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Battle of Spokane Plains occurs on September 5, 1858.

HistoryLink.org Essay 5144 : Printer-Friendly Format

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.


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Related Topics: War & Peace | American Indians | Northwest Indians |

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Battle of Spokane Plains, September 5, 1858
Sketch by Gustavus Sohon, Courtesy Washington State University Library


Monument at site of Battle of Spokane Plains
Courtesy Spokane Outdoors


 
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