Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

The 1852 Battle of San Luis

On February 8, 1852, Captain Samuel P. Heintzelman led a force of 160 soldiers to the Fort Yuma region. It was about the coolest time of the year to actually travel to the Yuma region. The small American military force arrived at the Fort Yuma region in March of 1852. Upon their arrival to Fort Yuma, the Americans discovered that the fort had nearly been destroyed. They commenced to settle in again. An event occurred during this, the Yuma Expedition, about 18 miles from Fort Yuma, after the small American military force reached the Yuma region, in which 8 Americans were killed in a battle with Anishinabe soldiers (not the Yuma allies of the whites), and 4 Anishinabe soldiers were killed. According to historians, Captain Edward H. Fitzgerald was ordered to escort a supply convoy to Fort Yuma with 40 soldiers. On the way they were ambushed. About 8 American soldiers and 1 American civilian, were instructed to guard the Americans herd of mules and horses (supplies), when this, the Battle of San Luis, occurred. That is not so easy to accept because 40 American soldiers were there and every available soldier was needed to defend the supplies. The battle lasted a good 18 hours. The captain of the American soldiers had no choice but to retreat back to Fort Yuma and leave the mules and horses (supplies), as well as the American casualties on the battleground. American casualties were obviously higher. Heintzelman had no choice but to use the Gulf of California to have supplies sailed to Fort Yuma, after this battle.

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