men to commence killing them. They lost, as I am informed, some 26 killed and 30 wounded. My own loss was one killed and one wounded. I burnt up their lodges and everything I could get hold of. I took no prisoners. We got out of ammunition and could not pursue them."
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1864 Nov 29
In retaliation for an Indian attack on a party of immigrants near Denver, 750 members of a Colorado militia unit, led by Colonel John M. Chivington, attacked an unsuspecting village of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians camped on Sand Creek in present-day Kiowa County.
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1864
1865
Army Col. Kit Carson, directed by Brig. Gen. James Carleton, forced the move of some 9,000 Dineh Navajo from Canyon de Chelly in Arizona to the Bosque Redondo reservation near Fort Sumner, New Mexico. About half the people survived in what came to be known as the Long Walk. In 2006 Hampton sides authored “Blood and Thunder: An epic of the American West,” an account of the Navaho move.
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1865 Jan 7
Cheyenne and Sioux warriors attacked Julesburg, Colo., in retaliation for the Sand Creek Massacre.
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1865
A surprise attack by settlers wiped out nearly all the Indians of the Yahi tribe, south of Mt. Lassen. Rancher Norman Kingsley and three others shot 30 Yahi, including babies and young children, on Mill Creek. Remnants hid in the mountains for 40 years until there was but one survivor, Ishi, who emerged in 1911.
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1865
1890
Wars against the native American Indians were fought during this period in the Pacific Northwest. In 2003 Peter Cozzens edited: “Eyewitnesses to the Indian Wars, 1865-1890: The Wars for the Pacific Northwest.”
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1866 Sep 1
Manuelito, the last Navaho chief, turned himself in at Fort Wingate, New Mexico.
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1866 Dec 21
Indians led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse killed Captain William J. Fetterman and 79 other men who had ventured out from Fort Phil Kearny to cut wood.
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1866 Dec 26
Native American’s handed the U.S. Army their worst defeat prior to Little Big Horn at the Fetterman Fight in Powder River County in the Dakota territory. [see Dec 21]
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1866
In California the Chico Courant newspaper called for the extermination of Indians.
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1866
Pres. Andrew Johnson signed an executive order that removed the Shoalwater Bay Indians in Washington state from their villages and onto a 1-sq. mile reservation. By 2000 erosion took away over half the tribal land and miscarriages stood at 4 times the expected rate.
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1866
Freed Cherokee slaves were adopted into the tribe under a treaty with the US government. In 2007 the Cherokee Nation voted to revoke citizenship to descendants of the slaves.
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1867 Oct 21
Many leaders of the Kiowa, Comanche and Kiowa-Apache signed a peace treaty at Medicine Lodge, Kan. Comanche Chief Quanah Parker refused to accept the treaty terms.
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1868 Jan 7
A US Indian Peace Commission filed a report to the Pres. Johnson.
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1868 Apr 29
The US government and the Sioux Indians signed another treaty that ended Red Cloud’s War, but it did not last long. The treaty at Fort Laramie (Wyoming) made the Black Hills part of the Great Sioux Reservation.

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1868 Sep 17
The Battle of Beecher's Island began, in which Major George "Sandy" Forsyth and 50 volunteers held off 500 Sioux and Cheyenne in eastern Colorado.
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1868 Nov 27
Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer’s 7th Cavalry killed Chief Black Kettle (b.1801) and about 100 Cheyenne (mostly women and children) on the Washita River near present day Cheyenne, Oklahoma.
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1868
Navaho Indians in New Mexico were allowed to return to their homelands in Arizona.
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1868
Navaho Indians living under confinement near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, were allowed to return to their homelands in Arizona following a visit by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. Some 7,100 survivors of the 1864 Long Walk had been released onto a New Mexico reservation of 5,500 acres. The Navajo returned to Hopi land where 3.5 million acres, 1/6th of their former homeland, was returned.
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1870 Jan 1
In Texas Comanche Indians stole Adolph Korn (10) near the settlement of Castell on the Llano River. The boy spent 3 years with the Indians and upon his return spoke only Comanche, ate raw meat and refused to sleep indoors.
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1870 Jan 23
American army forces, looking for Mountain Chief's band of hostile Blackfoot Indians, fell instead upon Heavy Runner's peaceable Piegan band in Montana and killed 173, many of them women and children.
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1870 Jun 9
Washington: Pres Grant met with Sioux chief Red Cloud.
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1871 Mar 3
Congress passed the Indian Appropriation Act, which revoked the sovereignty of Indian nations and made Native Americans wards of the American government. The act eliminated the necessity of treaty negotiating and established the policy that tribal affairs could be managed by the U.S. government without tribal consent.
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1871 Apr 30
Apaches in Arizona surrendered to white and Mexican adventurers; 144 died.
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1871 Apr 30
Anglo and Mexican vigilantes killed 118 Apaches at Camp Grant, Arizona, and kidnapped 28 children.
