Perhaps the deadliest massacre of Native Americans in US history, the Bear River Massacre has remained in obscurity largely because it occurred during the Civil War. The Northern Shoshone called present-day southeastern Idaho home, and it was there that they were attacked.Mormon settlers had been progressively taking more land from the Native Americans, appropriating nearly all of the arable territory. Striking back at those stealing their land, the Shoshone soon saw themselves in the crosshairs of Colonel Patrick Connor and 200 California Volunteers, who vowed to take no prisoners.At daybreak on January 29, 1863, the soldiers attacked, brutally killing nearly 250 Native Americans. They raped any women who hadn’t been killed, used axes to crush the skulls of the wounded, and set fire to all the lodges.
Photo credit: Edmond J. Fitzgerald via Smithsonian National Postal Museum