Arikara War

Arikara War

The Arikara War took place in 1823 near the Missouri River, present day South Dakota. Arikara (a Native American nation also called "Arikaree" or "Ree") warriors attacked a trapping expedition travelling on the river. The United States responded with 230 soldiers, 750 Sioux, and 50 trappers under the command of U.S. Army Colonel Henry Leavenworth.

The war was brief, but is noted for two reasons. First, it was the first military conflict between the United States and the western Native Americans, setting the tone for future encounters with the Crow and Blackfeet. Second, Henry Leavenworth did not completely defeat the Arikara. His leniency on them sparked a great debate between Americans demanding subjugation of the Native Americans and those advocating cohabitation.

The Arikara eventually settled on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota.

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