Battle of Spokane Plains - Yakima War - Medical Lake, WA, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 47° 38.593 W 117° 38.879
11T E 451331 N 5276849
Quick Description: There is a tiny State Park surrounding this cairn along Highway 2, west of Spokane. The little triangular park is directly across the highway from Fairchild Air Force Base and is named Spokane Battlefield State Park.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 3/22/2014 3:19:52 PM
Waymark Code: WMKCYF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Torgut
Views: 4

Long Description:
Though the decisive battle took place a couple of miles to the north, this monument has been placed beside Highway 2 to make it easily accessible. The Battle of Spokane Plains was the battle which ultimately ended the Yakima Indian War, which went on sporadically from 1855 to 1858.

The battle took place on September 5th, 1858 between forces of Colonel George Wright and forces of the Yakama, Walla Walla and Cayuse tribes, with the tribes being decisively routed. This battle is often referred to as the Battle of Four Lakes. After the battle 24 of the chiefs were executed and the tribes placed on permanent reservations, ending almost four year of hostilities between the whites and, primarily, the Yakamas.

Yakima War (1855-1858) - Between the years of 1855 and 1858 the Yakama Indians (spelled Yakima at the time) were living along the Columbia and Yakima Rivers on the plateau in central Washington Territory. Residing in an area that was "in the way” of white settlers, most particularly, miners looking for their fortunes, the first governor of the newly formed Washington Territory, Isaac Stevens, along with the Superintendent of Oregon Territory, Joel Palmer, sought to move the Yakama, as well as the Walla Walla, Umatilla, and Cayuse tribes on to reservations in 1855. Ceding in excess of six million acres to the U.S. government in exchange for $200,000, the Indians were promised that white miners and settlers would not be allowed to trespass upon their lands.

However, when gold was discovered in the Colville area and in the Fraser River area of British Columbia, the miners ignored the rules and trespassed anyway, sometimes stealing the Indian's horses and mistreating them. When some of the Yakama warriors retaliated by killing miners in isolated incidents, Andrew J. Bolon, the Indian sub-agent at The Dalles was sent in to investigate. When, he too was killed, troops were sent into the Yakima Valley, starting the Yakima Indian War in October, 1855.

As the troops continued to flood the region, the Yakama united with the Walla Walla and Cayuse tribes and a number of raids and battles took place. The last phase of the Yakima War, referred to as the Coeur d'Alene War or Palouse War came in 1858 when a force under the command of Colonel George Wright was sent in to deal with the Indians. In September, 1858, Wright’s troops defeated the Yakama and their allies in the Battle of Four Lakes near Spokane, Washington.

Though the main Indian leader, Yakama Chief Kamiakin fled to Canada, 24 other chiefs were captured, and then hanged or shot. The remainder of the tribes were then permanently placed on reservations.
From Legends of America

The small park contains only the cairn and a single tree well off in one corner. It is open from 6:30 AM to dusk. There are no picnic tables or other facilities.

Plaque on the Cairn

War: Yakima War (1855 - 1858)

Is it permanently accessible to the public?: yes

Is it necessary to pay a fee to gain access to the place?: no

Year of the memorial or monument: Not listed

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