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1871 May 17
Gen. Sherman, Indian fighter, escaped in ambulance from the Comanche.
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1871 Aug
Joseph became chief of Nez Perce Indians in the Wallowa Valley, Oregon.
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1871
Brit Johnson, a black Texas ranch foreman, was killed by Kiowa raiders. His home life had been shattered in 1864 when an Indian raiding party killed his son and captured his wife along with 2 of their other children. He reportedly ransomed back his family in 1865 and continued searching for other stolen children before he was killed. Author Alan Le May (1899-1964) later used his story as a model in his novel “The Searchers” (1954).
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Timelines
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1872 Aug 14
Chief Joseph met in council with some 40 settlers in the Wallowa Valley and ordered them to leave the Nez Perce Indian land.
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1872 Oct 12
Chiricahua Apache leader Cochise (d.1874) signed a peace treaty with Special Indian Commissioner, General Oliver Otis Howard (1830-1909), in the Arizona Territory.
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1872 Nov 28
The Modoc War of 1872-73 began in Siskiyou County, northern California when fighting broke out between Modoc Chief Captain Jack and a cavalry detail led by Captain James Jackson.
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1872 Dec 28
A U.S. Army force defeated a group of Apache warriors at Salt River Canyon, Arizona Territory, with 57 Indians killed but only one soldier.
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1872
The Osage Indians purchased close to 2,300 square miles in the Oklahoma Territory from the Cherokee and created the Osage Reservation.
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1873 Jun 16
Pres. Grant signed an executive order that permitted Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce to live in the Wallowa Valley, Oregon, to perpetuity.
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1873 Oct 3
Captain Jack and three other Modoc Indians were hanged in Oregon for the murder of General Edward Canby.
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1873 Nov 19
James Reed and two accomplices robbed the Watt Grayson family of $30,000 in the Choctaw Nation.
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1874 Jul 2
Colonel Custer departed from Fort Abraham Lincoln with some 1,000 soldiers and 70 Indian scouts on a 1200 mile expedition to chart the Black Hills of eastern Wyoming western South Dakota, land which belonged to the Sioux. The expedition returned on August 30.
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1874 Aug 2
Gold was discovered in the Black Hills of western South Dakota during an expedition led by Colonel Custer. The land belonged to the Sioux but was invaded by prospectors. Sioux leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull retaliated.
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1874 Sep 28
Colonel Ranald Mackenzie (d.1889) raided a war camp of Comanche and Kiowa at the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, Texas, slaughtering 2,000 of their horses.
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1874 Oct 4
Kiowa leader Santanta, known as "the Orator of the Plains," surrenders in Darlington, Texas. He was later sent to the state penitentiary, where he committed suicide October 11, 1878.
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1874
1875
The Gatling gun was first used against the Comanche Indians at the Battle of Red River in the Texas Panhandle.
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1874
Capt. James Cass of Bristol, England, built a wharf and pier named Cass Landing on the north end of Morro Bay, Ca., to facilitate the loading of ships carrying lumber, staples and dairy products between the Central Coast and San Francisco. It became the town of Cayucos, carved from the Morro y Cayucos Rancho. The name was after a unique plank canoe (cayuco) invented by the local Chumash Indians.
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1875 Jun
Nez Perce Chief Joseph learned that had rescinded the executive order of 1873 and reopened the Wallowa Valley to white settlement.
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1875
The Quahadi Comanches, led by Quanah Parker (c.1852-1911), gave up their fight and settled on Indian Territory in Oklahoma after hunters slaughtered the great buffalo herds of the Texas panhandle.
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1876 Mar 17
Gen. Crook destroyed Cheyenne and Ogallala-Sioux Indian camps.
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1876 Jun 17
General George Crook’s command was attacked and bested on the Rosebud River by 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Crazy Horse.
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1876 Jun 17
General George Crook’s command of 1300 men with friendly Crow and Shoshone scouts was attacked and bested on the Rosebud River, Montana, by 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Crazy Horse.
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1876 Jun 25
In the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana, Gen. George A. Custer and some 250 men in his 7th Cavalry were massacred by the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. To crush the Plains Indians and drive them onto reservations, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and more than 600 7th Cavalrymen and Indian scouts advanced on an Indian encampment in the Little Bighorn Valley of Montana. Custer's main concern was to keep the Indians from escaping, but on this day, he faced the biggest alliance of hostile Plains Indians--mostly Sioux and Cheyenne--ever gathered in one place. Custer and his entire personal command, about 210 soldiers, were wiped out. The site is near a region where paleontologist Prof. Edward Drinker Cope dug for dinosaur fossils just a few days after the massacre. Custer and his cavalrymen had attacked an encampment of 2,000 to 4,000 Lakota, Cheyenne and other Indians. Up to 300 Indians possessed Henry and Winchester repeating rifles.
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