Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

The January 1859 Battle of Beaver Lake

When the United States War Department learned that their small military force which was ordered to the Colorado River to build a fort, had been defeated and forced to return to New Mexico, they contacted General Newman S. Clark in Los Angelas, and instructed him to order an expedition to the same location to again attempt to construct another fort on Anishinabe controlled land. You must remember that the United States did this without first consulting with Anishinabe ogimak. Clarke ordered Lieutenant Colonel William Hoffman and 50 American soldiers, to commence an expedition to Beale's Crossing. They left for Beale's Crossing on December 28,1858. They reached the Beale's Crossing area in January of 1858, and were discovered by Anishinabe scouts who alerted their ogimak (leaders) of the new American invasion. A battle was fought in which (this is according to white historians) the American soldiers defeated some 300 Anishinabe and Walapai soldiers. However, once again the American military force retreated back to their base in the Los Angelas area. That indicates that the battle was won by the Anishinabe and Walapai soldiers. Historians claim that the Anishinabe and Walapai soldiers, endurred up to 12 casualties in the battle. American casualties must have been significantly higher because they were incapable of establishing a fort at Beale's Crossing.

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