Skip to content Cayuse War (1847-1855)

The Cayuse War was an armed conflict that took place in the Northwestern United States (Oregon Territory) between the Cayuse people of the region and the United States Government and local Euro-American settlers (about 500 militiamen, the number of Indians involved is unknown). Caused in part by the influx of disease and settlers to the region, the immediate start of the conflict occurred in 1847 when the Whitman Massacre took place at the Whitman Mission near present day Walla Walla, Washington when fourteen people were killed in and around the mission. Over the next few years the Provisional Government of Oregon and later the United States Army battled the Native American peoples east of the Cascades. This was the first of several wars between the original inhabitants and Euro-American settlers in that region that would lead to the placement of many of the Native Americans onto Indian reservations.

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