Rogue River Wars 1855-1856

[ 1855 - 1856 ]

In the mid-19th century the governor of the Washington Territory and the US Army clashed over Indian policy; the governor, supported by white settlers, wanted to remove the Indians to obtain their lands; the army opposed such land grabs. In Oregon's mountainous Rogue River area, the commander of Fort Lane had often interposed his men between the Indians and the settlers, for the latter had begun to attack Indian villages. In October 1855, he moved Indian women and children into the fort for their own safety; then some violent settlers raided the Indian village, killing 27 braves. In reprisal, the Indians slew 27 settlers; the surviving whites made random attacks on Indian camps during the winter. On May 27, 1856, when Fort Lane had arranged for the surrender of the Indians at Big Meadow, the Indians instead attacked the soldiers. Warned of this, the army commander dug in his troops, who used rifles and a howitzer to fight off successive waves of attackers until reinforcements arrived (May 28); the Indians fled, but surrendered within a month, to be herded into reservations on the Pacific coast.

Related Conflicts

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