California Indian Wars

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California Indian Wars (1850–80)

Following the acquisition of the Mexican Cession in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican American War, the small Federal garrison west of the Rocky Mountains was spread out over that vast territory. Shortly afterward, the economic effects of the California Gold Rush encouraged desertions that further weakened the garrisons within the territory of California. Following statehood, California State Militia became the parties engaged in most of the early conflicts with the Indians within its boundaries before the American Civil War. The state would seek compensation from the United States federal government for the cost of the operations and for the "depredations" of the Indians, that would not be settled for decades. Often the local miners or other settlers, impatient at the bureaucratic delay or political opposition involved with organizing militia companies, organized locally to operate against the Indians.

Later during the American Civil War, California and Oregon State Volunteers replaced Federal troops west of the Rocky Mountains and engaged in many conflicts with the Indians in that region including in California, Nevada and Utah, New Mexico and Arizona Territories. Within California they fought in the ongoing 1858-1864 Bald Hills War and in the 1862-1863 Owens Valley Indian War. Minor skirmishes occurred between local militias or Volunteers and the Yahi, Yana and Paiute in northeastern California. Following the Civil War, California was mostly pacified except for a few minor skirmishes in the Owens Valley and in the Mojave Desert against the Timbisha and Chemehuevi. Federal troops replaced the Volunteers between late 1865 and early 1866 and again took up the struggle in the remote regions of the northeast of the state against the Snakes and later the Modoc in the next two decades.

California Indian Wars, Battles, skirmishes and events[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Compiled laws of the State of California: containing all the acts of the Legislature of a public and general nature, now in force, passed at the sessions of 1850-51-52-53, Benicia, S. Garfeilde, 1853. pp. 822-825 An Act for the Government and Protection of Indians
  2. ^ Heizer, Robert F. The destruction of California Indians. Lincoln and London: Univ. of Nebraska Press, (1974).
  3. ^ David Rich Lewis, Neither wolf nor dog: American Indians, environment, and agrarian change, Oxford University Press US, 1994, pg. 86
  4. ^ Heizer, Robert F., The Destruction of California Indians, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 1993, 321 pages, ISBN 978-0-8032-7262-0 pp. 35–36.
  5. ^ Eugene L. Menefee and Fred A. Dodge, History of Tulare and Kings Counties, California, Historic, Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1913. CHAPTER II INDIAN WAR OF '56
  6. ^ California and the Indian Wars; The Tule River War by William Gorenfield
  7. ^ The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies, Series I, Volume L, Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1902. pp 25-27
  8. ^ David Rich Lewis, Neither wolf nor dog: American Indians, environment, and agrarian change, Oxford University Press US, 1994. pp.85–88
  9. ^ The Mendocino War of 1859–1860, The California State Military Museum
  10. ^ The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies, Series I, Volume L, Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1902. pp 21-23
  11. ^ The California Military Museum; California and the Indian Wars, The Owens Valley Indian War, 1861–1865.