Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Fight Going On in Utah

In the war out west, the Battle of Bear River [aka Massacre at Boa Ogoi] between the US Army and the Shoshone Indians took place on January 29th 1863.

A detachment of the United States Army under Colonel Patrick Edward Connor entered the Cache Valley, an area north of the Utah / Idaho state line, at the convergence of the Bear River and Beaver Creek. They were part of an expedition looking for the Shoshone Chief, Bear Hunter. There was deep snow at six am when the 2nd California Cavalry began to arrive. Moroni Timbimboo said his grandfather Chief Sagwitch saw the approach of the Union soldiers.

The Cavalry started with a frontal attack against the positions held by the Shoshone, but the Indians overwhelmed them with return fire. Col Connor retreated and regrouped his men. He than sent small groups in a flanking move around the village, blocking any Shoshone from fleeing the battle. About two hours into the battle the Indians ran out of ammo, at this point the battle became a massacre. Most of the Shoshone men had been killed, and soldiers proceeded to molest and kill the women and children, and burn everything down. There were about 67 US soldiers killed and about 384 Shoshone.

This battle pretty much wiped out the Shoshone in the Cache Valley and surrounding area. The members of the tribe who escaped eventually became member of the Mormon church and help establish the town of Washkie,UT. Colonel Connor and his California Cavalry were treated as heroes. Conner was promoted to Brigadier General and continued his army career against the Native American population.

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