Indian Wars 17th-19th Century





17th Century

Powhatan Confederacy



Following an initial period of peaceful relations, a 12-year conflict left many natives and colonists dead, but the remaining colonists were victorious.

Pequot War


Connecticut and Rhode Island

The death of a colonist eventually led to the immolation of 600-700 natives. The remainder were sold into slavery in Bermuda.

King Philip's War


Massachusetts and Rhode Island

Philip's attempt to drive out the settlers, beginning at Swansea, Massachusetts, led to slaughter on both sides and his own death.

Pueblo Revolt


Arizona and New Mexico

Led by Popé, Pueblo Indians threw off the Spanish yoke and lived independently for 12 years. The Spanish reconquered in 1692.

French and Indian War


Eastern Woodlands

A contest between France and Britain for possession of North America. For various motivations, most Algonquian tribes allied with the French; the Iroquois with the British.

18th Century

Tuscarora War


Northern Carolina

The Tuscarora under chief Hancock attacked several settlements, killing settlers and destroying farms. In 1713, James Moore and Yamasee warriors defeated the raiders.

Yamasee War


Southern Carolina

An Indian confederation led by the Yamasee came close to exterminating white settlement in their region.

Pontiac's Conspiracy


Ohio River Valley

Warrior chief Pontiac and a large alliance drove out the British at every post except Detroit. After besieging the fort for five months, they withdrew to find food for the winter.

Lord Dunmore's War


Southern Ohio River Valley

Alarmed tribes raided a wave of traders and settlers. Dunmore, governor of Virginia, sent in 3,000 soldiers and defeated 1,000 natives.

Old Northwest Warfare


Ohio and Indiana

Following two humiliating defeats at the hands of native warriors, the Americans won a decisive victory under "Mad Anthony" Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

19th Century

Battle of Tippecanoe


Wabash and Tippecanoe rivers, Indiana

The Prophet, brother of Shawnee chief Tecumseh, attacked Indiana Territory Gov. William Henry Harrison's force at dawn. After hand-to-hand combat, the natives fled.

Creek War


Georgia and Alabama

Militiamen under Andrew Jackson broke the power of Creek raiders who had attacked Fort Mims and massacred settlers. They relinquished a vast land tract.

First Seminole War



The Seminole, defending runaway slaves and their land in Florida, fought Andrew Jackson's force. Jackson failed to subdue them, but forced Spain to relinquish the territory.

Black Hawk War


Northern Illinois and Southwestern Wisconsin

The last native conflict in the area, led by Chief Black Hawk. An unsuccessful attempt by the Sauk and Fox tribes to move back to their homeland.

Second Seminole War


Florida Everglades

Under Chief Osceola, the Seminole resumed fighting for their land. They retreated into the Everglades; Osceola was captured. They were nearly eliminated.

Navajo Conflicts


Arizona and New Mexico

Persistent fighting between the Navajo and the U.S. Army led to their expulsion and incarceration on an inhospitable reservation far from their homeland.

Sioux Wars


Wyoming, Minnesota and South Dakota

Moved across the Mississippi into "Indian Country," the Sioux under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse resisted waves of settlers and prospectors, to keep their hunting grounds.

Rogue River War


Southwestern Oregon

Attacks on Rogue River Valley Indian people were meant to start a war that would employ miners unable to work because of a drought. Indian survivors were forced out to reservations.

Third Seminole War


Florida Everglades

Under Chief Billy Bowlegs, the Seminole mounted their final stand against the U.S. Bowlegs surrendered; he and others were deported to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.

Apache Attacks


New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Mexico

Rejecting reservation life, Apaches under Geronimo, Cochise and others staged hundreds of attacks on outposts. Geronimo finally surrendered in 1886; others fought on until 1900.

Ute Wars

1865-68, 1879


The Ute nation rose episodically against the whites. Mormon settlers were relentlessly overtaking Ute lands and exhausting their resources and wildlife.

Modoc War


Northern California and Southern Oregon

Captain Jack and followers fled from their hardscrabble reservation to the lava beds of Tule Lake, where they held out against soldiers for six months. He was hanged.

Red River War


Northwestern Texas

William T. Sherman led a campaign of more than 14 battles against the Arapaho, Comanche, Cheyenne and Kiowa tribes, who eventually surrendered.

Battle of the Rosebud


Rosebud Creek, Southern Montana

Lakota and Cheyenne under Crazy Horse turned back soldiers commanded by General George Crook, thereby cutting off reinforcements that might have aided Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Battle of the Little Bighorn


Southern Montana

George A. Custer and 250 soldiers under his immediate command confronted Sioux warriors on the Little Bighorn River and were wiped out in the ensuing fight.

Nez Percé War


Oregon, Idaho, Montana

After fighting to keep their home in Wallowa Valley, Chief Joseph led his people on a 1,700-mile retreat to Canada. They surrendered near the border to Nelson Miles' soldiers.

The Wounded Knee Massacre


South Dakota

Following the killing of Sitting Bull, Big Foot took command of the final band of fighting Lakota (Sioux). They were trapped at Wounded Knee Creek and destroyed by the U.S. Army.