Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bear Hunter's disaster
Growing up in southern Idaho gave me a lot of experiences about living along the Snake river,and finding arrow heads and other native indian artifacts.

I also studied about Idaho history and how The Gem state came about.

Here is one of the history stories about Idaho and the fight the Native americans put on too save their land.

The Battle of the Bear River between the Idaho settlers and the Shoshoni Indians over the emigrant routes and fur trapping led to one of the great battles in Idaho history.

In an engagement about 10 miles from the settlement of Franklin on Jan.29,1863,Col.Patrick Edward Connor's California volunteers almost wiped out Bear Hunters Cache Valley Shoshoni band of around 400 Indians.

In spite of deep winter snow and bone chilling weather Connor sent a small infantry force with artillary and supply wagons on a week long march of around 140 miles from Salt Lake to Franklin and Bear Hunters winter camp.To hide from his adversary he set out four days later with his calvary,moving only at night to conceal his expedition.Completeing his trip from Franklin in darkness he reached the Shoshoni camp around 6 a.m..After a surprise attack on a bitter cold morning,Connor's force engaged in a 4 or 5 hour battle.Bear Hunters camp occupied a protected ravine above the river,a site that was advantageous in cold weather,and easily defended.

Connor's men finally managed to drive into Bear river those who survived his surprise attack.Only a few managed to survive the frozen waters to safety.Some excaped to join other Shoshoni tribes,while a small number of children hid and were later adopted by Mormon familys.Connor's army which had come close to destruction from Shoshoni resistance and the frigid weather had to return to Franklin in order to recover from the fight.

No indian losses in any other Army encounter in U.S. history exceeded Bear Hunter's disaster at Bear River.Other Shoshoni bands were inraged of the slaughter and prpared to wipe out all the white settlers and emigrant trains,but later that year a series of Shoshoni treaties provided for a $2000 payment to neighboring bands,reduced to a state of utterly destitution as a result of Conor's campaign.That reparation was only met to meet their immediate needs.

A permanent treaty was not negotiated until 1868

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