Battle of Spokane Plains occurs on September 5, 1858.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 1/29/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5144

On September 5, 1858, U.S. Army soldiers under Colonel George Wright (1803-1865) defeat Native Americans at the Battle of Spokane Plains. The engagement follows a skirmish four days before with members of the Spokane, Palouse, Yakama, and Coeur d'Alene tribes at Four Lakes. The soldiers and the warriors fight over a distance of 14 miles and one soldier is wounded.

The battle began during a march from Four Lakes by the soldiers. The warriors set fire to prairie grass to stampede the pack train and to conceal their attack. Wright ordered a counterattack with combined arms -- infantry, cavalry, and artillery working in concert -- and the Native Americans were driven off. Skirmishing continued throughout the day until the troops made their camp on the Spokane River at what would become Fort George Wright.


Sources: William Stimson, A View of the Falls: An Illustrated History of Spokane (Northridge, CA: Windson Publications, 1985), 14-19; Jay J. Kalez, This Town Of Ours ... Spokane: 1804-1974 (Spokane: Lawton Printing Co., 1974), 9-14, Lancaster Pollard, A History of The State of Washington, Vol. I, (New York: The American Historical Society, 1937), 302-305; George W. Fuller, A History of the Pacific Northwest (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948), 254.

Related Topics:   Northwest Indians | War & Peace

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You