Indian Wars: Natives vs. Europeans


By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: youtube

About This Quiz

In the middle of the 19th century, the United States was attempting to settle areas west of the Mississippi River. Native Americans often recoiled at these settlements, resulting in violence that lasted for years. How much do you know about the Indian Wars?

What issue sparked the 1877 Nez Perce War?

The U.S. Government insisted that the Nez Perce give up their lands and move to a reservation. The Indians refused, igniting a violent conflict.


When federal troops arrived to subdue the Nez Perce, what happened?

Led by Chief Joseph, the Indians fled north in hopes of finding safety. They were attacked numerous times along the way, and both sides suffered casualties.


All of the Nez Perce were killed at the end of the war.

As Army troops caught up to the Indians, some of the natives were killed. Others escaped to Canada, while hundreds were shipped to a reservation in the Midwest.


The Williams Station Massacre contributed to the start of which war?

In 1860, a band of Paiute Indians raided a small town store, killed the locals and burned buildings. It's not certain why they attacked but it soon led to more conflict that became known as the Paiute War.


What is NOT another name for the Paiute War?

It was never called the Pah Yute Ha War. The Paiute War took place in 1860 in Nevada.


How did the Paiute War end?

Troops arrived in the area and constructed a solid fort, essentially making it impossible for the Indians to hold their lands. The Indians gave up fighting for the area.


The Second Battle of Fort Defiance was part of which wider war?

The Second Battle of Fort Defiance was fought in 1860 as part of the Navajo Wars. The skirmishes drove the Navajo to a bitter end.


The Navajo were defeated in the Navajo Wars and forced to march to a reservation. What was the march called?

The Navajo were forced into a march to a reservation in New Mexico. It became known as The Long Walk, a sad end to a tragic war.


Numerous Indian wars lasted many years. About how long did the Apache Wars last?

For roughly two decades the Apaches engaged in intermittent battles with whites. Unwilling to give up, some Apaches continued fighting even into the 1920s.


Who was one of the most famous Indians in the Apache Wars?

Geronimo was legendary for his raiding skills, and he gained the respect of many Apache warriors. He faked surrender three times during his conflicts with the whites.


Geronimo and other Apaches were subdued and sent to reservations, from which they fled numerous times. Why did they continue to flee?

The Apaches were a nomadic tribe too restless for reservation life. They fled the reservations repeatedly until they finally surrendered for good in the late 1880s.


The Ghost Dance War was part of which larger conflict?

The 1890 Ghost Dance War was part of the Sioux Wars. It was a religiously-driven Indian uprising in which the natives were sure they'd be able to drive the white man out of their ancestral lands.


The Wounded Knee Massacre was part of the Ghost Dance War.

The famous massacre was indeed part of the Ghost Dance War. Federal troops killed hundreds of Indians during the massacre, which was sparked in part by a simple misunderstanding.


The Snake War started in 1864 and lasted for about four years. How many people died on both sides of the conflict?

The roughly four-year conflict claimed about 1,800 lives, as the Snake Indians took on white troops. For an Indian war, this one was bloody.


What trait characterized the Snake War?

The Snake War was a slow-moving conflict with many guerilla attacks by both sides. Though the casualties came in small spurts, it became one of the bloodiest Indian wars in history.


The Snake War did NOT take place in which area?

This war was mainly in the areas around Idaho, Oregon and California. It didn't spread to Arizona.


What factor heavily contributed to the start of the Mojave War?

The 1849 Gold Rush sent white people streaming West. The influx of strangers provided plenty of opportunity for miscommunication, jealousy...and violence.


The Battle of Beale's Crossing was a confrontation between settlers and the Mojaves. Who won?

The settlers were outnumbered but had enough guns to drive off the Indians. The Indians, though, made off with most of the settlers' livestock, a fact that forced the whites to turn for home.


What incident sparked the Battle of Beale's crossing?

The settlers cut down trees that belonged to the Mojaves. The Indians retaliated by attacking and stealing many cattle.


Which war took place primarily in the Washington area?

The Yakima War was conducted mostly in the Washington area. It started in 1855 and lasted for about three years.


The Yakima War started in part due to the killing of a U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs agent, who was doing what?

The Indians had killed two gold miners and the agent was trying to find out why. Instead, he was murdered, too, and hostilities commenced.


The Battle of Seattle was part of the Yakima War. How long did the battle last?

The Battle of Seattle lasted just one day and ended with the deaths of dozens of Indians. Two settlers died, too. The Yakima were ultimately forced to give up the war and settle on a reservation.


The Lava Beds War is better known as what?

The Lava Beds War is better known as the Modoc War. It started in 1872 in the northern part of California and southern Oregon


What was the name of the Modoc chief who led warriors against federal troops?

His Indian name was Kintpuash, but everyone called him Captain Jack. His brave warriors hid for months in the lava beds, but heavily-armed troops eventually forced them to give up the fight.


During the Modoc War, most of the casualties were whites, not Indians.

Better-armed whites typically inflicted heavier casualties on Indians. But the Modoc War found Indians causing more casualties (about 70) than they suffered (about 20).


Which Indian tribe was NOT part of the Bannock War?

The Apaches weren't a part of the Bannock War. It mostly featured Shoshone, Paiute and Bannock Indians.


Who led the Bannock warriors against federal troops?

Chief Buffalo Horn led hundreds of Indians to battle the whites. He was eventually killed in battle and Chief Egan took over leadership duties.


How was Chief Egan killed during the Bannock War?

Umatilla Indians who had previously surrendered to the whites entered Chief Egan's camp pretending to be peaceful. Instead, they murdered the chief and several warriors.


The Crow War is also sometimes called what?

The Crow War is often called the Crow Rebellion. It was the only time that the Crow people fought white troops.


What sparked the Crow Rebellion?

In 1887, Crow Indians left a Montana reservation and troops pursued them. As settlers fled the area in fear of battle, the two sides clashed. White troops ultimately forced a surrender and the war ended.


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