Skip to content Puget Sound War (1855-1856)

The Puget Sound War was an armed conflict that took place in the Puget Sound area of the state of Washington in 1855–56, between the United States Army, local militias and members of the Native American tribes of the Nisqually, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, and Klickitat. Another component of the war, however, were raiders from the Haida and Tlingit who came into conflict with the United States Navy during contemporaneous raids on the native peoples of Puget Sound. Although limited in its magnitude, territorial impact and losses in terms of lives, the conflict is often remembered in connection to the 1856 Battle of Seattle and to the execution of a central figure of the war, Nisqually Chief Leschi. The contemporaneous Yakima War may have been responsible for some events of the Puget Sound War, such as the Battle of Seattle, and it is not clear that the people of the time made a strong distinction between the two conflicts.