The Indian Wars

Manifest Destiny, a term coined to explain expansion in the U.S., had serious consequences for Native Americans since continental expansion meant the occupation of Native American land. Manifest Destiny was the justification for expansion and westward movement, or, in some interpretations, an ideology which helped to promote the process of civilization without being viewed as a blatant attack on the natives.

Maps showing the increasing loss of Indian Territory

Not so long after the Trail of  Tears occurred, more oppression was felt by the white men. A series of bloody battles, known as the Indian Wars, began several years after the end of the Civil War. The demand of indian territory had not subsided and ended with a massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890.

Illustration of the Indian Wars

Thousands of Indians were brutally slaughtered by the Union Army. They fought outnumbered for many years before being defeated one by one at the hands of the federal government. Although they won many battles, including the Kidder massacre in which they eliminated an entire regiment, they were still extremely outnumbered.

Memorial for the Kidder Massacre

The Union was a ruthless army that would stop at nothing to continue with Westward expansion. The massacres that are most noted as that of Powder River, Sand Creek, Little Wolf, and Wounded Knee.