Shoshoni raids under Chief Bear Hunter during the winter of 1862-63 provoked Federal retaliation. Troops under Col. Patrick E. Connor set out from Ft. Douglas, Utah, in the deep snow of January 1863 towards Chief Bear Hunter's camp, 120 miles north near present-day Preston, Idaho. The Native American camp included about 300 Shoshoni warriors defensively placed in the Battle Creek ravine west of Bear River with high embankments in which the Indians had cut access trails.
Shortly after dawn on January 29, Connor's troops appeared across the river and began crossing. Before all of the men had crossed and Connor had arrived, some troops made an unsuccessful frontal attack which the Indians easily repulsed inflicting numerous casualties. When Connor took over, he sent troops to where the ravine debouched through the bluffs.
Some of these men covered the mouth of the ravine to prevent any escape while others moved down the rims, firing on the Indians below. This fire killed many of the warriors, but some attempted to escape by swimming the icy river where other troops shot them.
The battle stopped by mid-morning. The troopers had killed most of the warriors plus a number of women, children and old menand captured many of the women and children.
Result(s): Union victory (massacre)
Location: Franklin County
Campaign: Expedition from Camp Douglas, Utah Territory, to Cache Valley, Idaho Territory (1863)
Date(s): January 29, 1863
Principal Commanders: Col. Patrick Edward Connor [US]; Chief Bear Hunter [I]
Forces Engaged: District of Utah [US]; Shoshoni Indians [I]
Civil War on the Western Border, 1854-1865
Fanatical politics of the western frontier, immigrant abolitionists with loaded Spencer rifles funded by mysterious personages back East, cut-throats, gin heads and horse thieves, colorful character descriptions
Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back
The Turtle's shell stand for the 13 cycles of the moon, each with its own name and a story that relates to the changing seasons. Joseph Bruchac and Jonathan London collaborate to reveal the beauty of the natural world around us, while Thomas Locker's illustrations honor both Native American legends and the varied American landscape
Brother Eagle Sister Sky
The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth. The great American Indian Chief Seattle spoke these words over a hundred years ago. His remarkably relevant message of respect for the Earth and every creature on it has endured the test of time and is imbued with passion born of love of the land and the environment
The Talking Earth
Billie Wind lives with her Seminole tribe. She follows their customs, but the dangers of pollution and nuclear war she's learned about in school seem much more real to her. How can she believe the Seminole legends about talking animals and earth spirits?
Civil War in the Indian Territory
When the war broke out, both sides wanted the Five Civilized Tribes, led by the Cherokees, and each got around half. The Confederacy sent Brigadier General Albert Pike to recruit them, and he did a pretty good job. A strange, brilliant, man, Pike's career as a General is a minor footnote in his long life
The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War
The Cherokee people, who had only just begun to recover from the ordeal of removal, faced an equally devastating upheaval in the Civil War. The Cherokee Nation, with its sovereign status and distinct culture, had a wartime experience unlike that of any other group of people
The First Americans: Prehistory-1600 A History of US
Tribes of hunters made their way from Asia across the Bering land bridge to North America. They didn't know it, but they had discovered a New World. The First Americans is a fascinating re-creation of pre-Columbian Native American life, and it's an adventure of a lifetime
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.