Battle of Spokane Plains occurs on September 5, 1858.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 1/29/2003
  • Essay 5144
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On September 5, 1858, U.S. Army soldiers under Colonel George Wright (1803-1865) defeat Native Americans at the Battle of Spokane Plains. The engagement follows a skirmish four days before with members of the Spokane, Palouse, Yakama, and Coeur d'Alene tribes at Four Lakes. The soldiers and the warriors fight over a distance of 14 miles and one soldier is wounded.

The battle began during a march from Four Lakes by the soldiers. The warriors set fire to prairie grass to stampede the pack train and to conceal their attack. Wright ordered a counterattack with combined arms -- infantry, cavalry, and artillery working in concert -- and the Native Americans were driven off. Skirmishing continued throughout the day until the troops made their camp on the Spokane River at what would become Fort George Wright.


William Stimson, A View of the Falls: An Illustrated History of Spokane (Northridge, CA: Windson Publications, 1985), 14-19; Jay J. Kalez, This Town Of Ours ... Spokane: 1804-1974 (Spokane: Lawton Printing Co., 1974), 9-14, Lancaster Pollard, A History of The State of Washington, Vol. I, (New York: The American Historical Society, 1937), 302-305; George W. Fuller, A History of the Pacific Northwest (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948), 254.

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