Ute Wars

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Ute Wars
Part of the American Indian Wars
The Meeker tragedy.jpg
An etching that appeared in the December 6, 1879 edition of "Frank Leslie's Weekly" depicts the aftermath of the Meeker Massacre.
Date1849 - 1923
Result United States victory, Utes moved to reservations.
 United States


Ute Allies:

Commanders and leaders
United States Brigham Young
United States John Williams Gunnison 
United States Reddick Allred
United States Wesley Merritt
United States Thomas T. Thornburgh 
Antonga Black Hawk

The Ute Wars were a series of conflicts between the Ute people and the United States which began in 1849 and ended in 1923.[1][2]


  • Jicarilla War (1849-1855)
  • Battle at Fort Utah (1850)
  • Walker War (1853-1854)
  • Tintic War (1856)
  • Black Hawk War (1865-1872)
  • White River War (1879)
  • Pinhook Massacre (June 15, 1881) - started when renegade Paiute Indians killed a number of ranchers and stole horses in Colorado. The locals formed a posse to track the Paiutes as they headed west toward what is now Monticello, Utah and then north toward the La Sal Mountains. As the Paiutes moved north, the posse broke into two parts, a small group to follow them and the greater number to take a route around them and meet them from the front. A running battle between the Indians and the smaller posse seemed indicate the plan was working as the Paiutes kept ahead of them. Unexpectedly, the Paiutes took up an ideal position for an ambush on Wilson Mesa, near Pinhook Draw, at the northeastern end of the La Sal Mountains. When the smaller posse arrived, the Paiutes, estimated at 80-100, massacred cowboys, with only one escaping, Harg Eskridge.[3]
  • Beaver Creek Massacre (June 19, 1885) - Cases of cattle-rustling by the Utes on white cattlemen caused tensions that eventually led to a skirmish between the two parties in Beaver Creek[disambiguation needed]. In the gunfight that ensued, cowboys killed six Mountain Ute Indians. It was the last major confrontation between Ute Indians and white settlers in Colorado.[4]
  • Ute War (1887)
  • Bluff War (1914-1915)
  • Bluff Skirmish (1921)
  • Posey War (1923)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Decker, 190-193
  2. ^ "Chief Posey's War". Utah History Resource Center. Archived from the original on 2012-07-09.
  3. ^ Jordan, Kathy (January 20, 2012). "Deadly confrontation in Utah took place shortly before GJ incorporated". The Daily Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 4, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  4. ^ Beaver Creek Massacre


  • Decker, Peter R. (2004). The Utes Must Go!. Golden: Fulcrum Publishing. ISBN 1-55591-465-9.