By Brigham D. Madsen
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Extra resources for Shoshoni Frontier & Bear River Massacre (Utah Centennial Series)
First, there was the notorious Sand Creek Massacre of November 19, 1864, when Colonel John M. ''37 Chivington later wrote that several days before his attack on the Indians, he had met in Denver, Colorado, with General Patrick E. 38 The second Indian killing listed was the Washita Massacre of November 27, 1868, with Major General George A. Custer in command, at which approximately 103 of Black Kettle's Cheyennes died. In a Page 21 third incident, on January 23, 1870, Colonel Eugene M. Baker destroyed 173 Piegans at the Marias River in Montana Territory.
As historian Earl S. Pomeroy points out in a seminal book on territorial government, American political administration was discordant, confused, and fumbling, making many mistakes as it evolved. 32 Prior to June of 1846 and the division of Oregon Territory along the forty-ninth parallel by the British and American governments, the Shoshoni had been left to a relationship with fur traders and trappers from both nations. Another three years elapsed before the United States Congress established Oregon Territory on March 3, 1849, and placed the territorial capital Page 16 at Oregon City, hundreds of miles from the Boise and Bruneau bands, the Lemhi at Salmon River, and the Shoshoni and Bannock at Fort Hall.
W. ,'' were forced to go "to Buffalo" through the lands of the Bannock and the Eastern Shoshoni. 17 An equally important loss to all Shoshoni was the destruction of the magnificent grass cover that enveloped mountain meadows and the lower hills of much of the region from South Pass west to Carson Valley. "19 As late as 1862, Chaplain John A. "20 Grass seeds were an important part of the Shoshoni and Northern Page 14 Paiute diet, especially west of the big game country. When F. W. " 21 Grass seeds were gathered in flat tray-like baskets by raking them with beaters and then storing for winter use.