Bear 1863: Bear River Massacre. Utah Division of

   Bear River MassacreOn 29 January 1863, near present-day Preston, Idaho, 450 Northwestern Shoshone were killed along the Bear River. It was possibly the largest massacre in the American history.1The Bear River Massacre was the result from the tensions between the Shoshone and the new settlers known as the Mormons. 2 In 1860, the Mormons moved into the Cache Valley where the Shoshone settled and had used the valley for a generation for food gathering and hunting. In no time, the settlers’ livestock and farming overcrowded the traditional Shoshone food sources. With desperation and starvation, some had to beg for food. Some attacked the farms and stole cows. Some attacked the settlers on the Oregon Trail, which resulted in a conflict where the whites ended up killing some Shoshone.3In the morning of January 29, Colonel Patrick Edward Connor and 200 Californian Volunteers launched an attacked against the Northwestern Shoshoni winter village where they camped by the Bear River. Once the attack was over, about 250 Shoshoni were killed, including 90 women and children.4. Worst yet, some rogue soldiers raped the women and used axes to bash the heads of women and children who were already dying from the wounds.5 they also burned the Indian’s lodges, salvaged 1000 loads of wheat and flour, and 175 horses. The Bear River Massacre was one devastated massacre of the American West conflicts along with others Indian’s battles. However, the event was overlooked and was not commonly known because the incident occurred during the Civil War where all of the focus was on the East. 1.    Christian Rose. Native History: Bear River Massacre Devastetes Norhwestern Shoshone, accessed 1/23/18,3 1863: Bear River Massacre. Utah Division of State History, accessed 1/12/18,5  Brigham D. Madsen. Utah History to Go, accessed 1/23/18


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