Sheepeater War

What was the Sheepeater War?

More a series of armed confrontations between US soldiers and Western Shoshone Native Americans in Idaho, the Sheepeater War began and ended in 1879. Known as Sheepeaters because they hunted the bighorn sheep of the region, the Shoshone (one of whom is pictured below) were accused, almost certainly falsely, of murdering two gold prospectors and five Chinese miners.

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Troops were sent after the Sheepeaters, who retreated into the largely unmapped mountains of the region. The last Indian war in the US north-west – one of the least bloody conflicts in history – ended when most of the Shoshone surrendered and were resettled on a reservation.

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Answered by: Nick Rennison