The American Indian Wars Timeline

The American Indian Wars is the collective name for the various armed conflicts fought by European governments and colonists, and later the United States and Canadian governments and American and Canadian settlers, against various American Indian and First Nation tribes.

The below table highlights the key events, battles, and outcomes of these wars and provides fantastic revision material for any study period.

DateName of ConflictSummary of Events

The Powhatan ConfederacyThis was a conflict between the indigenous people in Virginia and the colonist after 12 years of peaceful coexistence. The conflict left many colonists and indigenous people dead.
1637The Pequot WarThe conflict was along the Thames River, in present-day Connecticut and Rhode Island. Pequots were rivals with the Narragansetts and Mohegans. Other Natives in the region were the Wampanoags, Nipmucks, Pocumtucks, and Abenakis. Tensions arose over the colonists’ disdain of the Natives as the former trespassed on the farming and hunting lands of the natives. Over 600 Native Indians were killed, and others sold in Bermuda as slaves.

The Beaver WarsIt is also known as the Iroquois Wars or the French and Iroquois Wars. It was a battle between the Iroquois and their Dutch allies against the Algonquin tribes and their French allies. The war was as a result of the depletion of the Beaver population, useful to the fur trade in the areas controlled by the Iroquois.

King Philip’s WarThe war was named after Metacomet of the Wampanoag tribe, nicknamed Philip by the British. The Native American tribes of the Wampanoags, Narragansetts, Nipmucks, Pocumtucks, and Abenakis fought the British. Up to one-third of America’s white population was wiped out. This was the final struggle by the Native Americans of Connecticut.

The Pueblo RevoltIt occurred in New Mexico and Arizona between the Tuscarora Native Americans and the Spanish under the leadership of Popé, Pueblo. The Indians won and lived independently for 12 years until the Spanish reconquered in 1692.

The French and Indian WarThis was a war between France and Great Britain over the North America region. The Iroquois Indians were allied to the French, and the Algonquian tribes were allied to the British.

The Tuscarora WarThe Tuscarora led by Chief Hancock launched several attacks on settlements, killing settlers and destroying farms. In 1713, James Moore and Yamasee warriors defeated the Raiders.
1764Pontiac’s RebellionOccurred in the Ohio Valley, owing to the harsh treatment of the Natives by the British. The Natives under Ottawa Chief Pontiac (1720-1769) rebelled.
1775Lord Dunmore’s WarThe war occurred in Southern Ohio over hostilities between Native Indians and the settlers and traders in the area. Lord Dunmore, the Governor of Virginia, sent 3000 soldiers who defeated the 1000 Native Indians.

Northwest Indian WarFought in Indiana and Ohio during which Americans suffered two humiliating until they won the Battle of Fallen Timbers against the Natives.

Tecumseh’s WarAlso called the Battle of Tippecanoe. The Prophet, brother of Shawnee chief Tecumseh, attacked Indiana Territory along the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers but were defeated by the troops of William Henry Harrison

Creek WarThe Creek War erupted in Alabama and Georgia. American forces led by Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Indians
1813Peoria WarIt was a conflict between the U. S. Army, settlers and the Native American tribes of the Potawatomi and the Kickapoo tribes in the Peoria area of Illinois. Their villages were attacked, and the tribes left the area. Hostilities resumed in the Winnebago War of 1827 and the Black Hawk
1813War of 1812War of 1812 begins.

First Seminole WarErupted in Florida Everglades area as the Seminole Indian tribe defended their lands and runaway slaves
1827Winnebago Warwas a small conflict which occurred in Wisconsin between the settlers and lead miners who were trespassing on their land and the Winnebago tribe. The Winnebago War preceded the larger Black Hawk War
1832Black Hawk WarIt occurred in the Northern Illinois and Southwestern Wisconsin. Chief Black Hawk led the Native Indian Sauk and Fox tribes in an attempt to re-take their homeland Department of Indian Affairs established

Creek Alabama UprisingIn Alabama and Georgia along the Chattahoochee River. It resulted in a defeat for the Creek forces and the removal of the Creek people from their native lands to the Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma.
1837Osage Indian WarAfter years of war with invading Iroquois, the Osage migrated west of the Mississippi River to their historic lands in present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The conflict involved a number of skirmishes with the Osage Indians in Missouri.

The Sioux WarsErupted in South Dakota, Minnesota and Wyoming were led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull in a fight to keep their homelands

Rogue River WarFought in Oregon during which the Natives were attacked in an attempt to start a war that would enable unemployed miners to work. Survivors were forced on to reservations

Third Seminole WarStill in Florida Everglades area. The Seminole led by Chief Billy Bowleg made their last stand and were defeated and deported to Indian territory in Oklahoma

Apache WarsFought in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas by the Natives led by Geronimo and Cochise in opposition to the reservation system. Geronimo surrendered in 1886, but others carried on the fight until 1900

Ute WarsFought in Utah due to Mormons settlement on Native Lands
1874Red River Warin Northern Texas against the Arapaho, Comanche, Cheyenne and Kiowa tribes, who eventually surrendered
1876Battle of the RosebudFought in Montana by the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne led by Chief Crazy Horse against the American soldiers under General George Crook. The Natives managed to stop the reinforcement sent out to support General Custer
1876Battle of the Little BighornGeneral Custer and his soldiers were massacred in by the Sioux warriors on the Little Bighorn River and were wiped out in the ensuing fight.
1890The Wounded Knee MassacreFought in South Dakota followed the killing of Chief Sitting Bull. Chief Big Foot led the last band of Lakota Sioux and were massacred by the US Army at Wounded Knee Creek.

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