Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

August 29, 1865 Battle of the Tongue River

On Tuesday August 29, 1865 an American military force of some 400 soldiers commanded by General Connor, commenced a search for Anishinabe villages in northern Wyoming. Their intention was to find Anishinabe villages then attack them. They were instructed to kill as many Anishinabe men, women, and children as they could. Even if Anishinabek surrendered. Battle of Tongue River was a part of Mullan Road War. A list of Mullan Road War battles is above. American scouts learned of a location of an Ojibway fortified village along Tongue River in northern Wyoming, near Wyomings border with Montana, and that most men were away supposedly fighting Crow Indians to their north but were probably out hunting. Battle of the Tongue River was probably fought near Great Falls, Montana or between Helena and Fort Buford and not Wyoming.

Most likely that villages men were out hunting and attempting to find those whites, blacks and Indians who were hired by American government officials, to kill off buffalo, to stop their evil actions. After learning of that villages location and that most men were away tending to other needs, General Conner ordered his soldiers to attack it. Those 400 American Soldiers used howitzers, machine guns, and revolvers. In Battle of Tongue River, American Soldiers killed and wounded 63 Ojibways. They also captured 18 women and children but released them soon afterwards.

According to historians, that Ojibway village had a population of near 500. Possibly half were away while that battle occurred, so those few Anishinabe Soldiers and older Anishinabe men in their village, did a good job of preventing American Soldiers from killing as many of their women and children as they could. American casualties were 15 killed and 14 wounded in that battle. That American victory did not stop Anishinabe Soldiers from launching raids on invading white settlers who were invading Montana by using Missouri River. They usually sailed up Missouri River in steamboats then left their steamboats and formed wagon trains which were guarded between 50 to over 100 men. On many occassions, white soldiers were ordered to guard those wagon trains. White civilians had gatlin guns, revolvers, and also repeating rifles.

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