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Indian Wars

  • Date Submitted: 03/22/2010 03:12 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.7 
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The U.S. Army’s fighting following the Civil War became known as the Indian wars. Previous struggles with the Indians, dating back to colonial times, had been limited. There was a period where the Indian could withdraw or be pushed into vast reaches of uninhabited and unwanted territory in the west. As the Civil War ended, white Americans in greater numbers than before resumed the quest for land, gold, commerce, and adventure that had been stopped by the war. The overwhelmed Native Americans, with whites pressing in and the main source of food, the buffalo, threatened with extinction, were faced with a choice: surrender or fight. Many chose to fight, and over the next 25 years the struggle ranged over the plains, mountains, and the deserts of the American West.
These wars were characterized by skirmishes, pursuits, raids, massacres, expeditions, battles, and campaigns of varying size and intensity. In 1865, there were millions of buffalo, ten years later, fewer than a thousand remained. By destroying the buffalo herds, the whites were destroying the Indian’s main source of food and supplies. The only thing the Indians could do was fight to preserve their way of life. There was constant fighting among the Indians and whites as the Indians fought to keep their civilization. Indians often retaliated against the whites for earlier attacks that whites had imposed on them. They often attacked wagon trains, stage coaches, and isolated ranches. When the army became more involved in the fighting, the Indians started to focus on the white soldiers. Fed up Indians launched the first great attack in the Indian wars after not being paid for land sold to the white men before the civil war. The Indians saw little of the annuities for which they had sold their birthright. Bursting from their anger, they killed more than 450 settlers in the region before they were defeated by a group of recruits led by Colonel Henry Sibley. Later the killing of the white settlers...


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